Teddy Bridgewater was sacked eight times Sunday as the Vikings, lacking any type of running attack and little support from the offensive line, lost 17-3 to the Lions, a team that has an all-time record of 35-69-2 against the Purple.
Believe it or not, eight was not the record for the number of sacks of a Vikings quarterback. That record is held by Archie Manning, father of Peyton and Eli, who was sacked 11 times — one short of the NFL record — on Oct. 28, 1984, in a 16-7 loss to the Chicago Bears.
You had to be impressed with Bridgewater in the second half, when he completed 16 of 24 passes for 134 yards with one interception and a 80.9 rating. That was big leap after his first-half performance of 7-for-13 passing, 54 yards and two interceptions for a 24.7 rating.
At one time late in Fox's telecast, the announcers pointed out that Bridgewater had been hurried 18 times and knocked down 14.
There is no doubt Bridgewater will be the Vikings' quarterback of the future, while 2011 first-round draft pick Christian Ponder will be playing for another team.
But an indication of how tough it is on a quarterback when you don't have any running game, Ponder — who like Bridgewater was running for his life in the 42-10 loss to the Packers in Week 5 — had a better QB rating of 45.8 in that game compared with the 41.3 rating for Bridgewater on Sunday.
This is an excellent coaching staff, led by Mike Zimmer, and once the running game can get going again, with or without Adrian Peterson, it will make life much easier for the quarterback and the offensive line as well.
Must stay together
With two embarrassing losses in a row, Vikings center John Sullivan, one of the team leaders, was asked how important it is for players to stay together with things not going well.
"We believe in the character of our guys," Sullivan said. "The only place to point your finger as a player is at yourself. Nobody plays a perfect game, and until you do, focus on yourself and doing your job.
"… We've got good guys, we care about each other and we're going to support each other and go out and win some ballgames."
Sullivan said Bridgewater remained poised even though he was being chased all over the field Sunday.
About the offensive line having a hard time protecting Bridgewater, Sullivan said: "We didn't execute well, didn't protect well enough. We'll have to work on that."
Sullivan credited the Lions and their top-ranked defense for the rough day.
"They have a great defense, they have a very, very good football team," Sullivan said. "But that's not an excuse. They're in our division, we're familiar with them, we need to be able to block those guys up front.
"We were prepared for all the looks that we saw. We'll have to go back and look at technique things on tape. What makes Detroit dangerous is they're able to rely on a four-man pass rush, and that way they can play coverage. In those situations you need to be able to protect better than we did today."
Sullivan said the mistakes are probably technique-related, and he is confident the offensive line, which has performed well in the past, has the ability to play a lot better.
The Vikings are 2-4 and have two road games coming up, but they are against two other losing teams in Buffalo and Tampa Bay. "The future is to fix the mistakes and go out and win a bunch of football games," Sullivan said.
Vikings receiver Cordarrelle Patterson, who had two receptions on eight targets for 15 yards, admitted he didn't feel 100 percent, as he has been battling a hip injury. The 2013 first-round pick was asked if he can get hot and help this offense.
"I need to," he said. "It's a struggle out here right now. You're just trying to get open and get open so Teddy can see me, but this week I have to do a better job.
"The offense has been struggling the last two weeks. We aren't putting up points on the board, you know, it's kind of frustrating, but at the end of the day we have to let it go. We can't worry about that. It's over now. We can't do anything about it but get ready for next week."
Asked what he can do to get open, Patterson said: "It's not them shutting me down. Some DBs are smarter than the other ones, some of them run the routes with you, some do more studying than others. So it's just our receivers and whole offense, we just got do better."
Patterson said that the offense's failings are not on Bridgewater.
"It all starts with the whole offense," he said. "We have to get open more for Teddy to see us so he can get the ball to us."
Is Patterson struggling to adjust to a more difficult NFL in his second season?
"It's not hard at all, this is something we get paid for," he said. "Day in and day out it is our job to get open, no matter what the DB is doing. They get paid just like us. We have to have the ability to beat them."
Patterson added that he has faith in this offense.
"Teddy is going to always be settled, day in and day out Teddy is going to do what Teddy do," he said. "The offensive line, there is no reason to point their fingers at themselves.
''This is a whole team. This is a whole offense. We all are pointing fingers at ourselves. We just have to do better as a unit.
''The fans don't like seeing that and we don't either. That's just poor effort from us. Hopefully next week we get better."
Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on 830-AM at 7:40, 8:40 and 9:20 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. firstname.lastname@example.org