Teddy Bridgewater doesn’t believe in moral victories, but he put a positive spin on the Vikings’ first quarter of the season before heading into the team’s bye week.
“We laid a solid foundation over the first four games of the season,” the quarterback said Tuesday before the team got five days off. “We also know that we have a lot of work to continue to do. We’ll get some guys healthy and take advantage of this bye week.”
The Vikings are 2-2 and coming off a 23-20 loss at undefeated Denver. Both of the Vikings’ losses were on the road.
“It’s not a bad position to be, .500,” Bridgewater added. “We’d love to be 3-1 or 4-0 right now, but we just want to learn from these first four games and continue to build off them. … It’s good to have [the bye] now and get to do a self-assessment on the first quarter of the season.”
Bridgewater completed 27 of 41 passes for 269 yards and a touchdown in his 16th career start, the equivalent of a full NFL regular season. His quarterback rating (66.4) Sunday was higher than that of Denver’s Peyton Manning (49.9), but Bridgewater was sacked seven times and fumbled on the Vikings’ final drive. Manning threw two interceptions but led the Broncos on the winning drive late in the fourth quarter.
Bridgewater said he feels fine after taking a beating from the No. 1-ranked defense in the NFL.
“We knew Denver was a physical team and a fast defense, and we knew they had some pass rushers. But at my position you can’t fear those things,” Bridgewater said. “We have a coaching staff that gives us game plans that allow us to go out there and play free and think less. That’s allowing me to see the game more and not have to question things.”
Diggs on fumbles
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer reminded rookie wide receiver Stefon Diggs that guys tackle the football, not just the player, in the NFL. Diggs welcomed the teasing after he fumbled twice in his first NFL game — and recovered both.
“He’s going to give me a hard time and I need a hard time ’cause it can’t happen in the game,” Diggs said.
“Just like out here [at practice], catch the ball and tuck and do everything else the right way so I can have those good habits.”
Diggs, filling in for the injured Charles Johnson, was targeted 10 times and caught six passes for a team-high 87 yards. He averaged 14.5 yards per catch with a long of 25.
Barr all business
Overshadowed in Sunday’s loss were a couple of milestone moments against Manning for linebackers Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks. Barr’s first career interception and Kendricks’ first career sack came against the five-time NFL MVP.
“I don’t think it really mattered what quarterback it was,” Barr said. “Obviously, it’s Peyton Manning so people will make a bigger deal out of it than it probably was.
‘‘But I was just happy to put the team in position to score [a touchdown] right before the half.”
Barr is looking more comfortable in pass coverage after having played linebacker for only two years at UCLA and 16 NFL games.
“I think I’ve turned that from a weakness to maybe not a strong point, but something I want to do now,” he said. “I want to drop back into coverage now. Last year, I was maybe hesitant and not as confident. So I definitely feel like I’ve improved in that area.”
Wallace not at practice
Wide receiver Mike Wallace didn’t practice Tuesday, but was at Winter Park according to General Manager Rick Spielman. The Vikings are not obligated to issue an injury report until next Wednesday.
Wide receiver Charles Johnson (ribs), safety Andrew Sendejo (knee) and defensive end Justin Trattou (foot) also did not practice. Johnson and Sendejo stretched with the team, but Trattou was absent.
Staff writer Mark Craig contributed to this report.