Because the Vikings are on a five-game winning streak despite quarterback Teddy Bridgewater not topping 200 passing yards since last month, the term “game manager” has come to the forefront of the lexicon when some outside of Winter Park are describing the 23-year-old’s performance.
But Mike Zimmer is not a fan of that label, one that is rarely used in a positive manner, and prefers to call Bridgewater another: playmaker.
“I don’t think that is what he is. I don’t know what a game manager is really,” the Vikings coach said today. “But I think Teddy’s got an extremely bright future, he’s a heck of a quarterback and I’m glad he’s mine.”
Bridgewater ranks 29th among qualifying quarterbacks in passing yards per game. But he has also attempted just 254 passes, the least for a starting quarterback who has not missed a game due to injury or benching.
He has averaged 7.13 yards per attempt, which is better than guys like Eli Manning and Ryan Fitzpatrick and slightly behind Aaron Rodgers.
“We have a system here and my job is to play at a high level and try to protect the football,” he said. “So I think we’ve been doing a good job so far this year of not putting our defense in bad situations. The bright side is we’re 7-2, we’re winning football games and that’s all that matters.”
Bridgewater has thrown six interceptions, which ranks in the middle of the pack, and he has also been credited with two lost fumbles. But beyond his fumble late in the Denver game, he has avoided back-breaking mistakes.
And that has been a pretty significant factor in the Vikings winning games, which Zimmer feels is pretty significant in a quarterback’s development.
“It trumps most. I guess maybe one of the best statistics is that he doesn’t hurt his team ever. Very rarely does he hurt his team. Most of the time, he’s helping this team in a lot of ways that don’t show up in the number of yards,” Zimmer said. “I think when the games get on the line [he can produce], and this might be a game where he may have to do some things.”