Teddy Bridgewater, Quarterback
Entering year 3 Teddy Bridgewater needs to start showing that he can shoulder the offensive load.
Of course, while Adrian Peterson is fit and ploughing through defenders he doesn’t really need to – but Peterson is no guarantee to be healthy all year.
In his first two season in the NFL Bridgewater has been serviceable. 14 touchdowns a year, 65% completion rate and 7.2 yards per attempt. Those numbers are fine, but they are far from spectacular and without a quality running game they are not going to produce a playoff offense.
Bridgewater has the tools around him to perform better. After a strong rookie year Stefon Diggs can be a quality target on the outside along with Charles Johnson, Jarius Wright, and rookie Laquon Treadwell at wide receiver. Then there is Rhett Ellison and Kyle Rudolph at tight end – Bridgewater has the quality of targets around him to produce far more than just 14 touchdowns.
One of the limiting factors on his production so far has been a lack of attempts. The Vikings, understandably, are giving Adrian Peterson far more touches than your usual running back but that bites into Bridgewater’s pass attempts. He was just 21st in pass attempts last year with 447 attempts – there is only so much even Aaron Rodgers can produce with that few attempts.
Bridgewater does have some limitations as a passer, his lack of arm strength knocked him down the draft order and that has not improved noticeably since coming into the NFL, however his athleticism has allowed him to escape pressure regularly and he is a smart player who is not unafraid to find his check down or just take off and make the yards himself…
If Bridgewater can just develop a little more accuracy and power on deep throws then his production could explode and Minnesota could fulfil their lofty expectations this season.