EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn.– The Vikings return home Sunday after a Thursday night game in Arizona and a few extra days to rest.
Heading into Week 15, quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is looking to lead Minnesota to its fifth home win of the season against the Chicago Bears.
"The atmosphere is a playoff atmosphere. Each game counts for us," Bridgewater said.
The second-year quarterback is coming off a career-high 335 passing yards against Arizona and said the team needs to play with the same level of intensity Sunday. Bridgewater connected with 11 different receivers against the Cardinals, the highest number so far this season.
"Just playing pitch and catch with my guys, guys were spaced up. The offensive line did a good job for us that night, and we were also able to run the football. It was a pretty balanced attack; it just made the game much more comfortable."
The Vikings had several takeaways from Thursday's game, but Bridgewater emphasized the importance of now focusing solely on the game ahead of them.
"We control our own destiny, and we just need to take advantage of that," Bridgewater said. "We just need to take it one day at a time, one week at a time."
A number of scenarios could help Minnesota secure a playoff berth this weekend. If the Vikings win all three of their remaining games, they will clinch the NFC North division.
Here are four other points from Bridgewater's media session on preparing for the Bears this Sunday:
Bridgewater on Chicago's defense:
"They have the No. 2 passing defense in the league but No. 26 rushing, so there are some areas we want to attack. These guys play well on the road – 4 of their 5 five wins have come on the road, so we know that's going to be a challenge."
On his comfort level with the game plan against Arizona:
**"We had a good week of practice, a solid week of practice. The guys were flying around, the guys were focused. We have to have that same focus this week. I noticed it today, this morning at walk-thru, the guys are locked in, they know what's at stake. As long as we have that same focus that we had last week, come out with the same intensity, we expect ourselves to play at a high level again. "
Bridgewater on significance of QB stats:
"At the end of the day, the only stat that matters is the wins and losses. It's a team sport; I'm one of those guys who understands that. I know that one day I may go out there and throw for 400 yards and five touchdowns or one day I may go out there and throw for only 100 yards and we may rush the ball for 300 yards. It's an overall team effort, and that's something that we understand around here."
Bridgewater on the extra days following a Thursday night game:
"I got away and took some time to relax. I think we've been going since Week 5 or something like that, we had the early bye week. It was good to get some time off, get some guys healthy and come back and finish these last three games off."