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Bradford Continues, Downplays Dazzling Play in Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS — Ho hum, it was another day at the office for Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford.

The Vikings quarterback was his normally efficient self in Sunday's 31-13 win over the Houston Texans, delivering a performance that teammates have come to expect of him since Bradford arrived in town five weeks ago. Bradford humbly shrugged it off, but teammates shared their impressions.

Vikings left guard Alex Boone couldn't even recall something Bradford had done that hadn't impressed him.

"Have you not seen that guy back there? He's unbelievable," Boone said. "Just his ability to pick this offense up and do a phenomenal job.

"He's getting the ball out quick, he's making the offensive line look good," he added. "The throws he makes are phenomenal, he's just dropping dimes out there."

Bradford completed 22 of 30 passes for 271 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Bradford's passer rating of 123.1 was his highest mark as a Viking and the fourth straight game he's garnered a passer rating of at least 93.0.

He also helped spot Minnesota’s stout defense an early 14-0 lead that provided early momentum for Minnesota.

The former No. 1 overall pick, who has not thrown an interception in 125 attempts this season, downplayed his individual performance against the Texans.

Instead, Bradford said the Vikings offense has grown together over the past few weeks despite multiple challenges being thrown their way. 

"I think just us being together, learning how we play together," Bradford said. "I think a little bit of it too is when you lose Adrian (Peterson) against Green Bay that kind of changed things a little bit.

"I think you've seen more spread from us. I think you've seen some of the gun runs, more of the quick-game passing attacks from the shotgun. I think that's a little bit different than what the offense has done in the past," he added. "I think it's just us getting to know each other, us getting familiar with where we're going as an offense. But, I think it's just guys buying in."

Bradford has displayed a combination of toughness and moxie since arriving in Minnesota on Sept. 3.

He hung in the pocket and took a hit Sunday but found wide receiver Jarius Wright for 10 yards on third-and-6 late in the first quarter.

"He's a pro quarterback, staying in the pocket, taking the hits, making the throws, getting back up," Wright said. "It takes a lot to do his job and I'm just happy that he is the kind of guy he is.

Wright, who was active for the first time this season, caught four passes for 32 yards, gathering the football each time he was targeted by Bradford. Wright hadn't had a ton of reps with Bradford, but it looked like they had been together for quite some time.

"That tells you how good of a quarterback he is, to be able to hit his receivers in stride with just a couple of days of practice," Wright said. "We expect it from him, and he expects it from us, and as long as we have those high standards, I feel like we'll keep moving forward."

Wright was one of eight different players to record a catch on Sunday, a week after Bradford connected with nine different players on the stat sheet.

With wide receiver Stefon Diggs out with an injury, Bradford found wide receiver Adam Thielen **seven times for 127 yards** and a touchdown. Cordarrelle Patterson had four catches for 39 yards and a score, and running back Matt Asiata caught three passes for 46 yards.

"I think from the first day (Bradford) came in, just after the way he practices and stays after it and is locked in," Thielen said. "It's pretty easy to get comfortable with a guy like that and a guy that trusts whoever's in there."

The 5-0 Vikings have earned a week off after another impressive performance Sunday.

So, too, has Bradford, who is impressing more and more people each week. 

"He's played really good the last four games," said Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer. "I think he's a good player … I didn't never not have any confidence in him.

"I mean, that's why we traded for him," he added.

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