Teddy Bridgewater and the Vikings stared down doubt and adversity and stood up against the Cardinals Thursday night.
Minnesota was a heavy underdog at Arizona and ultimately fell 23-20 on a game not secured until the final five seconds.
Bridgewater threw for a career-high 335 yards, completing 25 of 36 passes with one touchdown, no interceptions and a passer rating of 108.0.
The showing has been selected for the Bridgestone Performance of the Week.
A deeper review of the stats shows Bridgewater's 69.4 completion percentage would have been even higher, but he tried to put the team first. Of the 11 incompletions, five were thrown purposefully out of bounds, one was batted down at the line of scrimmage and one was an intentional stoppage of the clock. While passes swatted down at the line of scrimmage are part of the game and always counted toward incompletions, the other six were the best things to do in the moment.
"I think one thing about Teddy is he's a great competitor," Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer said Friday. "He was a little bit like our football team was, none of us played very good the week before and we all played a little bit better last night. I think these guys have a lot of pride and I think he has a lot of pride."
The Vikings were able to get Bridgewater going early with some short completions and by moving the pocket to allow more time to fire strikes. Confidence grew, and should be encouraging going forward as the Vikings prepare for the final three games of the regular season, starting with Dec. 20 at home against Chicago.
"You get different matchups, different plays, different rushes, all kinds of things," Zimmer said. "I think it helped moving him in the pocket a little bit, I think getting the runs, getting those guys up there and those guys having to deal with Adrian [Peterson], I think that helped a little bit. And then he just made plays. I think he threw the ball a lot better last night obviously than he did the week before, but you can probably say our whole football team [played better]."