Talented quarterbacks don't just grow on trees.
When Teddy Bridgewater suffered a season-ending knee injury and the Vikings needed a quarterback, General Manager Rick Spielman emphasized the difficulty of finding a standout player at that position at all, let alone on short notice. That's why he was happy to work out a deal with the Eagles for Sam Bradford.
Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press wrote Wednesday about the importance of having a reliable quarterback in order to reach a Super Bowl. He talked to Joe Theismann, the Redskins quarterback when they won the Super Bowl in 1983.
"If you're going to win a Super Bowl, you have to have a guy behind center who can make plays,'' Theismann told Tomasson. "In the game today, without a good quarterback, you just don't have a chance.''
As Minnesota prepares to face Houston, who signed Brock Osweiler to a four-year contract this spring, Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer said having a talented quarterback is "what it's all about."
Both the Vikings and Texans currently lead their divisions with 4-0 and 3-1 records, respectively.
Bradford has the better numbers, having in three games thrown for 719 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions for a passer rating of 105.6. In four games, Osweiler has thrown for 949 yards with five TDs and six interceptions for a passer rating of 74.8
*Theismann said he's long believed Bradford, a seven-year veteran who has battled injuries throughout his career, "has the ability to be a Pro Bowler,'' and he's now showing it. *
"It's a lot easier win, lose or draw to go into the facility on Monday morning knowing you've got a guy you know you have a chance with," CBS analyst and former NFL quarterback Rich Gannon told Tomasson. "Right now, picking up Bradford looks like a really good decision on the part of Rick Spielman and the Minnesota Vikings."
Cordarrelle Patterson stood out in bigger offensive role
Wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson has emphasized this season that he wants to help the Vikings in whatever way he can. Up until Monday night, he primarily contributed on special teams, both as a kickoff returner and – most recently – a gunner. Against the Giants, however, Patterson held a bigger role on offense.
Viking Update's Tim Yotter wrote:
It came a surprise to many, but Patterson was aware during the week of preparation that things were going to be very different. He knew in advance that he was going to have more time on the field and plays designed to go his way.
"We had a great game plan coming into (the Giants game)," Patterson told Twin Cities media members Wednesdsay. "We practiced each and every day to try to get the ball in my hands and that's what we did this week."
In all, Patterson was on the field for 36 of the 79 snaps (49 percent) the Vikings offense ran … His 36 offensive snaps were five more than the previous 15 games combined, dating back to Week 8 of the 2015 season – Detroit (4), Chicago (9), St. Louis (1), Oakland (2), Green Bay (2), Atlanta (0), Seattle (0), Arizona (0), Chicago (0), New York Giants (0), Green Bay (0), Seattle (0), Tennessee (5), Green Bay (3) and Carolina (5).
Patterson finished Monday's game with five catches for 38 yards on offense and a 29-yard kickoff return.
Patterson said he enjoyed the opportunity to contribute more on offense and is hoping the trend continues moving forward. He added, however, that "it doesn't matter where they put me, I'm going to try to go out there and make a play for my team."
Houston Chronicle: Sam Bradford experiencing 'career renaissance' with Vikings
Days before the Texans and Vikings face off at U.S. Bank Stadium, Houston Chronicle reporter Aaron Wilson said that Sam Bradford is "enjoying a career renaissance" with the Vikings.
Over his three starts for Minnesota, Bradford has completed 69.5 percent of his throws for 719 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions. His passer rating after defeating the Packers, Panthers and Giants is 105.6.
"I don't know if that's just because I'm getting older and I'm maturing," Bradford told Houston media members during a conference call Wednesday. "I'm really not sure because it is definitely a different situation. But I think [Vikings Offensive Coordinator Norv] Turner has done a great job of figuring out what I'm comfortable with and what concepts I like."
Only Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (126.3) and New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (119.0) have better passer ratings than Bradford. And only Ryan, at a 72.1 percent clip, has been more accurate than Bradford.
Three years ago against the Texans while playing for the Rams, Bradford completed 12 of 16 passes for three touchdowns and no interceptions for a [career-high 134.6] passer rating.