Teddy Bridgewater and teammates showed resiliency in Denver in helping the Vikings go toe-to-toe with the favored Broncos.
Stability at the quarterback position is one of the best attributes a football team can have and must have to build around for prolonged success. Bridgewater was speaking of coaches and teammates when he said before the bye that he thinks the Vikings have laid a "solid foundation" for the future. He's been a key part of that, even though he prefers to talk about teammates' contributions.
"We know there's still a lot of room for improvement, but I think we've laid a solid foundation here with a group of guys that's resilient and a physical group of guys that are just going to try to hand it to our opponents."
Bridgewater has now started 16 games, the equivalent of a full season, and has eight wins and eight losses attached to his record as a starter.
Including the 12 starts he made last season and the first four this year, Bridgewater is 324-of-497 passing (65.2 percent complete) for 3,543 yards (7.13 per attempt). He's thrown for 16 touchdowns and been intercepted 14 times for a passer rating of 85.1.
In comparison, Alex Smith, the likely starting QB for the Chiefs on Oct. 18, was 228-of-403 (56.6 percent complete) for 2,502 yards (6.21 per attempt) with 10 touchdowns, 18 interceptions and a rating of 64.8 in his first 16 starts with San Francisco.
Broncos QB and five-time NFL MVP Peyton Manning, meanwhile, was 326-of-575 (56.7 percent) for 3,739 yards (6.50 per attempt) with 26 TDs, 28 INTs and a 71.2 rating as a rookie with Indianapolis.
While a team's record is attached to the starting quarterback, there are multiple factors involved.
Ben Roethlisberger is viewed by many as setting the gold (and black) standard by completing 219 of 335 passes (65.4 percent) for 3,133 yards (9.35 yards per attempt) and 21 touchdowns against nine interceptions for a rating of 105.2. The Steelers went 15-1 in Roethlisberger's first 16 starts that overlapped his rookie (13-0) and second (2-1) seasons.
Philip Rivers, meanwhile, had the benefit of not starting until his third season in San Diego but was tasked with throwing the ball much more than Roethlisberger. Rivers completed 284 of 460 passes (61.7 percent) for 3,388 yards (7.37 per attempt) and had 22 touchdown passes against nine interceptions for a rating of 92.0.
With the Vikings off this weekend for the bye, here's a look at stats in Bridgewater's first 16 starts, compared to QBs remaining on the 2015 schedule.
QB—Record—Comp.—Att.—Comp. %—Pass Yards—Yards/Att.—Pass TDs—INTs—Rating