MINNEAPOLIS —Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer made it clear this week that he regards his quarterback Teddy Bridgewater as a "playmaker", instead of a "game-manager."
Bridgewater proved his ability to make plays when he squared up against one of the NFL's best quarterbacks in Aaron Rodgers in a battle for the NFC North on Sunday.
Bridgewater threw for 296 yards, his highest total since Week 6 against Detroit, in Minnesota's 30-13 loss to the Green Bay Packers.
He compiled a 100.7 passer rating, completing 25-of-37 passing attempts, and Zimmer recognized Bridgewater's efforts.
"I thought Bridgewater played well," Zimmer said. "(He) got us out of a lot of trouble. Everyone's been wanting him to throw for 250 (yards), 270 yards and now he did. We just didn't do enough to win the game."
Bridgewater's one passing touchdown in the game gave the Vikings their first and only lead.
He hit TE Kyle Rudolph for a 47-yard touchdown, with an impressive pass that was over the reach of Packers DB Micah Hyde.
Bridgewater and Rudolph connected for six completions through the game and the tight end a career-high of 106 receiving yards.
"Kyle he's been working hard," Bridgewater said. "We know that in this offense like I say every week a different guy will be featured. A different guy has a chance to make plays. This week Kyle stepped up for us."
The Vikings QB rushed for his own career-high of 43 yards in the game, and converted on five of 13 plays on third downs. He proved his ability to escape pressure in the pocket and turn negative plays into positive yards, but pressure situations mounted.
"I know that we didn't block them very good up front," Zimmer said. "They had too much pressure on the quarterback."
Bridgewater was sacked six times, costing the Vikings 48 yards.
"We knew that coming into this game that was going to be one of their points of emphasis," Bridgewater said. "The past few games we knew that they hadn't gotten to the quarterback. We knew that was going to be one of their focuses and today they applied some pressures."
"He stood in there tonight and made some huge throws, taking hits, getting out, scrambling for first downs," Rudolph said. "He just battled through it and continued to make plays for us."
With 2:59 remaining in the first half, Bridgewater was sacked by Julius Peppers, and was injured on the play. He was taken to the locker room but returned to the sideline and was ready for the Vikings next drive.
"I just landed funny on my shoulder," Bridgewater said. "I ran inside and got looked at and I feel fine."
The Packers' defense seemed to focus on stopping RB Adrian Peterson and the Vikings run game. He was held to 48 yards on the game and Minnesota was forced to pass the ball for a majority of the second half.
"Over the (past) three games they weren't stopping the run," Bridgewater said. "We knew that they were going to key on the run and force us to pass the ball. Try to get us behind the sticks and put us in passing situations so they could let their rushers go."
View game action images from Sunday's game vs. Green Bay.
Rodgers had 16 completions on 34 attempts and had 212 yards through the air, along with a pair of touchdown passes.
The Packers' quarterback had an 86.9 passer rating, and found ways to come up with a big play at key moments in the Packers' victory.
He found WR Randall Cobb on a slant on third-and-goal for a 10-yard touchdown on Green Bay's final drive of the first half. The score gave the Packers a 16-6 lead heading into the break.
His second touchdown of the day came in the fourth quarter. Rodgers escaped the Vikings pass rush and threw a dart to James Jones in the corner of the end zone for a 27-yard score.
"That's typical Aaron Rodgers," Bridgewater said. "He's been doing that his entire career. Keeping plays alive and breaking containment, keeping his eye down the field and making the big play and he did that today.
"The unique thing is we control our own destiny," Bridgewater added. "Right now we just have to learn from today."