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Taking More Chances Rewarding Teddy Bridgewater, Vikings

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Teddy Bridgewater's career-highs of passing yards (335 at Arizona) and passing touchdowns (four against Chicago) have followed a more aggressive approach.

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer and Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner recently have mentioned Bridgewater has thrown to receivers and tight end Kyle Rudolph when they've had tighter coverage that he avoided earlier this season.

ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert approached the topic with stats that he credited to Jacob Nitzberg of ESPN Stats & Information. Seifert wrote:

*No passer threw away more passes than Bridgewater in the first 13 weeks of the season, and the numbers painted him as arguably the NFL's most cautious quarterback to that point. His recent surge -- 566 yards and five touchdown passes in 56 attempts over two games -- reflects a measured move toward quicker, more aggressive and contested throws that has served him and his likely playoff-bound team well. *

[In the first 12 games of the season] Bridgewater threw away an NFL-high 7.2 percent of his attempts. (ESPN Stats & Information uses video analysis to credit throwaways for passes where it is clear the quarterback has no intention of completing the pass.) … In his past two games, Bridgewater has reduced his throwaway rate (5.4 percent).

He is from L.A.**

There were multiple reaction requests directed toward Vikings players who were happy that Adrian Peterson made his seventh Pro Bowl but thought the running back should have had teammates accompany him.

Anthony Barr, who grew up near Los Angeles and played at UCLA, had a humorous Hollywood take for Matt Vensel of the Star Tribune.

"I'm not going to cry over it," Barr said. "I can relate to my favorite actor, though, [Leonardo] DiCaprio. We're in the same boat now, so I don't feel too bad."

DiCaprio has never won an Academy Award despite five nominations.

In all likelihood

With two weeks remaining in the regular season, the Vikings have an opportunity to clinch a playoff berth with one more victory.

Derek Wetmore of 1500ESPN.com took a look at playoff scenarios run by "The Upshot," a blog published on the New York Times' website.

*This simulator has run the numbers, and it says there are about 4 billion ways the season could end. Even though there are only two weeks left. Crazy, right? *

*So let's focus on the Vikings here. *

Based on 96,000 simulations of the rest of the season, The Upshot gives the Vikings less than a 1 percent chance to miss the playoffs. It could happen, but it's incredibly unlikely. The most likely result would be as the No. 6 seed, although there's still a chance (roughly 25 percent) that the Vikings would bump up to No. 3 in the NFC playoff picture.

The Vikings (9-5) host the Giants (6-8) on Sunday Night Football this week before ending the regular season at Green Bay in what could be a winner-claims-the-NFC-North contest.

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