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Teddy Bridgewater Shines in 2-Minute Drill

MINNEAPOLIS –They call him Two-Minute Teddy, but Sunday afternoon it was more like One-Minute Teddy.

Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater played the entire first half of Minnesota's first home preseason game. Inside the final two minutes of the second quarter, Bridgewater unleashed an offensive drive that had U.S. Bank Stadium rocking and culminated in Kyle Rudolph scoring the Vikings first touchdown in their new home.

"I put [the ball] right where I wanted to," Bridgewater said. "Kyle's a big target. He makes throwing the ball across the middle much easier. He makes great plays for us.

"It was great to take momentum heading into the half," he added.

After being sacked just prior to the two-minute warning, Bridgewater stepped back on second-and-11 and connected with receiver Charles Johnson. He then threw with perfect timing to Stefon Diggs, who made the grab along the right sideline. With his third consecutive throw, Bridgewater found Rudolph down the middle. The tight end turned and high-stepped the final few feet into the end zone.

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"It was just good execution right there," Bridgewater said of the series of plays. "The biggest thing was that we had timeouts. We didn't waste our timeouts in the first quarter.

"For me it was just about getting the ball to my guys," he added. "Allowing those guys to make plays […] it was a two-minute situation, and when it's a two-minute situation, you're going to take those shots."

Bridgewater also credited the offensive line for its performance in helping the offense move down the field for the touchdown. 

In the 78-yard drive that ticked just 70 seconds off the clock, Bridgewater completed four consecutive passes for 74 yards. It was part of a streak of nine straight completions for 132 yards to close the half.

He finished his performance 12-of-16 for 161 yards and a passer rating of 127.3.

Today was Bridgewater's second preseason game of 2016 after he sat out during the Vikings matchup with the Seahawks on Aug. 18. While there was some speculation on Bridgewater's condition when he missed a few days of practice last week, the quarterback quieted the murmur with a near-flawless performance.

Combining his Week 1 stats against the Bengals with his numbers against the Chargers, Bridgewater is currently 18 of 23 for 253 yards and two touchdowns and no interceptions during preseason. He holds a 78.2 completion percentage and a passer rating of 141.5.

Bridgewater, entering his third season with the Vikings, successfully targeted Diggs five times for a total of 71 yards. He connected with Rudolph three times and with Johnson and running back Jerick McKinnon two times apiece.

Bridgewater did some running of his own, as well. On Minnesota's second offensive series, Bridgewater searched for an open receiver on third-and-6. When nothing opened up, he took off running and cut up the middle, showing agility to gain 22 yards.

"When you have a guy like Adrian Peterson that you're handing the ball off to in practice, and he's making moves, you take notes," Bridgewater said, smiling. "So then when you the opportunity, you think, 'Hey – I'm going to be like Adrian Peterson right here and try to make this guy miss."

The moves impressed McKinnon.

"Oh yes! He definitely had that sauce," McKinnon said. "The thing about Teddy is you don't know what he's going to do. You see him last year, he made a couple of guys miss. He just uses his athletic ability, uses his feet, gave him a stick to the left, then got back to the right so it was pretty good to see him out there. It was pretty nasty."

Left guard Alex Boone, who joined the team this offseason, said it was "unbelievable."

"I was actually on the ground. I got taken out, but I heard everybody cheering and got really excited, and I looked up and saw Teddy running and I was even more excited," Boone said. "I thought he should have taken it to the house. Maybe he's getting a little old in his young age, but for the most part, he did a great job."

The run helped the Vikings cap the drive with a 34-yard field goal by Blair Walsh, one of three balls he sailed through the uprights en route to Minnesota's 23-10 defeat of San Diego. 

During times he wasn't on the field, Bridgewater said he took a few moments to look around and soak in the atmosphere inside the stadium. He said his biggest takeaway was the energy and noise level from the fans.

"Today was unbelievable," Bridgewater said. "I just can't imagine what it will be like on a Sunday Night Football game against the Packers."

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