Saturday night's preseason game between the Vikings and Oakland Raiders will be a brief showcase of two second-year QBs, with the Vikings expected to start Teddy Bridgewater and the Raiders set to have Derek Carr guide their first-team offense for a few series. How long each QB will play remains to be seen, but for a short time at least, these two young, rising passers will try to light up the scoreboard as they continue preparing for the 2015 season.
The Bridgewater-Carr preseason showcase is the subject of this week's Ticketmaster Hot Matchup.
Taken just four picks apart in the 2014 NFL Draft, Bridgewater (No. 32 overall) and Carr (No. 36 overall) each saw significant action in their rookie seasons. The Vikings made Bridgewater their starter in Week 4 after he was forced into action following an injury to Matt Cassel, while the Raiders went with Carr out of the gates. Both passers demonstrated improvement throughout their rookie seasons and now they are a significant reason why optimism reigns supreme for each franchise heading into 2015.
In 12 games as a starter, Bridgewater guided the Vikings to a 6-6 record. He completed 64.5% of his passes for 2,919 yards with a TD-INT ratio of 14-12. Add it all up, and Bridgewater set franchise records for passer rating (85.2) and completion percentage (64.4) by a rookie quarterback. The completion percentage ranks third-highest all-time in the NFL by a rookie behind Ben Roethlisberger (66.4 in 2004) and Robert Griffin III (65.6 in 2012). Even more impressive, though, was Bridgewater's final five-game stretch, where he was one of the League's hottest passers. In that stretch, he ranked tied for first among all QBs in completion percentage (72.1) and second in the League in both yards/attempt (8.8) and passer rating (103.0).
Carr played in and started 16 games. While the Raiders didn't have the kind of team success they envisioned (3-13), the overall record is not an indictment on their young QB. Carr took care of the ball, throwing just 12 INTs and taking just 24 sacks on 599 attempts. While there's room for improvement on his completion percentage and yards/attempt metrics, Carr did throw multiple TDs in six games and he had a passer rating of 100+ twice. His most impressive game of the season may have come in Week 14 against San Francisco when he completed 22 of 28 passes for 254 yards with three TDs and one INT to lead his team to a 24-13 victory.
These two talented passers will face each other again in the regular season, but it will happen in Oakland when the Vikings head west in Week 10. To see this QB duel, Vikings fans must act now and buy tickets for Saturday night's preseason game.
To purchase Vikings single-game tickets, visit the official NFL Ticket Exchange.