Following arguably the best single game performance of his career, the NFL rewarded Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford with NFC Offensive Player of the Week. It is the first such honor for Bradford.
In his second season in Minnesota, Bradford got off to a tremendous start against the New Orleans Saints as he ended the day 27-for-32 for 346 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. His 84.4 percent completion percentage is the third-highest for a season-opener in NFL history.
The start comes on the heels of his efficient 2016 season when he set a league record for completion percentage. However, he also led the league in fewest yards in the air per pass. That dink-and-dunk Bradford was not on display Monday night st U.S. Bank Stadium. Bradford threw downfield all game, finding Stefon Diggs for a pair of long touchdowns and getting Adam Thielen the ball nine times for 157 yards. Despite playing behind five new starters on the offensive line, Bradford showed great poise and comfort in the pocket from the first snap.
The performance is an enormous positive for the Vikings but it casts doubt on the future of Teddy Bridgewater in the purple and gold. The Vikings hired Pat Shurmur as offensive coordinator because of his close relationship with Bradford and the relationship seems to be working for Minnesota. While not an issue now, there may be some controversy once Bridgewater comes off PUP.
Incidentally, Bradford was limited in practice Wednesday with a knee injury. He did not show any signs of injury in Monday’s win and he participated in individual drills so expectations are that he will be ready to go Sunday in Pittsburgh. Linebacker Anthony Barr, on the other hand, was a total no-go in practice with a hamstring injury. His ability to play against the Steelers is still up in the air.