The first quarter of the Minnesota Vikings’ regular season is in the books and they are sitting at 2-2 heading into their bye week. At home the Vikings have seemed unbeatable, easily winning games against the Detroit Lions and San Diego Chargers, but playing on the road has been a different story for them.
They opened the season on the road at San Francisco and got embarrassed on Monday Night Football. On Sunday, they lost to the Broncos in Denver, but they were much more competitive in that game and even had a shot to win.
Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater admits he would rather have a spotless record, but he doesn’t think the team is in a bad position.
“It’s not a bad position to be .500, but around here we have one thing in mind and that’s to win football games,” he said. “We’d love to be 3-1 or 4-0 right now, but we’re just going to learn from these first four games and continue to build off of them.”
If there is one thing Bridgewater thinks his team can take away from the first four games it is the importance of starting fast, something head coach Mike Zimmer also touched on after the team’s loss to the Broncos.
Zimmer thought the offense started out slow in the first half but was able to fight back in the second half. If they were able to start faster, the Vikings could be looking at a 3-1 record instead of 2-2.
“We’re continuing to work on starting fast each ball game,” Bridgewater said. “Against Detroit and San Diego I think we got off to a fast start and last week we kind of felt our way around a little bit. But for the most part our team is playing physical and I’m proud of the guys, the way they compete. Each week Coach Zimmer wants us to be a physical team and that’s what these guys are doing right now, and they understand coach Zimmer’s message.”
Bridgewater is now in his second year and has started in 16 total games, which is the equivalent of an entire regular season. That experience has allowed him to be more comfortable while out on the field and has caused the game to slow down for him.
He said a big part of that is because the coaching staff has developed a system that has made it so he doesn’t have to think so much while out on the field.
“Definitely, and we have a coaching staff here that gives us game plans that allow us to just go out there and play free, think less,” Bridgewater said. “That’s allowing me to see the game more and not have to question things. So I’m just out there playing free and trusting my guys and those guys are doing a great job for us.”
It may not be the start to the season that Bridgewater or the Vikings were hoping to have, but it could also have been a lot worse. The second-year quarterback understands that and believes his team has put themselves in a good spot moving forward, even if there are still things they need to fix.
“Definitely, and we know that there’s still a lot of room for improvement,” he said when asked if his team has put together a good body of work. “But I think we’ve laid a solid foundation here with a group of guys who are a resilient, physical group of guys who just want to go out there and hand it to our opponents.”