Two quarterbacks chosen at opposite ends of the first round this offseason got their first opportunities at some live game action this Sunday. The Vikings traded back into the tail end of the first round to select Teddy Bridgewater, but did not give him the starting job many fans and pundits believed he earned coming out of the preseason.
Today, Matt Cassel was forced out of the matchup against the Saints with a broken foot. Bridgewater came into the game and failed to ignite the offense. Completing 12 of his 20 passes for 150 yards, he was able to survive, but not thrive, in his NFL debut. Considering the success that Matt Ryan and Brian Hoyer had against what looked to be an overrated Saints’ defense, Bridgewater came up short. Without Cassel for the immediate future, the team will have to play Bridgewater whether they want to or not, writes Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press.
The Vikings struggled on offense the last two weeks without Adrian Peterson, but rolled to a huge blowout victory over the Rams with their starting running back in week one. With Peterson tied up in his child abuse case, he will not be back with the team for a significant amount of time if at all. Bridgewater will get his first start this Sunday at home against the Falcons.
Blake Bortles was selected third overall, and like his counterpart in Minnesota, the Jaguars took a patient approach with him. The plan was to use his rookie season to leave him on the bench and groom him to take over the team in 2015. That plan was accelerated during the blowout loss to the Colts.
Chad Henne completed only four of seven passes for 33 yards in the first half, before being replaced by Bortles. The fans in Jacksonville have been waiting to see their future play, and now that he has, the sense is that they will not go back to Henne, writes Michael DiRocco of ESPN.
Bortles completed 14 of 24 passes for 223 yards, and added two touchdowns to go with two interceptions in garbage time of the 44-17 defeat. He should have a difficult assignment should he get his first start next week on the road against the Chargers, a difficult place for a team with a rookie quarterback to look to lead his team to the first win of the season.