Powers: Bridgewater picks prove costly against Detroit
Detroit Pluggers, overachievers and blue-light specials. That's the makeup of the Minnesota Vikings offense these days. Yet fueled by the energy that often drives the unappreciated, the Vikings could have, should have won Sunday's game in Detroit...
Pluggers, overachievers and blue-light specials.
That’s the makeup of the Minnesota Vikings offense these days. Yet fueled by the energy that often drives the unappreciated, the Vikings could have, should have won Sunday’s game in Detroit.
The only thing that held them back was a momentary lapse during which Teddy Two Gloves Bridgewater became Teddy Two Interceptions. And that was the game.
This really was an odd one. There’s been a lot of hype in Motown about this team. But against the Vikings on Sunday, they looked like the same old, dopey, mistake-prone Lions. The Vikings should take no comfort in being close. The Lions were there for the taking.
Minnesota finished with 360 net yards of offense, which is amazing since many of its players on that side of the ball are unrecognizable to the naked eye.
Yet they kept grinding away, especially their lunch-bucket defense, putting forth second and third efforts and keeping the team in there. This is exactly the type of game Minnesota needs to play. And it dragged the Lions right down into the mire. Perfect.
The Vikings steamrolled the Lions for two early touchdowns and appeared to be on their way to victory. Then Bridgewater messed up a couple of times and all was lost.
The Vikings’ margin for error is razor thin. Those two turnovers resulted in 10 points for Detroit.
“Teddy had some great throws,” Mike Zimmer said. “But two of them … one that Charles Johnson got jammed a little bit and missed it and one was a poor throw.”
I know, I know, the kid is off limits. He’s a rookie and he’s been thrown into the fire and all that stuff. Yet it still can be frustrating to watch. You get that close to a signature victory and you might as well wrap it up and take it home.
On third-and-8 from the Detroit 48, Bridgewater tried to hit Johnson about 15 yards upfield. Johnson, plucked off Cleveland’s practice squad and now Bridgewater’s go-to guy, got tangled with a defender, however, and couldn’t get to the ball, which probably was thrown high to begin with.
Glover Quin picked off the pass and ran it back 56 yards to the 11. Soon it was 14-7. On the Vikings’ next possession, with just more than three minutes left in the half, Bridgewater threw behind Greg Jennings. It was a lousy throw just 12 yards up the field. Darius Slay intercepted and then the score became 14-10 right at the half.
“The first one was a bang-bang play to Charles,” Bridgewater said. “He just wasn’t able to make a play for the ball. That’s one of those throws I make nine out of 10 times in practice. The second one was just a horrible throw. I was late. You never want to be late on an out route. I left the ball inside.”
Bridgewater didn’t seem upset or angry. He could have been reading off of a grocery list. He’s robotic after these games – a Stepford Quarterback – detached from what has just taken place on the field. I don’t know if that’s good or bad.
I guess I’d like to see him bang his fist and curse or something. Anything besides spouting cliches about all the great jobs turned in by everybody: Great leadership, great defense, great job by Lions, great job by Vikings. I should have him stick his pinky in my coffee and sweeten it for me.
Maybe the Vikings can hire Joe Kapp as a consultant, just to have him room with the kid.
Bridgewater, who otherwise had a good day, also missed on a throw to an open Jarius Wright on Minnesota’s last-ditch drive. Had he connected, Blair Walsh would have been attempting a field goal from a lot closer than 68 yards.
“I believe that if I complete that pass to Jarius, it makes the field goal much easier for Blair,” Bridgewater said. “And it also gives us more chances to move the sticks. It’s one of those deals where you miss it and you can’t do anything about it now.”
Well, here we are. I’ll let somebody else give you the spiel about growing pains. Guess I’m not very good at nurturing. Yes, he’s probably going to be a very good quarterback someday. Meanwhile, bite hard on the leather strap while the bullet is removed without anesthetic.
Also, after 14 games, it becomes increasingly tedious (for me, anyway) to pluck fine, positive things from the defeats. Build on this, build on that, confidence boost here, experience there. All right, I’ll try:
The Vikings are putting forth effort. And Bridgewater is developing. And, well, I supposed they are getting closer to being decent. There.