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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Will moving indoors help Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater?

By Andrew Krammer

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Teeth chattering and bones chilled, the hostile air only helped the Vikings contain one of the NFL’s most prolific quarterbacks in last month’s postseason.

Russell Wilson and Teddy Bridgewater combined for one mediocre stat line of a modern-day passer, completing 30 throws for 288 yards, a touchdown and an interception in the Vikings’ 10-9 loss in the wild-card round. Seattle’s Wilson was stymied by a potent mixture of one of the league’s top defenses in purple, and gusting winds redirecting any attempt at a long pass. It was one of the NFL’s coldest games ever with temperatures dipping to minus 6 at kickoff. It was also another hindrance on the Vikings’ struggling passing attack.

Bridgewater commanded an 11-win team toward a division title and home playoff game in just his second season at the helm. Though the Vikings’ 29th-ranked passing offense leaves them searching for balance between a future Hall of Fame running back in Adrian Peterson and a young, developing quarterback. Head coach Mike Zimmer took immediate steps toward improving the offense, including veteran assistant hires in Pat Shurmur and Tony Sparano.

Another potential catalyst for Bridgewater’s development is the upcoming move indoors, to U.S. Bank Stadium, which is set to open this summer for the 2016 season. Some of Bridgewater’s starts last season lend to the idea he’ll be more comfortable indoors, said general manager Rick Spielman.

“I think it’s just in general, quarterbacks playing indoors [play better],” Spielman told PFT Live on Thursday. “If you look at Teddy’s stats and how he performed when we were indoors, in Detroit or even out in Arizona, some of those ideal conditions, we feel he can take another step forward. But he still has to play outdoors.”

Bridgewater has a small sample size of indoor games, but the numbers match conventional wisdom that a controlled environment is a quarterback’s friend.

Those two games referenced by Spielman, an October win in Detroit and a December loss in Arizona, were two of Bridgewater’s best through 29 starts in terms of volume passing. Between the two, he averaged a 70 percent completion rate on 71 throws and more than nine yards per attempt. Three of his five career 300-yard passing games have come indoors (or under AZ’s retractable roof), including both of his trips to Detroit’s Ford Field. The Vikings have a losing record (2-3) in Bridgewater’s five indoor games, which includes a two-point loss to Detroit, a three-point loss to Arizona and his first-ever game in relief of Matt Cassel at New Orleans.

Obviously, an indoor playing field isn’t a go-to receiver or a dependable offensive line. The Vikings have work ahead of them on offense, though perhaps Bridgewater already has one piece in place in their new and air-conditioned stadium.

The post Will moving indoors help Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater? appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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