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Last year I wrote a piece about Teddy Bridgewater when he was with the Jets on how the team should let him play and give Sam Darnold the opportunity to learn under him for a season.
But the Jets wanted to continue the dismantling of the team under coach Todd Bowles, leaving him with few real players and a major indication that his time with New York was coming to an end.
So at the end of August 2018, the Jets traded Bridgewater and a 2019 sixth round-pick to the Saints for a 2019 third-round pick. Since that time, the Jets have gone 4-16, including an 0-4 start this season, and Darnold has been out over the last few weeks due to mono.
But in New Orleans, Teddy Bridgewater is thriving at the helm of a team that’s currently 4-1.
After taking over for an injured Drew Brees in their week 2 game against the Rams, one which they lost 9-7, Teddy B. has the team on a three game win streak, which includes a big performance in yesterday’s win over the Bucs, where he threw for 314 yards, 4 TDs and 1 INT.
While he hasn’t had the big numbers, or jaw dropping highlights, of Patrick Mahomes or Russell Wilson, he’s done what’s needed to be done and let the defense manage the rest. Some might call him a game manager, but if you’re the backup to a future Hall of Famer like Drew Brees and you’re undefeated so far, there’s nothing wrong with holding that title.
Bridgewater faced the media gauntlet after the Rams game, the harshest criticism probably coming from ESPN analyst, Rex Ryan.
Rex Ryan last week: “I don’t like Teddy Bridgewater, I don’t think he can play.”
Can’t wait to hear what ridiculous statement is made this week. pic.twitter.com/OM3VKRbcie
— Chris Rosvoglou (@RosvoglouReport) September 24, 2019
You don’t like him, fine. But to say something as ridiculous as “he can’t play” is absurd.
The Miami native was a star at Miami Northwestern High School, where Rivals.com ranked him as the #6 dual-threat QB in the nation. He signed with Louisville and in his three years under center for the Cardinals. he threw for 9,817 yards and 72 TDs with 24 Ints while leading the team to an overall record of 30-9. These numbers are one of the reasons why the Vikings selected him with the 32nd pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.
In his two seasons as the Vikings’ starter, Bridgewater threw for 6,150 yards, 28 TDs and 22 Ints, with a completion percentage of 64.7%. While those numbers didn’t make him elite, he did help the team make the playoffs in 2015.
Then came the horrific non-contact injury he suffered in 2016, something that threatened his future career. But he worked through the injury and two years later, he signed with the Jets before being traded to the Saints.
Teddy Bridgewater has the Saints rolling and Who Dat nation feeling like that they can make it to the Super Bowl. Yet why does it also feel like he’s not being the credit he deserves? Sean Payton is receiving lots of attention as a Coach of the Year candidate, and the defensive is receiving credit for the pressure they’re bringing, but it just feels like Teddy is further down the list of credit and praise.
“People thought he was special. He was always underrated,” said Cris Carter. “That’s why he had to leave the state of Florida and go to Louisville. He was prolific throwing the ball there, winning a whole bunch of games. Then all of sudden the draft comes around, and people start downgrading him for all these types of reasons that were unfounded.”
Payton, to his credit, has not only praised his QB, but he’s also invested in Teddy Bridgewater. First trading for him and then ignoring the doubters around him who felt that Taysom Hill was the better option when Brees got hurt. Now he’s being rewarded in his investment, which is also allowing Brees more time to properly heal from his hand injury instead of rushing back.
Teddy Bridgewater has his Saints sitting at 4-1 and atop the NFC South.
New Orleans is winning and the offense is chugging along. Now it’s time to finally give Bridegwater the attention, praise and credit he so rightfully deserves.