NFL Wire News

Vikings QB Bridgewater too excited for opener


The Sports Xchange

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. – Even Teddy Bridgewater thought quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was playing too fast in Monday night’s 20-3 loss to the 49ers.

“I think I definitely was too excited,” Bridgewater said. “You have to be prepared to play on prime time. I think I was too excited to play and it showed.”

Bridgewater completed 23 of 31 passes for 231 yards, no touchdowns, an interception and a 79.1 passer rating.

The normally-poised 22-year-old missed several easy throws and took five sacks. Afterward, coach Mike Zimmer wasn’t shy in his criticism of how flustered Bridgewater looked and how that played a role in the five sacks.

“I wasn’t surprised by that at all,” Bridgewater said of Zimmer’s criticism. “That’s what I love. Tough coaching. I try to be my worst critic and to hear it from the head guy, it tells you that you need to step up your game. Hearing that just put that chip on my shoulder. I have to get better and it just showed me, and it showed us as a team that we’re nowhere near as good as we are. We got outplayed. San Fran out-executed us on Monday night and hit showed.”

–The heat on Vikings kicker Blair Walsh is getting hotter.

The team is standing behind their embattled kicker, supporting him publicly after putting its financial trust in him with a contract extension during training camp. But fans and media are growing restless after the kicker missed another makeable field goal – this one from 44 yards – early in the 49ers loss. Walsh later made one from 37 yards, but it slid just inside the right upright.

And all of this came on the heels of a preseason that saw Walsh make only 5 of 11 field goal attempts.

“Playing professional football or playing any professional sport, you have to be able to take the accountability when it’s good and when it’s bad,” Walsh said Wednesday. “I understand that. And I understand that when people are concerned, or want to pay attention to the misses, I have to face it like a man and move forward … but it’s just one game. I’m taking it seriously and [have] got to put a ball through the uprights.”

Zimmer said the team won’t look to bring in kickers for tryouts, even though he called the situation “worrisome.”

Walsh, who was first-team All-Pro as a rookie in 2012, admitted he is struggling mentally right now with what’s going on.

“It is hard to not overthink things,” he said. “You care so much about it, you put a lot of attention into your craft and into your detail in what you are doing. You sort of have to turn your brain off when you go out there and just rely on everything you built on up until that point.”

–Zimmer is 7-10 overall in his first 17 games as Minnesota coach.

From the positive spin department, after being thrashed by the 49ers, tight end Kyle Rudolph had this to say:

“The good news is we have a division game in six games. This is just one game. It’s good for us to maybe be humbled a little bit with all the expectations that people had for us.”

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