Welcome to Around the Horns, our daily look at what's happening on the Vikings beat:
Teddy Bridgewater concluded his rookie season on Sunday, after 13 games and 12 starts that constituted the most successful debut in Vikings history. He finished 6-6 as a starter, threw for 2,919 yards, ended the year with 14 touchdowns against 12 interceptions and posted a 64.4 completion percentage -- the third highest by a rookie in NFL history, behind only Ben Roethlisberger and Robert Griffin III.
Bridgewater broke Fran Tarkenton's team records for the highest completion percentage and passer rating (85.2) by a Vikings rookie, and fashioned the seventh-best rookie passer rating in league history, slipping himself onto the list just between Matt Ryan and Cam Newton.
All this in a year where Bridgewater didn't expect to be on the field much.
"[If you had told me those numbers], I would have told you you were crazy," Bridgewater said. "I thought that this was going to be a year where I was just going to be able to come in and compete, but things happen. We were faced with adversity this year and whenever my number was called I had to always be ready."
It always seemed more likely that Bridgewater would start this season than he might have been willing to let on, but now that the job is his, he'll have it for as long as he's healthy and effective. Already on Sunday, coach Mike Zimmer was drawing parallels between Bridgewater and the man whose team rookie records he broke.
"Somebody asked me about, 'Is he going to take charge?' and all of these things," Zimmer said. "All I know is the players on the football team, the coaches, the organization, hopefully the fans, believe in this kid. I’d like to go back and see how many times they were yelling, “Fran! Fran! Fran!” during a game because he gives them hope. The thing that I get impressed with with him is he makes other people better around him."
In case you missed it on ESPN.com:
Greg Jennings wants to spend some time this offseason working with Cordarrelle Patterson, who ended a disappointing year on Sunday and might not have as many people investing in him with another sub-par season.
Chad Greenway said he wants to finish his career as a Viking, and sounded willing to restructure his contract if that's what it takes to make it happen.
The Vikings' 2015 opponents are set after their third-place finish in the NFC North.
We took a look at what the Vikings' 13-9 win over the Chicago Bears meant in our Rapid Reaction piece.
ESPN Bears reporter Jeff Dickerson and I awarded team MVP honors to Matt Forte for the Bears and Bridgewater for the Vikings.
Best of the rest:
While Patterson floundered, his training camp roommate -- the undrafted Adam Thielen -- seized his opportunity to shine on Sunday, Jim Souhan of the Minneapolis Star Tribune writes.
The Vikings have holes to fill, but for the first time in years, quarterback doesn't appear to be one of them, says Judd Zulgad of 1500ESPN.com.
Just like he did last year, Audie Cole had success in a spur-of-the-moment starting role, writes Brian Murphy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.