We spent some time Sunday discussing the advanced conversation Teddy Bridgewater has prompted with his continued ascendance this season, one that merits play-by-play inspection rather than the more general debate about whether he can play. It's true that Bridgewater missed on three passes with significant impact on the outcome, but it's also important to note what he did with the rest of his 41 throws.
Bridgewater connected on 31 of them, giving him a career-high completion percentage of 75.6 to go along with 315 yards. There are a few things we can say about the performance to put it into historical context, which I realize can be somewhat skewed given the recent rise in NFL passing efficiency.
First, it was the fifth-highest completion percentage for an NFL quarterback this season who threw at least 40 passes in the game, according to the Pro Football Reference database.
Second, it was the highest completion percentage in a game for a rookie quarterback with at least 40 attempts in NFL history.
What does this mean?
Bridgewater brought with him from college a reputation for exceptional short- and midrange accuracy. A quarterback doesn't have to throw the ball 15 yards downfield on every play to put up a 300-yard game. In fact, Bridgewater averaged 3.88 air yards per attempt Sunday, the lowest of any quarterback in Week 15, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
There are plenty of ways to peel an apple, and the Vikings are moving closer to understanding how best to do it with Bridgewater.