The Teddy Bridgewater era started with a win in Minnesota, but there are going to be some worried folks in Minneapolis about when chapter two might take place.
Bridgewater threw for 317 yards, ran for a touchdown and led the Vikings on a nine-play, 87-yard drive to retake the lead after the Falcons pulled in front in the third quarter. That set the Vikings up for a 41-28 win that levels their record at 2-2 on the year.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that Bridgewater left the game with a left ankle injury in the fourth quarter, forcing the Vikings to turn once more to Christian Ponder. Initial reports are that x-rays were negative and that the injury is a sprain, but there will surely be more tests as to the severity of the sprain. With a game against the Packers in Green Bay on Thursday, everyone with the Vikings will be keeping their fingers crossed that they don’t turn up anything too serious.
The injury can’t take away all the good feelings about the offense. Matt Asiata and Jerick McKinnon ran for 213 yards on 38 carries and Asiata scored three touchdowns in a game for the second time in his career. The defense gave up some big plays, but Harrison Smith had a pick to seal the victory late and the Falcons didn’t put any points on the board after going ahead 28-27 late in the third.
Atlanta has some injury issues of their own to sort out. They saw center Joe Hawley, left guard Justin Blalock and right tackle Lamar Holmes leave with injuries, leaving them with no choice but to play tight end Levine Toilolo at right tackle down the stretch. The offensive line had questions when totally healthy, so any long-term absences will make life even harder on that side of the ball.
The same is true in Minnesota, of course, but at least they got to taste victory before waiting to hear from the medical staff.