The Denver Broncos began the 2021 season with a resounding 27-13 victory over the New York Giants. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater threw for 264 yards and two touchdowns. The Broncos never let off the gas and rode Bridgewater’s arm to their first Week 1 victory since 2018. Back then, Case Keenum was Denver’s starting quarterback and Vance Joseph was the head coach. This season, it is all about Teddy B.
Journey To The NFL For Teddy Bridgewater
Prior to lacing up the cleats for the Broncos, Bridgewater attended the University of Louisville. As a Cardinal, he enjoyed great success. From 2011-2013, he compiled over 9,000 passing yards and threw 72 touchdowns. The Cardinals went 30-9 with Bridgewater under center. This included back-to-back bowl victories in the Sugar and Russell Athletic Bowls. Before he declared for the 2014 NFL draft, Bridgewater was already viewed as one of the top prospects. Following a victory in the 2013 Russell Athletic Bowl, he decided to forego his senior year at Louisville and enter the draft.
Prior to declaring for the draft, experts predicted Bridgewater would land with the Houston Texans. Coming out of college, he was drawing comparisons to Russell Wilson. In pre-draft workouts, teams noted how he could sense danger in the pocket and use his legs when necessary. What concerned scouts was his size. His draft profile listed the Florida native at 6-foot-3 and 196 pounds.
Teddy Bridgewater’s Path To The Broncos Begins
In 2014, Teddy Bridgewater was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings with the 31st pick in the first round. The Vikings selecting Bridgewater made sense to those around the NFL. In pre-draft analyses, experts predicted he would thrive in a dome or warm environment. In addition to a particular environment, scouts also concluded that he would be a player who could elevate those around him. His first season with the Vikings was a modest success, as he appeared in 13 games and threw for almost 3,000 yards.
During his two full seasons with the Vikings from 2014-15, Bridgewater only reached the playoffs once. In 2015, he led Minnesota to an appearance in the Wild Card where they fell to the Seattle Seahawks 10-9. After an ACL tear during the 2016 preseason ended his season before it even began, he returned to the field in Week 15 of 2017. Following the conclusion of his tenure with the Vikings in 2017, Bridgewater began to bounce around the league. He played for the New York Jets and Carolina Panthers respectively before landing in Denver before the start of the 2021 season.
Teddy Bridgewater Is The Answer In Denver
The Denver Broncos are looking to rebound from a 5-11 finish in 2020. Last year was a season to forget for the orange and blue. Backup quarterback Drew Lock did not produce as masterful a season as head coach Vic Fangio and company had hoped. Fangio’s boss John Elway is trying to right the ship after a fourth-consecutive losing season. Not only is the team trying to establish an identity, but they are also trying to do so with a new quarterback. When Bridgewater was named the starter, he became the 10th quarterback to start for the Broncos since Peyton Manning retired.
If Teddy Bridgewater’s Week 1 performance in New Jersey is any indication, the Broncos may have found their quarterback. It is too early to declare the Broncos true competitors in the AFC West. However, it is clear that Bridgewater gives Denver the best chance to win in 2021. In addition, his success will help Lock in the future. He can use this year to learn behind Bridgewater and grow as a quarterback. One thing is for certain: when general manager George Patton acquired him, he was impressed by Bridgewater’s propensity for finding ways to win. That is what Denver needs as the season progresses.
Teddy Bridgewater is going to help the Denver Broncos return to prominence. That started with his performance against the Giants and it will continue in Jacksonville. Fans in the Mile High City haven’t had much to cheer about since Super Bowl 50. If he can continue to efficiently lead the offense, Bridgewater and the Broncos will reach new heights in 2021.
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