MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Matt Cassel was polished. Teddy Bridgewater was poised.
The Minnesota Vikings have yet to pick a starting quarterback, but their passing game has sure been productive in the preseason.
Bridgewater gave the giddy fans chanting his first name a pair of go-ahead touchdown throws to cheer for in the fourth quarter, propelling the Vikings past the Arizona Cardinals 30-28 on Saturday night.
Wide receiver Greg Jennings shouted, “Teddy’s world!” as he walked out of the locker room.
“It’s not. I’m still the young guy here. I still have a lot to prove,” Bridgewater said.
Cassel has taken the majority of the turns with the first-team offense, and the veteran has done nothing but solidify his status.
Coach Mike Zimmer said he hasn’t reached the date he’s had in mind for a decision. Bridgewater at least gave him more to think about with his second-half performance, albeit against backups and guys bound to be cut in a couple of weeks.
“I’m very pleased. I’m just going to continue to try and get better from here,” said Bridgewater, who finished 16 for 20 for 177 yards, much better than his debut.
Less than a minute after the Cardinals had gone ahead on a bizarre fourth-down score off a loose ball, Bridgewater floated a back-shoulder fade pass from 2 yards to Rodney Smith with 18 seconds remaining for the lead.
“Teddy was calm. He was smart. That whole series was a lot of blitzes,” Zimmer said.
On that final drive, Bridgewater completed six of seven passes for 77 yards.
“I give Teddy a lot of credit. He was impressive. It was a very nice drive he put together,” Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said.
Bridgewater found Allen Reisner for a short touchdown and Jarius Wright for the 2-point conversion with 7:57 left, giving the Vikings a 24-21 edge.
“He does it every day in practice. I wasn’t surprised at all. He always puts the ball on the money,” Smith said.
Kyle Rudolph had four catches for 89 yards and a scoring toss from Cassel as the Vikings kept their first team in for the whole first half, and Bridgewater and the backups picked up where they left off.