Sam Bradford is kinda, sorta important to the offense
No one expected Sam Bradford to be the NFC Offensive Player of the Week in Week 1 of the season, but he was. For good reason, too. Bradford played the best game of his professional career against the New Orleans Saints and it helped evolve the Vikings’ gameplay into a total rout of the Saints on Monday Night Football.
Bradford doesn’t need to be the NFC Offensive Player of the Week every week, but it became fairly clear on Sunday against the Steelers that the Vikings do need a good Bradford for success this season. Sorry, Case Keenum.
Keenum simply isn’t Bradford. No matter what you think of Bradford, he is of a starting quarterback quality in the NFL. Keenum is not. That’s a huge difference in the NFL. It’s a scary thought, but true.
Keenum on Sunday went 20/37 for 167 yards against the Steelers. Replace that with a typical Bradford completion rate, well, it might not have given the Vikings a victory but it would have given the purple a much better chance of beating Mike Tomlin’s team.
Having Bradford in the backfield helps the Vikings utilize the ultimate weapons of Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. Plus, the Vikings use the passing game to set up the Dalvin Cook and gang running game. All of that plan hinges on Bradford.
The Vikings need Bradford to be healthy, that is what we learned.