EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (WCCO) — The short work week has the Minnesota Vikings locked into game preparations for an always tough matchup in Pittsburgh against the Steelers on Sunday.
To no one’s surprise, Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week for his superb performance against the Saints here on Monday night.
WCCO’s Mike Max has more on the even keel QB on the rise from Winter Park.
If you want to talk about Monday night’s Vikings’ performance, don’t ask the head coach.
“All I’m doing is thinking about Pittsburgh. We’re done with that last game,” Mike Zimmer said.
But Sam Bradford’s play did earn him NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors. The 29-year-old set a Vikings record for highest completion percentage in a season opener at 84.4 percent. Behind the team’s revamped offensive line, Bradford passed for 346 yards, resulting in 3 touchdowns, zero interceptions and a 29-19 win over New Orleans.
“It’s cool. I think if you get named that obviously you played well and you helped your team win. But I think the win and starting the season 1-0 was the biggest thing of the week,” Bradford said.
The question is are the Vikings just reaping the benefits of Bradford being with them for an entire offseason and training camp, and would this become the norm? Fans might ask that quite often. Players think they already have that answer.
Because before Monday night, they saw something in him.
“I said it this offseason that this would be a big year for Sam. I wasn’t surprised by his performance on Monday night. There’s a reason why he was drafted No. 1 overall and there’s a reason why he had the success that he had in college,” tight end Kyle Rudolph said.
It’s a year of experience, and he’s now a team captain. That matters to him.
“I think that’s something that I actually take a lot of pride in. To be named a captain and know that I’m one of the leaders in this locker room and on this football team, it means a lot. I take a lot of pride in it,” Bradford said.
He’s been paid well, he’s been injured much and he’s been with three different teams. So now all he wants to do is play well, and prove his place in the NFL.
“Kind of my approach that I’ve told you guys is just to come in here each day and figure out how to help us win. I think that’s really what it’s all about,” Bradford said.