The Minnesota Vikings will play their third preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday, and it’s another opportunity for Teddy Bridgewater to put his best foot forward and close the gap on incumbent Matt Cassel, who still has some distance at the top of the depth chart. In just about every case, teams err on the side of the veteran in rookie-veteran QB competitions, and the Vikings don’t seem to be any different from the likes of the Jacksonville Jaguars and Cleveland Browns. Bridgewater is more pro-ready than Johnny Manziel and Blake Bortles, but it can also be said that Cassel is a more formidable foe than Chad Henne (well, that’s obvious) and Brian Hoyer (that would be a nice argument between former New England Patriots backups).
According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Master Tesfatsion, Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer stated that Cassel will start the team’s third preseason game, and it’s no surprise that Zimmer is giving Cassel the nod once again. The third preseason game generally mimics a regular season game more than the others, so starters get more snaps than in most games. That said, it’s also telling that Zimmer left the possibility of Bridgewater getting snaps with the first team open, and we would all like to see the Louisville product battle it out with the starters, though facing the Chiefs front seven is no easy task for a rookie.
Bridgewater struggled a bit in his first preseason game and had a decline in practice performance, but he got his confidence back up in the second preseason game by feasting on overwhelmed backups. Cassel was strong in both outings, so he’ll have to falter for Bridgewater to be able to make this an even competition again. The onus will be on the rookie on Saturday, but it just might be Cassel’s job to lose with the starting nod and just two preseason games left for Bridgewater to usurp the former Chief.