Chants of “TED-DY TED-DY” rang out through the Mercedes-Benz Superdome all day on Sunday afternoon, and they were truly deserved. For the first two weeks, since Bridgewater took over the New Orleans Saints for an injured Drew Brees, his performances haven’t been the best, but they brought forth two wins. On Sunday, the Saints won their third in a row without their longtime leader and this time, the back-up quarterback came into his own.
At the end of the day, Bridgewater completed 26-of-34 passes for 314 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception which came on a juggled ball. It was a performance that any NFL quarterback would be proud of and making things better is that the Saints picked up a 31-24 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Three weeks ago, Brees suffered a thumb injury against the Los Angeles Rams which required surgery and possibly six weeks on the sideline. Many had written off the Saints and thought their season was over, but the determined team in black and gold has proven the doubters wrong.
All anyone has to do is look at the stats listed on ESPN to see that the Saints are doing everything imaginable to stay a Super Bowl contender this year. While looking at the numbers for both the offense and defense, one person stood out in particular on Sunday and it was Teddy Bridgewater.
The Saints entered this season as one of the top two teams in the NFC and a true contender to win it all. After a narrow escape on Monday Night Football to open the season and Brees’ injury the next week, everyone figured that things were over and it was time for New Orleans to look ahead to next season.
Then, Bridgewater came out and led the Saints to a commanding victory over the previously unbeaten Seattle Seahawks. The next week, the Saints hit four field goals and used a stingy defense to take down the previously unbeaten Dallas Cowboys.
On Sunday, Bridgewater’s performance combined with a defense that is truly making a name for itself did it again. Tampa Bay was coming off of a record-setting day in a victory over the Rams last week, but this looked like a totally different team.
Jameis Winston was held to 204 yards passing and the team combined for just 94 yards on the ground. Mike Evans, one of Winston’s key guys, was held without a single catch and targeted a mere three times the entire game.
Oh, let’s not forget that Michael Thomas came through with his best game of the season as he collected 182 yards and two touchdowns on 11 receptions. Add everything together and that 31-24 victory for the Saints keeps them in first place in the NFC South.
Drew Brees began throwing this weekend and he believes he will be back before the six-week approximation that doctors say he will need to heal. If he is, that is great news for everyone involved. If he’s not, the New Orleans Saints are in more than capable hands as Teddy Bridgewater is proving that he may actually be the quarterback heir apparent that Sean Payton has been searching for.