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Vikings may need Teddy to take his game to the next level

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The Minnesota Vikings are 5-2 and are just a game behind Green Bay for the lead in the NFC North.

The combination of Adrian Peterson's return, Teddy Bridgewater's late game heroics and a stout Vikings defense has brought the Vikings back into playoff contention for the first time since 2012.

Or has it?

NFL analyst and former Vikings quarterback Rich Gannon told the Pioneer Press this week he thinks the Vikings are winning games despite Bridgewater's play.

While Bridgewater is completing 64,5 percent of his passes, the Vikings offense ranks 30th in the NFL in passing yards per game (195). Additionally, Bridgewater's interception total – now at five – has been chasing his touchdown total all season.

However, Bridgewater has been very good late in games, completing 70 percent of his passes in the fourth quarter. He also has a 93.8 quarterback rating in the fourth quarter of games during his career.

Last week against Chicago Bridgewater hit Stefon Diggs on a 40-yard touchdown pass to tie the game. Then after a stop by the Vikings defense he found Charles Johnson on a 35-yard completion to set up the game-winning field goal.

The Vikings would like to see him make more of throws like that throughout the game. Gannon would agree.

ESPN notes that within the first five games of the Vikings' second half of the season, they face three teams in the NFL's top five in rushing defense.

That means Bridgewater may need to hit more big plays when those defenses are selling out to stop Peterson.

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