Teddy Bridgewater’s hype train comes to a halt vs. the Bears
By Dean Jones
Carolina Panthers quarterback Teddy Bridgewater’s hype train came crashing to a halt in their home defeat to the Chicago Bears in Week 6.
Teddy Bridgewater has played a leading role in the recent resurgence of the Carolina Panthers. But his performance in their Week 6 loss to the Chicago Bears at Bank of America Stadium left a lot to be desired.
The free-agent signing was unable to build on the positive momentum accumulated over the last three weeks that has come with some considerable national media attention for both Bridgewater and the Carolina Panthers. This was the best defense the former first-round pick has come up against this season, and it was a challenge he simply wasn’t ready for.
There was plenty of writing on the wall early for Bridgewater, who looked flustered in the pocket against a fierce Bears pass-rush. They couldn’t get off to the strong start that went a long way to ensuring a three-game winning run prior to their Week 6 loss and it didn’t take long for the Cam Newton loyalists on social media to come back out of the woodwork with their freshly sharpened knives to criticize their new signal-caller.
That is something Bridgewater will need to live with and something he was probably all-too-aware of coming into the organization.
The Carolina Panthers spurned some chances late.
Despite the Panthers trying to shoot themselves in the foot almost constantly. There was still a chance they could get back into the game late on. Their defense made some big stops down the stretch to give Carolina a fighting chance. But the simple fact of the matter is that Bridgewater didn’t do the same.
He overthrew D.J. Moore on a deep route that could have shifted momentum in their favor. And yet, there was one more chance after that for Carolina to tie the game.
However, any fleeting hope they had was short-lived.
Bridgewater gave up the game with an interception that eventually sealed their fate. It was a miserable afternoon all from the player of which much was expected when he signed a three-year, $63 million deal that included a $15 million signing bonus and $33 million guaranteed in free agency.
All hope is not lost for Bridgewater or the Panthers. But things need to get back on track at the earliest possible opportunity.
Carolina faces another substantial test in the form of the Super Bowl contending New Orleans Saints next weekend. It would be one of the great upsets if the Panthers could knock off Sean Payton’s men on the road. So a little perspective needs to be the order of the day when examining how the team gets on in Week 7.
As for Bridgewater, much more will be needed. He finished Sunday’s defeat with a 55.17 percent completion percentage – far less than his NFL-high of 74% coming into the contest. This resulted in 216 passing yards, no touchdowns, two interceptions, and a 50.3 passer rating.
Keeping Bridgewater upright has been a key component in their turnaround in recent weeks. But he was under pressure from the first snap in this one.
The last thing you want to give this defensive front is a lead to hold onto, which resulted in four sacks for a combined loss of 25 yards.
Bridgewater is going to be criticized heavily for any defeat, that’s just the nature of the beast. How he bounces back will be crucial. But judging by their next opponent, things might get worse before they get better.