Teddy Bridgewater played the occasion, not the game at Vikings

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater /
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Teddy Bridgewater
(Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) Teddy Bridgewater /

27. 87. 28. 60. Final

Teddy Bridgewater played the occasion, not the game at the Vikings.

It wasn’t the return Teddy Bridgewater hoped for. The quarterback turned out at U.S. Bank Stadium for the first time after being denied this chance following a freak training camp injury that all-but ended his time with the Minnesota Vikings and left the former first-round pick with a long road back to a starting position.

There is no room for sentiment in the NFL. It’s a results business and at the end of the day, Bridgewater and the Carolina Panthers were once again unable to come through in the clutch on their way to a demoralizing 28-27 loss.

Somehow, this one seemed different.

The Panthers were in-charge of the game and looked primed for a second consecutive triumph heading into their Week 13 bye. However, a complete capitulation down the stretch not only saw them snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, but it also heaped more doubt as to whether Bridgewater is a viable long-term option under center.

Despite a calm and relaxed exterior, Bridgewater was clearly nervous during the first few possessions and things didn’t get much better as the game wore on. The signal-caller seemed to play the occasion and not the game, which proved to be his and the Panthers’ undoing.

Things need to get better, and quickly, following the bye week. If they don’t, then it is going to come with months of offseason speculation over his future.