4 reasonable excuses for Teddy Bridgewater’s poor play in 2020

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater /
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Teddy Bridgewater
(Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater /

Teddy Bridgewater has some viable excuses regarding his inconsistent first season as quarterback of the Carolina Panthers in 2020.

Things didn’t exactly go to plan for Teddy Bridgewater following his free-agent move to the Carolina Panthers. There were some nice moments during the 2020 season, of that there is little doubt. But his clear regression down the stretch and inability to get his team over the line in close games has left the organization looking to bring in a better option in the coming weeks.

Just how much they reportedly offered in their failed pursuit of Detroit Lions signal-caller Matthew Stafford is a damning indictment on Bridgewater. There is also plenty of speculation regarding an eye-popping trade for Deshaun Watson or taking a quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft, which would leave the former first-round selection fighting for his future, to put it mildly.

This is something Bridgewater is undoubtedly aware of. He arrived with the Panthers with the reputation of a game-manager who was a good scheme fit. But few believed he was the man to get Carolina back into Super Bowl contention.

Teddy Bridgewater wilted with the game on the line.

One of the main criticisms of Bridgewater was the fact he didn’t come through in the clutch. The Louisville product went 0-8 on game-winning or tying drives during the campaign and if this failure was halved, it might have been enough for the Panthers to attain a shock playoff berth in the first year of Matt Rhule’s tenure as head coach.

There is no getting away from it, things look bleak for Bridgewater. But here are four reasonable excuses that played a significant role in his indifferent start to life under center in Carolina.

Excuse No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Ian Thomas /

No tight end production

Every quarterback needs a reliable pass-catching tight end in today’s NFL.

Something Teddy Bridgewater simply didn’t have in 2020.

The Panthers made a bold move to part ways with veteran Greg Olsen in favor of giving Ian Thomas a big chance to fill the void long-term. This is something he failed to do and the fact he was handed just 31 targets throughout the season tells us plenty about what the coaching staff thought about his ability to contribute.

Had Olsen stuck around for one more season and given even half of what he did during his career with the Panthers, it could have made all the difference across the middle and in the red zone from Bridgewater’s perspective.