Matt Cassel is the starting quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings now. It was just confirmed that he got the nod over first-round pick Teddy Bridgewater for the 2014 season opener. According to a report from ESPN on Monday (Aug. 25), head coach Mike Zimmer made that official announcement earlier in the day. It doesn’t mean Bridgewater won’t get his shot at some point, but that the staff felt the veteran Cassel was the best man for the job to begin with.
Both quarterbacks have had a lot of success this preseason, so it actually presented a difficult decision. Cassel had looked good while starting the first three preseason games for the Vikings and had completed 66 percent of his passes. Bridgewater wasn’t bad either, completing 65 percent of his passes and throwing four touchdowns. He did do most of his work against second and third unit defenses, though, so that likely came into consideration when the team approached its final decision.
Going with Matt Cassel as the starting quarterback isn’t too surprising, as he did play nine games for the Vikings in 2013. During that season, he completed 60.2 percent of his passes for 1,807 yards and 11 touchdowns. He had problems with interceptions, though, throwing nine of them and posting an 81.6 quarterback rating. The team finished last in the NFC North with a 5-10-1 record and nabbed a high pick in the 2014 NFL Draft as a result. While Bridgewater is certainly the plan for the long-term, Cassel now gets his shot to lead again.