The Minnesota Vikings are finishing off a disappointing season, but Sam Bradford made a bit of history on Sunday. He ended the year with a 71.6 completion percentage, breaking the single-season record. Drew Brees previously held the mark with a 71.2 percentage in 2011.
Bradford carved up the Chicago Bears in Week 17, completing 25 of 33 passes for 250 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception. He took a seat in the fourth quarter with the Vikings leading, 38-10.
Bradford wasn’t even on the Vikings’ squad in preseason — at the time, he was competing for a starting job with the Philadelphia Eagles. But desperate times call for desperate measures, and when Teddy Bridgewater went down with a devastating knee injury, the Vikings made an aggressive move. They traded 2017’s first-round pick and a 2018 fourth-round pick to acquire Bradford from the Eagles.
The trade was widely panned at the time, but Bradford and the Vikings ran out to a 5-0 start, seemingly quieting the critics. Unfortunately, everything fell apart. With a poor running game and abysmal offensive line, the Vikings’ offense stalled out and the team collapsed. They’ll finish with an 8-8 record and miss the playoffs.
Despite the limited weapons, Bradford did what he could, throwing for 3,877 yards and 20 touchdowns to just five interceptions. The No. 1 overall pick of the 2010 NFL Draft, Bradford never quite lived up to his potential with the St. Louis Rams or Eagles, but he’s since developed into a steady journeyman under center.
If Bridgewater is unable to return in time next season, the Vikings at least know they can count on Bradford, who’s under contract for one more year. The big challenge in the offseason will be to upgrade the line and build a credible offense to complement their top-tier defense. The Vikings have a lot of promising talent on their roster, but it didn’t all come together like they were hoping it would this year.