Despite history, Sam Bradford attempts to normalize return to Philadelphia
When the Minnesota Vikings traded for Sam Bradford, many fans and members of the media mocked the move, claiming that it was a steal for the Eagles. Philadelphia added a first-round pick in the process, and given second-overall pick Carson Wentz‘ prowess early on, everybody anointed them as the winner of the transaction.
But, through four starts, Bradford has shined in Vikings purple. The team won its first game behind Shaun Hill thanks to a flurry of defensive touchdowns, and while their defensive dominance has continued, the offense has operated efficiently with Bradford behind the wheel. In those four games, Bradford has completed 70.4 percent of his passes for 990 yards, six touchdowns, and no interceptions. His 109.8 passer rating is the second best in the NFL.
Heading into Sunday’s highly anticipated matchup, the Vikings sit at a perfect 5-0 while the Eagles have lost their last two games, giving them a 3-2 record. Snap judgements will be made on the trade depending on what happens in Philadelphia when these teams clash.
Bradford takes the high road
It’s common for football players to feel especially motivated against teams that either cut or traded them. That still might be the case for Bradford, but his comments indicate otherwise.
Here’s Bradford’s approach to facing his old team in Philly, courtesy of Dave Campbell of the Associated Press:
“My approach is just try to keep it as normal as possible this week. I think I owe it to all of the guys in our locker room to not try and do anything special, not try to do anything extra,” Bradford said. “When you get caught up with things outside of football, that’s when things can go wrong.”
This game has been hyped up as a battle between Bradford and Wentz, but Minnesota head coach Mike Zimmer doesn’t see it that way:
“I did tell the team that this game is not about Bradford and Wentz,” Zimmer said. “It’s about the Eagles and the Vikings.”