Cassel will start the all-important third preseason game, the one most commonly used as a tune-up for the regular-season starters. The Vikings face Cassel's former team, the Kansas City Chiefs, on Saturday.
Bridgewater has played well so far in the preseason — more so in the second game than in the first — but Cassel overall has been better, completing 17 of 22 passes for 210 yards and a touchdown though two exhibition contests.
[ Smack talk season is back at Yahoo Sports: Sign up and play free Fantasy Football!]
Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer, who announced the quarterback pecking order on Monday, said that Bridgewater could get reps with the starting offense. But it appears that the first-year head coach and offensive coordinator Norv Turner are more comfortable going forward to start the regular season with Cassel at the helm.
It's a good situation the Vikings find themselves in, with both quarterbacks doing good work, which means they haven't felt backed into a decision.
The Vikings have a tough opening five-game slate — at the St. Louis Rams, vs. New England Patriots, at New Orleans Saints, vs. Atlanta Falcons and at Green Bay Packers — before things calm down. If Cassel struggles through that stretch (assuming he's named the starter) or the Vikings need a spark, they could turn to Bridgewater then.
Coming on late in the third quarter of the second preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals, Bridgewater actually put up bigger numbers than Cassel, completing 16 of 20 passes for 177 yards and two touchdowns, but against lesser defenders. With the home crowd chanting his name, Bridgewater led scoring drives in three of his four possessions and hit on a game-winning touchdown pass to Rodney Smith with 22 seconds left.
In two games, none of the Vikings' quarterbacks — including forgotten No. 3 QB Christian Ponder — have turned the ball over.
- - - - - - -