Though coach Mike Zimmer tried to keep his decision under wraps all week -- he tried, and failed similarly a week before -- this was always going to be the plan. The Vikings did not trade a first and conditional mid-round pick for Bradford to watch him sit during the opening of the team's billion-dollar stadium on Sunday Night Football.
The 28-year-old Bradford is 25-37-1 as a starter throughout his career. The optimistic Vikings fan is banking on the former No. 1 overall pick building off his strong season-ending performance with the Eagles a year ago. Bradford nay sayers will point to the fact that he has never truly looked comfortable in any system, even if the rapid changes in terminology and philosophy might have contributed to his current situation.
Luckily for Bradford, this is the best team talent-wise he's ever played on. An instant run game already in place, all Bradford has to do is put enough pressure on opposing defenses to take a few defenders out of the box. Even Hill was relatively successful in doing so against the Titans in the second half last week.
As we wrote a week ago, Zimmer's defense is good enough to validate the trade week in and week out. If Bradford can play slightly above replacement level this season, the Vikings could be looking at yet another division title.