A preseason featuring five touchdowns, zero turnovers and a passer rating well above 100.0 would have been viewed at the beginning of camp as a sure-fire path to the starting job for Teddy Bridgewater.
Few expected Matt Cassel to bury Bridgewater and the quarterback competition with such a strong preseason of his own.
Cassel started the first three games, completing 26 of 39 passes for 367 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. His 12 series produced 30 points, and his 103.3 passer rating finished 11th among expected starting quarterbacks during the preseason.
By halftime of the second week, Cassel looked entrenched as the starter. Mike Zimmer named him his starting quarterback days after Minnesota's third preseason game.
The Norv Turner offense has appeared to rejuvenate the stagnating career of Cassel, who is coming off three straight seasons with a passer rating under 82.0.
He averaged 9.4 yards per attempt during the preseason, and each of his two touchdown passes went for over 50 yards. He also completed almost 67 percent of his passes, despite not having Adrian Peterson for the entirety of the exhibition schedule.
The Vikings have playmakers around the quarterback position. Cassel now has an experienced, highly regarded coordinator calling the shots. It would not be shocking to see Cassel—who once made the Pro Bowl with the Chiefs and won 10 games with the Patriots—have a good season under Turner in 2014.