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Bills vs. Vikings, 2014 NFL Week 7: Kyle Orton vs. Teddy Bridgewater

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The Bills and veteran Kyle Orton will square off against the Vikings and rookie Teddy Bridgewater on Sunday. How do the two signal-callers compare in 2014?

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Orton is completing 66.7 percent of his passes this season and gaining 6.39 net yards per pass play. Teddy Bridgewater is completing 62.2 percent of his passes and has a 6.13 net yards per pass attempt average in his young rookie season. Both quarterbacks have surpassed 300 yards once this season. How do these two quarterbacks compare?

Orton's pass targets are 7.4 yards past the line of scrimmage on average. He has thrown short passes (thrown shorter than 10 yards downfield) 64 percent of the time. Those short throws have been completed 73.5 percent of the time for 259 yards (42.3 percent of his yardage total). Orton's passes (not tipped or thrown away) are mapped below.

orton 2014

Bridgewater has been more dependent on the short pass. His targets have been 6.6 yards past the line of scrimmage on average. His completions have been just 4.5 yards downfield, on average, while Orton's completions have been 6.4 yards past the line of scrimmage.

The Minnesota rookie has thrown shorter than 10 yards downfield 70 percent of the time. He's completing 70.6 percent of them and has gained 406 yards on those throws (seven yards per attempt). 360 of that short pass yardage total has been gained after the catch. Bridgewater's passes are mapped below.

Bridgewater 2014

Orton has targeted three receivers 15 times in his two games: Scott Chandler, Fred Jackson, and Sammy Watkins. Bridgewater's top three targets have all been wide receivers: Greg Jennings (16), Jarius Wright (16), and Cordarrelle Patterson (15).

Orton's targets to Chandler, Jackson, and Watkins are below. The Bills seem to be doing a pretty good job of spreading the ball across the field. These passes are just 5.6 yards past the line of scrimmage on average, but 40 percent have been outside the numbers. You can't just crowd the middle against Orton.

orton top targets

Meanwhile, Bridgewater's top targets are almost exclusively in the middle of the field despite being to receivers. 73 percent of his targets to his preferred receivers have been between the numbers. Bridgewater's passes to Jennings, Patterson, and Wright are below.

bridgewater top targets

Bridgewater is second in the league in YAC per attempt (4.8, behind Andy Dalton with 4.9 YAC per attempt). Orton is 20th so far this season, averaging 3.4 YAC per attempt. Maybe the Bills have an opportunity to improve here, but Bridgewater's average is more a function of his pass types.

The difference in the quarterbacks is very likely correlated to the different stages in their respective careers. The matchup on Sunday will be an interesting contract between the two passers and how the teams decide to utilize their strengths.