Justin Jefferson Believes in the New Guy

National Opinion of the Vikings Is Different from Yours
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Jefferson has never been on a regular season playing field with quarterback Jaren Hall.

Justin Jefferson Believes in the New Guy

But barring something rather strange, that will change on New Year’s Eve when the Minnesota Vikings host the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night Football. Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell announced Hall will start in Week 17, a do-or-die matchup for Minnesota — and Green Bay.

Believes in the New
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The loser is virtually eliminated from postseason contention, and the Vikings entrust Hall to keep the season afloat.

Hall started one game this season, a showdown in Atlanta, but was concussed in the 1st Quarter. Jefferson was in the middle of his absence due to an injured hamstring, so the pair will link for the first time this weekend. Minnesota won’t have tight end T.J. Hockenson, who was lost for the rest of the season with a knee injury, and perhaps be without Jordan Addison, who’s been limited at practice this week. But at least Hall, in his second start, can fling the rock to Jefferson.

a successful season
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“I feel like he has been doing a great job in learning and just the process of being a rookie and carrying that role,” Jefferson told reporters this week. The Vikings opened as two-point favorites to down the Packers, but the point spread slimmed to about even, a pick ’em, on Sunday night after the Hall announcement.

Jefferson added about Hall, “It’s definitely been a tough year just battling with the injuries. I feel like Jaren is definitely a great quarterback. He has definitely some potential to spark this offense up if we put him out there to play, but we’ll have confidence in whoever.”

Minnesota needs an offensive spark because the previous two passers couldn’t eliminate or reduce turnovers. Nick Mullens was absolutely fearless about throwing the ball downfield, which is great, but he handed out picks like candy on Halloween. He tossed six in the last two games.

Minnesota Vikings QB Jaren Hall addressed the media from the TCO Performance Center on Wednesday. Hall makes his first career start on Sunday, November 5th, at the Atlanta Falcons and is the first Vikings to make a first-ever start at quarterbacks since Teddy Bridgewater in 2014.

Before Mullens, Joshua Dobbs failed to get the football downfield and also turned over the ball too much, leading to the Mullens experiment in the middle of the Vikings’ win over the Las Vegas Raiders. The hope for Hall is a man who can do both: Get the ball to playmakers without the turnover spigot.

Hall said about his opportunity this weekend, “You’ve got to realize how fast guys play. You’ve got to be smart about the times you use your legs, and you’ve got to get down. There’s no superhero ball you need to play. The game is won over four quarters, not one play, and you’ve just got to remember that.”

Versus the Falcons two months ago, Hall completed 5 of 6 passes for 78 yards and rushed for 11.

jaren hall time
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To reach the playoffs, Hall and the Vikings must win the next two games against the Packers and Lions while hoping the Los Angeles Rams (at NYG, at SF) or Seattle Seahawks (vs. PIT, at ARI) lose a single game.

Hall becomes the Vikings’ first non-Kirk-Cousins quarterback to start a Sunday Night Football game at home in seven years. The last man was Sam Bradford in the first-ever home game at U.S. Bank Stadium — in 2016.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.