There’s One Clue Why Joshua Dobbs Could Be Benched

One Man for Vikings
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell had the option after Monday’s loss against the Chicago Bears to smash and eliminate a budding quarterback controversy.

But the young skipper and former quarterback did no such thing.

There’s One Clue Why Joshua Dobbs Could Be Benched

The Vikings added Joshua Dobbs via trade on Halloween, and the journeyman veteran immediately gripped the team, its fanbase, and the NFL community. Dobbs propelled Minnesota to two victories, running the club’s unforeseen winning streak to five games.

One Clue Why
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Then, though, the bottom fell out during back-to-back losses at the Denver Broncos and at home versus the Bears, both games under the lights of primetime. Dobbs morphed into a turnover machine and correspondingly jeopardized his job security.

And O’Connell may make a switch at quarterback with the team situated at 6-6 and in seventh place via the NFC’s evolving playoff picture. “I think the quarterback position needs to be evaluated to see what gives us the best chance to win. I don’t think there’s any particular timeline,” head coach Kevin O’Connell told reporters on Tuesday.

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

If O’Connell conducts his deliberative sessions and ends up with a non-Dobbs verdict, the turnovers will be the rationale. Why? Well, O’Connell was quite straightforward about his philosophy in September. Minnesota stumbled out of the gate this season to the tune of an 0-3 record because of — you guessed it — turnovers. He had to create a sudden plan to fix the turnover malady, and that involved benching players who couldn’t stop fumbling.

“I think that’s something we’re going to fix one way or the other. Either guys are going to fix it, or we’re going to have to put other guys in the game that have ball security,” O’Connell said in September.

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

Now, at least on Monday night, the boogeyman is interceptions, and Dobbs is obviously the culprit. Either O’Connell meant what he said two months ago, and Dobbs will be benched, or the we-will-bench-turnover-merchants was a bluff.

O’Connell continued during the turnover warning, “We need to end every snap with the football in our hands. And that’s going to be continued urgency and emphasis, like it was last week. And we’re going to continue to do it, and do it differently, and emphasize in different ways until that value is received, because that is a losing formula, as we’ve seen where we’re at in the turnover differential.”

The Vikings National
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Dobbs is ruining the turnover differential almost singlehandedly. The man who created two victories over the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints has succumbed to vintage non-QB1 sins. He’s gift-wrapping the football to the opposition via fumbles and picks, and no NFL team will win games if turnovers are guaranteed in the gameplan.

Based on Dobbs’ small body of work, even while the Vikings won a couple of games, turnovers are a part of The Dobbs Experience. In beating the Falcons and Saints, he atoned for the fumble and interception blunders with his legs. But the fancy scampers disappeared, especially versus the Bears, and Minnesota lost two games.

Dobbs could still get the nod against the Las Vegas Raiders in 10 days, afforded one more dance because Justin Jefferson will return. But if he’s benched, the turnover bonanza will be the explanation.

O’Connell already outlined his mantra on turnovers, and Dobbs might directly contradict it.


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.

Share: