One Controversy Won’t Happen for Vikings This Week

Jefferson Has Starting
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Nick Mullens (12) changes the play at the line of scrimmage prior to a snap in the first quarter of a Week 15 NFL football game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Cincinnati Bengals, Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023, at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati. © Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Some Minnesota Vikings fans wanted the club to bench quarterback Nick Mullens on Saturday after his second interception.

But that’s often the solution in The Digital Age for folks. If one is mad about a player or coach, fire or bench him. There’s very little middle ground. The panic pendulum swings frantically.

One Controversy Won’t Happen for Vikings This Week

Well, even though the Vikings lost at Paycor Stadium in Week 15, the “bench Mullens” crowd a) Was wrong in the heat of the moment; he rebounded nicely b) Won’t get its wish in Week 16; Mullens is here to stay.

One Controversy
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Mullens accounted for 303 passing yards and 2 touchdown passes, along with the 2 aforementioned picks. That’s the Mullens experience, and it likely won’t fluctuate too much going forward. He’s a slinger. And with the Vikings holding a coinflip’s chance to reach the postseason, there is no evidence to suggest head coach Kevin O’Connell will promote rookie Jaren Hall or recall Joshua Dobbs against the Detroit Lions on Christmas Eve.

It sounds like The Mullens Show, according to O’Connell. “He did a lot of good things today. I liked the feel of both our run game and pass game and how it was working together. But we’ll take a look at it, watch the film and make a decision moving forward. But Nick Mullens played how I expected him to play,” the Vikings coach told reporters after losing to Cincinnati 27-24.

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Right when Mullens began coming through in the 2nd Half of Saturday’s game, Minnesota’s defense decided it was overloaded and surrendered back-to-back-to-back touchdowns to Cincinnati, led by former Vikings quarterback Jake Browning.

O’Connell continued, “We still need to find a way to protect the football when it’s in our hands on all downs, and continue to strive for the execution of the other 10 guy around the quarterback, which I thought for the most part was pretty solid.”

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The Lions flogged the Denver Broncos on Saturday night, so, of course, the Vikings will have their hands full next weekend.

“The biggest thing is Nick showed he can execute our offense and really move the football team. I think what we’ve got to continue to work through are those plays where we don’t try to do too much,” O’Connell concluded on Mullens.

Must fix himself
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The last month of Vikings football has delivered a quarterback controversy, or at least a debate, but heading into Week 16, that talker can be retired.

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).

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