All Signs Point to One Man for Vikings QB1

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

Minnesota Vikings fans have used the last eight days to debate the pros and cons of the team’s quarterback stable, analyzing which man might get the call to lead the team into Week 14 at the Las Vegas Raiders.

All Signs Point to One Man for Vikings QB1

Head coach Kevin O’Connell will reportedly announce the QB1 on Wednesday, four days before the Vikings hope to end a two-game losing skid. The club’s options are Joshua Dobbs, the incumbent; Nick Mullens, the most experienced option; and Jaren Hall, the rookie.

Kirk Cousins was lost for the season to an Achilles tear at the end of October.

And with O’Connell’s announcement mere hours away, all signs point to Dobbs as the QB1 nominee, presumably on tap for another shot at rectifying his mistakes on Monday Night Football against the Chicago Bears. Dobbs threw four interceptions in that contest, and Minnesota lost by two at home.

One Man for Vikings
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

Star Tribune‘s Ben Goessling tweeted Tuesday, “Offensive coordinator Wes Phillips said today that Kevin O’Connell will announce his decision for the Vikings’ starting QB during his press conference on Wednesday. Based on everything I’ve heard this week, I expect the Vikings will start Josh Dobbs against the Raiders.”

Indeed, at a Tuesday press conference, Phillips answered questions in a manner that would reflect Dobbs’ job security. Either that, or he was speaking in hyper-realistic hypotheticals.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports.

The Athletic, too, hinted incumbent starter Joshua Dobbs will get the nod in Week 14. “The Vikings are on a bye this week, but a league source said Jefferson is expected to practice in full and be ready to play against the Raiders in Week 14. The next big question will be, who is throwing the ball to him? Josh Dobbs or Nick Mullens. My early sense is the team will be sticking with Dobbs. The team is back in the building on Monday,” Diana Russini wrote on Saturday.

Dobbs set the solar system ablaze in his first two games with the Vikings, helping the club topple the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints in back-to-back weeks. And his heroism at Atlanta occurred after just five days of learning the playbook.

Teams led by Dobbs, the Cardinals and Vikings, are 2-9 (.181) in 2023.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports.

During the Vikings’ two-game win spurt (and after the two-game losing skid), Dobbs’ teammates bought into DobbsMania. He was a winner for a couple of weeks, and his teammates rode the wave. He might deserve a shot at the offense with all its tools. The only Viking life Dobbs knows is one without Justin Jefferson, which is quite unfair. There’s a possibility he completely thrives with Jefferson open downfield, and benching him now could be a raw deal.

On the other hand, Vikings’ faithful have pounded the table for Hall over the last week.

One item to remember about O’Connell’s decision is that whichever quarterback takes the baton can easily get benched. It’s not a franchise quarterback situation where it would be insulting to bench Dobbs, Mullens, or Hall at halftime of a game should struggles emerge.

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

No matter the quarterback — probably Dobbs — Minnesota is expected to win by a field goal over the Raiders.

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 H’unds, and The’Doors (the band).

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