The Guys in Front of Him Still Stand behind the Passtronaut

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The biggest question surrounding the Minnesota Vikings 12 games into the season is the next steps at the quarterback position. There is no clear solution for the 2024 season with Kirk Cousins approaching free agency, and even the Week 14 starter is a mystery as Joshua Dobbs is coming off a disastrous game against the Chicago Bears.

The Guys in Front of Him Still Stand behind the Passtronaut

Dobbs was a two-week fairytale with godly performances against the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints, with elite play and absurd highlights all over the game film. But a couple of weeks later, fans called for his job and wanted the guy benched.

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And quite frankly, they have all the right to do that after turnovers mostly replaced his highlights. Four interceptions are simply too many to win football games in the NFL, although the defense played well enough to keep them in the game until the final whistle. But his teammates apparently still support the passer. Garrett Bradbury, the guy that snaps the ball to Dobbs, praised him on Monday:

Josh has been great. He was thrown into the fire. I mean learning this offense as fast as he he has, that’s a tough task. I tip my cap to him because that’s not easy. He’s done a great job extending plays, using his feet, getting out, making plays downfield. He’s been a lot of fun to play for.

Garrett Bradbury

The Guys In Front of Him Still Stand Behind the Passtronaut
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The center and the quarterback have had problems snapping the ball, resulting in a couple of fumbles against the Broncos, although Dobbs managed to recover them. Regardless of who will be the starter, that should be emphasized during practice. Left guard Dalton Risner echoed the positive statement about the signal caller.

He’s just a great guy. He’s a great football player, he’s very very intelligent. He controls the huddle. Keeps calm. The way he was when we were beating Atlanta on that last drive compared to the way it was Monday night against the Chicago Bears, same thing. That’s all you can ask of a guy for him to stay even-keeled throughout a game. I personally love blocking for Josh Dobbs. I’ll continue to work my ass off for that guy.

Dalton Risner

He may have been the same in the huddle in the two games, but the results were surely a lot different. In the game against Atlanta, Dobbs played backyard football. His creativity, paired with his athleticism, allowed him to pull off plays many Vikings fans only know from old Fran Tarkenton highlights. Against Chicago, meanwhile, he tried to play within the structure, and it didn’t work one bit. Playing free without overthinking the moment seems to be what puts Dobbs over the top.

One Clue Why
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The thing about players talking about their teammates and coaches publically is that they always have to stay positive, regardless of what they think. There’s a good chance they would talk like that about Nick Mullens or even Sean Mannion. However, both players seem to enjoy playing with their teammate and have faith in him to lead them to more victories like he has already done twice.

Head coach Kevin O’Connell has not ruled out a change at quarterback with Nick Mullens as the primary backup. Rookie Jaren Hall could also be an option as he returned from his concussion. Dobbs had some extra time to get more familiar with the offense, hoping to improve his level of play.

Silly Narrative Laughable
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The two things Dobbs must improve to keep his job for the remainder of the season and show enough to draw interest in free agency are taking care of the football and having better timing and consistency in the passing game. Lack of familiarity with teammates and plays can partly be blamed for the latter, but there is no excuse for the former.

His teammates still back him and trust the quarterback, but do the coaches as well? That will be the burning question until O’Connell addresses that topic.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt