Vikings Must Take Pressure off Josh Dobbs

Vikings Begin Week
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Coming off one of the most unlikely victories in recent memory, Josh Dobbs has been elevated to superstar status amongst Minnesota Vikings fans. It’s great for him to have that level of praise, but Kevin O’Connell must take the pressure off him this weekend against the New Orleans Saints.

Vikings Must Take Pressure off Josh Dobbs

With Kirk Cousins out for the year after tearing his Achilles tendon, the Vikings would always be in an uphill battle at the quarterback position. Had Jaren Hall avoided injury and remained under center, there would have been a learning curve for a rookie thrust into action ahead of the ideal trajectory. With Dobbs, he has experience but has been limited in his success. What happened against the Atlanta Falcons shouldn’t alter the plan going forward.

Take Pressure off Josh
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It is beyond understandable that Kwesi Adofo-Mensah went out and acquired Dobbs for the Vikings. He is a veteran upgrade over both internal backups, and there is a different type of skill set in that he can scramble. Expecting him to produce Cousins-like results or put the team on his back shouldn’t be a thing.

Under Brian Flores this year, the Vikings defense has taken considerable strides forward. Minnesota’s defense unit has pressured the opposing quarterback at a breakneck pace, and they have seen success in doing so. A young cornerback group has stepped up, and the linebacking corps has held their own. With better results when not on offense, Kevin O’Connell’s playmakers have been put in advantageous situations.

Offensively, the production has been a bit one-sided. Alexander Mattison has struggled at virtually every turn, and the running game as a whole has yet to get rolling. With Cam Akers suffering the same fate as Cousins and out for the year, Minnesota will look to youngster Ty Chandler for increased output.

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Plenty of expectation will consistently fall on the shoulders of an NFL quarterback, but the more O’Connell can do to scheme Dobbs into good chances, the better. Expecting Dobbs to replicate his herculean effort from Atlanta isn’t a fair bar to clear, and the Saints are a better opponent. Still, though, it’s not that Dobbs needs a pair of training wheels, but providing a soft landing for a guy who just recently joined the organization is a must.

Justin Jefferson won’t be back with the Vikings to immediately provide another weapon this week, but having the wide receivers step up alongside T.J. Hockenson is again a must. Dobbs has never seen this quality from an offensive unit he has led previously, and that gives him additional outlets to rely upon. The current version is a bit watered down due to injury, but there is plenty to get the job done here.

Josh Dobbs Has One
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Minnesota finds themselves as underdogs once again this week, but that’s a position they can take solace in proving doubters wrong by playing a complete game. The Saints aren’t a juggernaut by any means, and defending the home turf of U.S. Bank Stadium should be straightforward if O’Connell can give his new quarterback a chance.

Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.