The Case for Joshua Dobbs after Vikings’ Bye

Opponent Is a Cautionary
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The Minnesota Vikings have 11 days until a shot at redemption, relaxing on a bye week and then heading to Las Vegas for a meeting with Aidan O’Connell’s Raiders. Wide receiver Justin Jefferson will return after a seven-game injured reserve status, and the club must finish the next five games with a 3-2 record or so to reach the playoffs. A record worse than 3-2 will require players, coaches, and fans to monitor opposing teams’ wins and losses.

The Case for Joshua Dobbs after Vikings’ Bye

Quarterback Joshua Dobbs produced a forgettable game on Monday Night Football against the Chicago Bears, with four turnovers that enabled a 12-10 Chicago win.

the Case for Joshua Dobbs
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“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.

Therefore, there’s a genuine chance Dobbs could be benched, but if not, here’s why he should start in Week 14.

The case for Nick Mullens can be read here. Jaren Hall, as the best-case scenario, is here.

Incumbency + Continuity

case for josh
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When Kirk Cousins was injured one month ago, there was always a strong probability that a quarterback carousel was afoot.

And here we are.

Vikings fans — and even the team’s coaching staff — are debating the pros and cons of Dobbs, Mullens, and Hall, not unlike the days of Tarvaris Jackson, Brooks Bollinger, and Kelly Holcomb in 2007, for example. Cousins provided extreme stability at QB1, even if a faction of fans never really cared for him.

Well, the Vikings have a here-and-now chance to smash a quarterback carousel and enable continuity. Indeed, Dobbs played horribly versus the Bears, but career-long backup passers rarely embark on long stretches without stinker games. Monday was a stinker.

If Dobbs has a full week of preparation and chats with NASA about reducing dumb turnovers, maybe staying the course is wise.

Dobbs is not guaranteed to play poorly at Las Vegas and beyond. Players improve.

The Best Athlete

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Nick Mullens is the most accurate passer on the Vikings depth chart (besides Kirk Cousins), with a 65.3% completion rate during his career. Jaren Hall is a rookie, and no one knows what his completion percentage would look like if he took the reins of QB1.

Mullens has the accuracy, and, well, Dobbs has the legs. He’s the speediest Vikings quarterback, and if Minnesota decides to build a gameplan for him similar to games against the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints, he could blast off again.

The problem, though, is that the Vikings have largely kept Dobbs in the pocket during the last two weeks, and he’s looked buffoonish at times. On the whole, Dobbs is the best off-script option in the locker room unless Hall is sitting on gobs of untapped potential.

For context on quarterback mobility, Mullens scrambles less than Cousins. So, there’s that.

The Locker Room + Jefferson’s Return

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During the 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.

Pro-Dobbs teammates would probably understand a bench relegation — turnovers are fatal, and football players know it — but giving him one more crack at QB1 would probably be applauded by the Vikings’ locker room.

What’s more, Dobbs might deserve a shot at the offense with all its tools. The only Vikings life Dobbs knows is one without Justin Jefferson, which is quite unfair. There’s a possibility that Dobbs completely thrives with Jefferson open downfield, and benching him now could be unscrupulous.

The idea here would be: Let Dobbs cook with the team’s best player.


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.

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