The Theme in Minnesota? Change.
The Minnesota Vikings have made another change at the quarterback position after Nick Mullens was too careless with the football in consecutive games, the one thing the coaching staff wanted to improve after Joshua Dobbs continued to turn the ball over. The offense put up a bunch of yards with Mullens under center, but the turnovers limited the offense to 24 points while also giving up bad field position multiple times.
The Theme in Minnesota? Change.
Because six interceptions in just two games are unacceptable, regardless of the yards, the Vikings announced rookie Jaren Hall as the starter for the matchup with the Packers.
Hall started the Week 9 contest in Atlanta, one week after Kirk Cousins got hurt. He had one quarter and two drives. One ended in a punt. The other one was a fantastic drive to the goalline, where Hall took off to scramble into the endzone. A big hit knocked him out of the game and the following contests with a concussion. Dobbs’ fairytale began but was ultimately short-lived.
But now Hall is back after the other quarterbacks can’t take care of the ball. The rookie has two games to show that the Vikes shouldn’t be in the market for a quarterback in April’s draft or acquire a veteran passer in March. It will be a huge game for Hall, who will throw passes in the massive divisional matchup against the Packers on national television in primetime.
Kwesi Adofo-Mensah selected the rookie out of BYU in the fifth round of the 2023 draft after passing on Will Levis and Hendon Hooker earlier. Hall was envisioned to sit behind Cousins and Mullens this season and perhaps turn into a long-term backup or spot starter.
But that plan changed when Cousins ruptured his Achilles, and Mullens was on IR with a back injury. He is now asked to have the most important job on the field on Sunday. However, he will receive help from Justin Jefferson, whom he had to play without in Week 9.
Whenever he is in trouble, he can throw it to the All-Pro and let him do his thing. In addition, head coach Kevin O’Connell will be in his corner, and he helped Mullens move the offense and Dobbs to have a couple of wonderful games.
Hall will likely make some rookie mistakes, but Dobbs and Mullens made some mind-boggling decisions, making them look like rookies. Inserting Hall could spark the offense, and there’s certainly a chance he improves the ball security.
Jefferson voiced confidence in the young passer earlier this week: I feel like he has been doing a great job in learning and just the process of being a rookie and carrying that role. It’s definitely been a tough year just battling with the injuries. … I feel like Jaren is definitely a great quarterback. He has definitely some potential to spark this offense up if we put him out there to play, but we’ll have confidence in whoever.”
The Vikings have a 28% chance to make the playoffs. They must beat the Packers and the Lions in the next two weeks while also having to hope for either the Seahawks or the Rams to lose a game. O’Connell and his coaching staff feel like the 25-year-old passer Hall will give them the best chance to do that.
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