Vikings Shouldn’t Overthink Looming QB Decision

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports. Aug 26, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Jaren Hall (16) throws a pass against the Arizona Cardinals during the third quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports. Aug 19, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Nick Mullens (12) drops back to throw a pass during the first quarter against the Tennessee Titans at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings have lost two straight games, jeopardizing their playoff hopes. An enormous reason for the back-to-back defeats, and all six in the 2023 season, are turnovers. One culprit, perhaps the largest, is quarterback Joshua Dobbs, whose turnovers against the Bears were the main reason for the disastrous loss. His mistakes started a QB controversy.

Vikings Shouldn’t Overthink Looming QB Decision

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Those thoughts are certainly warranted when a passer throws four passes to the opposing team, regardless of how unfortunate some of them were. Dobbs has also displayed a huge fumble problem in his four-game sample with the Vikings but also in his time in Arizona.

As Kevin O’Connell revealed last week, his backups Nick Mullens and Jaren Hall are in contention to start the next game. Offensive coordinator Wes Phillips mentioned Tuesday that a decision will be made on Wednesday ahead of Sunday’s important contest in Las Vegas.

While there is a significant controversy, the decision is easy. The Vikings should stick with Joshua Dobbs for at least another game, and the reason is apparent. Acquired from the Cardinals, Dobbs was suddenly asked to be the team’s quarterback after Hall left the game with an injury, and his heroics against the Falcons and Saints are well-documented.

Silly Narrative Laughable
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And those two games are exactly why he should remain the signal-caller in O’Connell’s offense. He has proven he can play at a high level, the level necessary to win games and go on winning streaks in January. Neither Mullens nor Hall have done that. Dobbs can showcase starting-caliber plays and create highlight plays even when a play breaks down.

Of course, Dobbs is still a backup. There is a reason why he was available for cheap twice within the last four months. Those backups are prone to making mistakes, and Dobbs is no different. His game against the Bears was about as bad as it gets. That is the downside of having Dobbs under center. The upside, meanwhile, is what we’ve seen in the other contests. Even in the loss against the Broncos, Dobbs made some wonderful plays on the ground and through the air.

Happened to Vikings
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He will be inconsistent, but he deserves a longer leash than an average performance versus a strong Denver defense and one rough game after showing the potential he has in the previous games, especially because his backups aren’t great options. Mullens has also been turnover-prone in his career and is way less talented, while Hall is a fifth-round rookie. Despite showing some promise in his two scripted drives, it should be questioned if he is actually a good option after the team preferred Mullens as the backup in Week 12.

The lack of familiarity with the offense also cost the Vikings some plays in the recent games. That is where having the bye week helps. Seven extra days of learning the offense is valuable, and so is O’Connell having an extra week to tailor the offense around his passer.

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The Vikings should opt to give Dobbs another shot with Justin Jefferson returning. Struggling receivers were also a reason why his play regressed. The biggest problem remains the turnovers. Taking care of the football must be a point of emphasis all week, and if he continues to be careless with the football, he should be relieved of his duties.

But not before he gets another chance. He has done enough good and shown the potential to deserve it. One bad showing doesn’t erase what he has done prior to 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