Vikings Have One Burning Question Heading into Bye Week

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The Minnesota Vikings lost embarrassingly to the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football, a crucial defeat casting the purple team’s playoff hopes into jeopardy.

Minnesota now must finish 3-2 in the next five games; anything less will require scoreboard-watching in Week 18.

Vikings Have One Burning Question Heading into Bye Week

Thankfully for the team’s sake, it can regroup with a convenient bye week, refocusing on, well, everything and welcoming Justin Jefferson back in 12 days.

Meanwhile, the Vikings have one burning question during the bye — who is the team’s starting quarterback? The decision, at least the day after losing to Chicago, is not straightforward.

 Burning Question Heading
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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.

So, here are the options.

1. Joshua Dobbs

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Denver Broncos
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The honeymoon is over. It was short.

Vikings fans and NFL media learned in the last two weeks why Dobbs was cast aside by a plethora of NFL teams, some of them not very good. It’s the turnovers, silly.

Dobbs plays backyard football at times, and Minnesota has curiously hoped to make Dobbs a pocket passer. And when he gets frazzled, he throws the football up in the air like a teenager goofing around, which doesn’t translate to long-term NFL success.

Of course, the Vikings could change course and allow Dobbs to get on the move more often than not, but the coaching staff actually has to pull the trigger on that idea. Dobbs probably deserves a shot at QB1 with Justin Jefferson on the field at Las Vegas, but if it’s in the DNA to turn the ball over ad nauseam, he is not an asset.

Dobbs is the best athlete of this threesome, but does that matter?

2. Nick Mullens

Line QB for 2023
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This man is diet Kirk Cousins. Plain and simple.

Plus, the veteran passer was the QB2 all along, and Minnesota may not have traded for Dobbs in the first place had Mullens not lived temporarily on injured reserve. Had something happened to Kirk Cousins in Week 2 or so, Mullens would be the QB1 right now, and that would be that.

While Mullens is not infallible — he throws interceptions, too — he might be the wisest choice at QB1 at the moment because the Vikings’ defense is performing so well. He likely won’t generate four turnovers per game like Dobbs versus the Bears.

If the Vikings want a pocket passer akin to Cousins, this is the guy.

3. Jaren Hall

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Heading into Week 9, Hall was the team’s QB1. Then, a concussion stole his job, aided by a Dobbs aeronautical masterclass at the Atlanta Falcons.

Minnesota tipped its hand on Monday Night Football by making Hall the QB3, seemingly indicating Mullens is the next man in line. Yet, if the Vikings lose their next two games or so, plopping Hall at QB1 on a 6-8 squad could make sense to examine his ceiling and development.

Announcing Hall as the starter in the next 12 days is the longest shot of all three options but cannot be wholly ruled out.

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).

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