Vikings HC Makes It Official at QB

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The Minnesota Vikings will once again bank on quarterback continuity, taking on the division-leading Detroit Lions at U.S. Bank Stadium on Christmas Eve.

Vikings HC Makes It Official at QB

In five consecutive games before Week 15, the Vikings mostly leaned on Joshua Dobbs for QB1 duty. But the journeyman was benched for poor performance at the Las Vegas Raiders on December 10th, paving the way for Nick Mullens, who promptly produced a game-winning drive that netted three points.

HC Makes It Official
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports.

One week later, Mullens started at the Cincinnati Bengals, delivering a mixed bag with touchdown passes and interceptions. His outing, albeit a 27-24 loss, was enough to merit a second act, as Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell told reporters he’d roll with Mullens in Week 16.

The Vikings’ social media team tweeted Monday, “Head Coach Kevin O’Connell announces that Nick Mullens will start again this week vs. Detroit.”

Team Riddled
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports.

Versus the Lions will mark the 19th start of Mullens’ career. Teams with him under center are 5-13 (.277) since 2017, including stints with the San Francisco 49ers, Cleveland Browns, and now Vikings. He’s due for a win, and Minnesota desperately needs one on Sunday. For simple math, the Vikings basically need to win two of the following three games to ensure a playoff appearance.

Vikings wideout Justin Jefferson said about another week of Mullens, “We have confidence in him. He’s been behind Kirk this whole entire time, learning from him. He’s ready for the moment, as people can see.”

Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports.

The gunslinger quarterback is known for flinging the rock around from the pocket, playing his brand of hero ball at times while racking up touchdown passes and interceptions. The Mullens Experience was on full display at Paycor Stadium last weekend, complete with 303 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, and 2 picks.

O’Connell said about the performance, Mullens’ first start as a Viking, “He did a lot of good things today. I liked the feel of both our run game and pass game and how it was working together. But we’ll take a look at it, watch the film, and make a decision moving forward. But Nick Mullens played how I expected him to play.”

Unexciting Option
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The Vikings have started four quarterbacks in 2023: Kirk Cousins, Jaren Hall, Joshua Dobbs, and Mullens. The season fundamentally changed on October 29th when Cousins tore his Achilles, sparking a quarterback carousel involving Hall, Dobbs, and Mullens. Without Cousins in the lineup, Minnesota is 3-3.

The Vikings are a three-point home underdog in Week 16.


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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