Vikings Name Starting QB for Week 15 at CIN

Fans Have the Worst
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The man gets his original job back.

That’s the word from Eagan as Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell told reporters Tuesday that Nick Mullens will start Saturday at the Cincinnati Bengals.

Vikings Name Starting QB for Week 15 at CIN

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero tweeted on the X app, “The Vikings are making a QB change: Nick Mullens will replace Joshua Dobbs as the starter Saturday at Cincinnati, sources tell me and Ian Rapoport. Mullens has 17 NFL starts, knows the system and is fully healthy after an IR stint in October. Now he takes over in a playoff race.”

QB for Week 15
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Mullens entered the Week 14 game at Las Vegas, taking over for Joshua Dobbs, who was benched for poor performance. The Vikings’ offense then generated a field goal — and three points guided Minnesota to a seventh victory in 2023.

The 28-year-old has a full season’s worth of starting experience (the 17 games mentioned by Pelissero), and teams are 5-12 (.294) on his watch as QB1. Mullens was the Vikings’ QB2 when the 2023 season began and filled the same job all of 2022.

Warm Up to Nick
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Moments after the Mullens announcement, The Athletic’s Alec Lewis tweeted, “Vikings HC Kevin O’Connell said the plan at backup remains undecided. Rookie QB Jaren Hall is in the mix.”

Mullens won’t morph into a QB1 for the long haul — folks thought that might happen with Dobbs, but the theory perished — but he is one of the NFL’s best QB2s. Plain and simple. Owning a mini-gunslinger mentality, Mullens chills in the pocket and unleashes dimes like Kirk Cousins.

On any given Sunday, Mullens is about a 70% version of Cousins. Meanwhile, with the Vikings’ defense playing at its current level, 70% Cousins might be enough to lead a sassy team into the postseason.

Unexciting Option
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Don’t expect him to use his legs like Dobbs. It isn’t happening. In his career, Mullens has -3 rushing yards. He doesn’t move, and per the Vikings’ current playbook, scripted for Cousins, that might be adequate amid the season’s remainder.

Head coach Kevin O’Connell said about Mullens after running the 2023 record to 7-6, “I felt like my trust in Nick, with his preparation, could be called upon. He had some reps last week to make sure that he was ready to go, and he did exactly that. He went in and made some critical plays to move the chains and ultimately get us in range for the very limited amount of points that we got today offensively, but enough to win the football game.”

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Mullens will feed wide receivers and tight ends, which is why Dobbs is probably heading back to the bench. Mullens is an honest-to-goodness pocket passer, and Vikings fans have watched this type of offense since 2018.

In the 17 career starts, Mullens has delivered this statline:

  • 4,552 Passing Yards
  • 24 Passing TD
  • 21 INTs
  • 6 Fumbles
  • 64.4 Completion %
  • 86.2 Passer Rating

The Vikings are 3.5-point underdogs at Cincinnati, and the spread did not immediately move with the formal Mullens announcement.

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