Vikings Name Starting QB for Week 9

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The mystery is over.

Following Kirk Cousins’ season-altering injury Sunday, the Minnesota Vikings have named rookie passer Jaren Hall as the team’s QB1 for Week 9, a road showdown at the Atlanta Falcons.

Vikings Name Starting QB for Week 9

Cousins tore his Achilles’ in a win over the Green Bay Packers last weekend, ending his season and kickstarting Hall’s. The BYU alumnus has never started an NFL game, making his appearance this weekend, the first time Minnesota has rolled out a quarterback in his first start since 2014 when Teddy Bridgewater debuted — against the Falcons.

Vikings Name
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Right before head coach Kevin O’Connell made the Hall announcement, the Vikings swung a trade for veteran quarterback Joshua Dobbs from the Arizona Cardinals, thickening the QB plot in the post-Cousins era. For now, it seems Hall has one shot to seize the QB1 gig and never let go, as Nick Mullens is tentatively scheduled to return from injured reserve in Week 10, and Dobbs will be more acclimated to the offense by that time.

Minnesota scooped Hall out of the draft’s 5th Round in April, its contingency plan for life post-Cousins after the old contingency plan, Kellen Mond, didn’t pan out. Now, unlike Mond, Vikings fans will hope Hall is different.

What ESPN Predicts
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Hall has one shot to impress the coaching staff at Atlanta and keep the job henceforth in 2023. He doesn’t need to play like a Pro Bowler and probably won’t anyway, but Hall cannot look utterly atrocious or unprepared. That’s likely the one way Minnesota would immediately tab Mullens for QB1 upon his IR exit or make an immediate pivot to Dobbs.

In 29 games at BYU, the 6’0″ 205-pounder completed 65.2% of passes for 52 passing touchdowns and just 11 interceptions. Anthony Richardson, a draft darling who landed with the Indianapolis Colts, fired up a 54.7% completion rate in college. 

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In addition to Hall’s mature personality — he’s is 25, quite old for a rookie — and ability to lead, Hall’s accuracy was “the thing” that drew O’Connell and the Vikings his way. O’Connell mentions the trait as his conversation starter. So, when one pulls Hall’s college stats and sees his completion percentage as delightful, it should be no surprise that the Viking settled on him as the project quarterback.

But now the project is the regular season, and for a team that has won three straight games, there’s a steadfast determination not to tumble into futility.

The Big Stuff
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And as Vikings operation currently stands, following recovery from a dastardly 1-4 start, Hall has all elements present to succeed. His offensive line is suddenly elite. The defense has ranked seventh leaguewide per EPA/Play in the last four games. For weapons, Jordan Addison and T.J. Hockenson have shined in Justin Jefferson’s absence.

It’s Hall’s turn.

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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