Welcome Back to a Vikings’ QB Controversy

Nick Mullens Is Absolutely
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Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins was lost for the season 43 days ago, creating ensuing instability at the position since.

Welcome Back to a Vikings’ QB Controversy

Quarterbacks Jaren Hall, Joshua Dobbs, and Nick Mullens have taken turns at QB1 during the last five games. Heading into the Vikings’ bye two weeks ago, head coach Kevin O’Connell had an honest-to-goodness quarterback debate on his hands, and after the club defeated the Las Vegas Raiders 3-0 on Sunday, he’s right back to square one.

Dobbs took the reins to begin the Week 14 contest in Nevada, but his pass-catchers dropped passes like bad habits. He also wasn’t very productive otherwise, and with the game on the line, O’Connell switched to Mullens — the team’s original QB2 to start the season — delivering a timely injection of momentum and ultimately the juice needed to score the game’s only points.

Welcome Back to
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And because Mullens took the scepter from Dobbs, a Vikings’ quarterback debate or controversy is on the docket entering Week 15 — just like last week.

O’Connell said after his team climbed to a 7-6 record, “We’ll take a look at it. Don’t want to get into declaring anything for next week right now. With the type of injuries and the way it’s been on offense this season, we’re a week-to-week offense at this point.”

Turnover Woes
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Minnesota has a 64.3% chance of reaching the postseason after the win in Las Vegas, according to ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI). That math can rise even higher if the New York Giants knock off the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football.

“We’re going to find out who we’re going to have available, figure out the best possible plan we can put together against a really good team at their place, and we’ll let you guys know as the week goes on,” O’Connell continued.

Minnesota Vikings QB Joshua Dobbs addressed the media from the TCO Performance Center on Wednesday, December 6th, 2023. Dobbs reacted to keeping the starting QB job, discussed Justin Jefferson’s return and more.

While any option is possible between Mullens, Dobbs, and Hall, it would be incredibly strange to trot Dobbs out at QB1 once again, especially as Mullens provided the smoking gun for a much-needed win at Allegiant Stadium. The Vikings also lost Justin Jefferson, at least temporarily, to injury once again after an off-target pass from Dobbs left the reigning Offensive Player of the Year out to dry. Jefferson’s injury status is up in the air as of Monday morning.

O’Connell also mentioned, “Did decide there in the second half that maybe Nick would provide us, not only with a spark but just know that we would probably have to have three or four third-down conversions. Felt like my trust in Nick, with his preparation, he could be called upon.”

Of all three men — Mullens, Dobbs, and Hall — Mullens has the most starting experience, accumulating a season’s worth of starts (17) since joining the NFL in 2018.

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“We got him some reps last week to make sure that he was ready to go, and he did exactly that, went in and made some critical-critical plays to move some 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,” the Vikings skipper added about Mullens.

Mullens should be considered the frontrunner to play QB1 at Cincinnati, where the Vikings haven’t won since 1992.

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.