Wow. The Vikings Are Really Doing It at QB.

Could Make Switch
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The Minnesota Vikings quarterback carousel continues.

Or — depending on one’s interpretation, they’re back to the Week 9 decision.

Wow. The Vikings Are Really Doing It at QB.

Minnesota will start rookie Jaren Hall on Sunday night versus the Green Bay Packers, not Nick Mullens or Joshua Dobbs, who were candidates when head coach Kevin O’Connell announced an evaluation period earlier this week.

Wow
Minnesota Vikings QB Jaren Hall addressed the media from the TCO Performance Center on Wednesday. Hall makes his first career start on Sunday, November 5th, at the Atlanta Falcons and is the first Vikings to make a first-ever start at quarterbacks since Teddy Bridgewater in 2014.

It’s the Hall show, indeed. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero tweeted Thursday, three days before Vikings-Packers, “The Vikings are making another QB change: Jaren Hall will start Sunday night against Green Bay, per me and Ian Rapoport. With playoff hopes on the line in a primetime rivalry game, Minnesota is giving the ball to the rookie from BYU.”

While Hall has been a viable option for a couple of weeks to start at QB1, most Vikings fans believed the team would roll with Mullens again on New Year’s Eve. But that was incorrect, and Minnesota will go full tilt with a rookie in his second start — with the season absolutely on the line.

Feel for Jaren
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The central argument from fans in favor of Hall is this: “You might as well see what you have in Hall because you’re probably not winning a Super Bowl anyway this season.” And with Mullens’ + Dobbs’ recent struggles, Hall feels like a “not much to lose” option heading into Week 17.

Hall played two offensive drives against the Atlanta Falcons two months ago and performed quite well on one. He then succumbed to a concussion, and the Joshua Dobbs Experience began the same day. So, credit to the Pro-Hall group: The man appeared like he could succeed.

Our Endorsement
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What does Hall offer that Mullens or Dobbs do not? Well, he’s the unknown. Some want to think he’ll go on a heater as the last saving grace to the Vikings season, although, generally speaking, that is unlikely. Hall is mobile like Dobbs but not quite as fast. He throws the ball downfield but not at a breakneck clip like Mullens. That’s what the Hall college scouting report suggested, anyway.

Meanwhile, it’s now or never for the 2023 Vikings. If Minnesota loses one more game, the Wildcard playoff dream is dead in the water. Minnesota put itself in this spot by brutal losses to the Denver Broncos, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, and Lions. Winning just one of those damn games would’ve slapped the Vikings in a wonderful spot this week to secure a playoff berth.

To get in the postseason, the Vikings must defeat the Packers and Lions in the next two weeks.

Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports.

Then, the Vikings need one of these four games to result in a single Rams or Seahawks loss, with Minnesota, of course, winning out:

Week 17:
Los Angeles Rams at New York Giants
Pittsburgh Steelers at Seattle Seahawks

Week 18:
Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers
Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals

The purple team has a 27% chance of reaching the postseason after losing to the Lions. Sadly, that probability would’ve spiked to around 75% if it had defeated Detroit. No cigar. Here’s the playoff math that Hall will help control henceforth:

Vikings Playoff Probability,
for Weeks 17 & 18:

Lose to GB | Lose to DET = 0%
Lose to GB = 4%
Lose to GB | Beat DET = 13%
Beat GB | Lose to DET = 25%
Right Now = 27%
Beat GB = 46%
Beat GB | Beat DET = 96%

Mullens will be the QB2 against the Packers. He’s the next line of defense if Hall is injured again or struggles.

Against Atlanta, Hall completed 5 of 6 passes for 78 yards and rushed for 11.

The Vikings are favored to win by 1.5 points in Week 17, a spread that shrunk by 0.5 after the Hall news.


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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