With the Season on the Line, the Passtronaut Reemerges One Final Time

One Man for Vikings
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It has been a tumultuous season at the quarterback position in Minnesota for the first time since Kirk Cousins signed with the franchise in 2018. He calmed the chaos at the most important job with his steady play year in and year out, but he also involuntarily ended the silence when his Achilles tendon snapped in Week 8.

With the Season on the Line, the Passtronaut Reemerges One Final Time

With the Season on the Line, the Passtronaut Reemerges One Final Time
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Since that moment, the Vikings have been a total mess under center with three different starters. The first one was Jaren Hall, the fifth-round rookie who was supposed to be a learning emergency guy in his rookie campaign, but Nick Mullens was on IR, and he was suddenly asked to play.

With a 4-4 record at the trade deadline, the franchise wasn’t ready to call it a season and acquired Cardinals starter Joshua Dobbs. He handled the passing duties for the remainder of the first game sans Cousins once Hall exited with a concussion and in the following four contests. But he didn’t last either, as his struggles led to Mullens getting his shot. Continued turnovers led to Hall replacing him for a half. But Mullens will be the starter in the final game — the season’s final game and hopefully the carousel’s last game.

Opponent Is a Cautionary
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But Kevin O’Connell didn’t just switch the starting role. He also re-entered Dobbs, who will be the backup quarterback for the first time since his dismissal (when he was demoted to emergency QB), as the head coach announced on Friday.

Dobbs has played five games for the Vikings, drawing the start in four. He has also been the only passer who could guide the Vikings to wins, although his defense certainly helped him. In those five games, Dobbs passed for 895 yards, five touchdowns, and five interceptions. He also rushed for 163 yards and three touchdowns, and his mobility was a nice change for the Vikings after years of statues in the pocket.

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In the same span, the veteran quarterback was passed around from franchise to franchise with stints in Pittsburgh, Jacksonville, Cleveland, Detroit, Tennessee, and Arizona, and it indeed looked for roughly two weeks that he might have found a home in Minnesota, flashing his skill set for a few games and starting Dobbs-mania and fans started to believe in him, believe that he had one playoff run in him.

Once he learned the playbook, it seemed like he unlearned his ability to play quarterback. Mistakes piled up, just like inaccurate throws and turnovers. He was hesitant, and the timing was off. But it was still fun to watch as long as it worked.

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Denver Broncos
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Vikings fans will likely never forget his heroics in Atlanta or versus the Saints, and they surely embraced him like a superstar for a short time. Unless Mullens is a disaster or gets hurt, Dobbs is unlikely to be inserted into the matchup while there’s still a chance to reach the postseason.

Dobbs will turn 29 in three weeks and be a free agent in March. His few decent performances should be enough to draw some interest as a backup in the upcoming season. The Vikings, meanwhile, will also look for a QB as Cousins is set to enter free agency as well.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt