Wisconsin Sports Website Blasts Vikings’ QB Strategy

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Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports | Nov 18, 2023; College Park, Maryland, USA; Michigan Wolverines quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) on the field against the Maryland Terrapins during the first half at SECU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings were ready this offseason to end the Kirk Cousins era after six seasons, and Cousins promptly joined the Atlanta Falcons for four years and $180 million.

Wisconsin Sports Website Blasts Vikings’ QB Strategy

Minnesota then kicked off the post-Cousins era with the draft selection of Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy in April, hedging the bet in free agency with the acquisition of patchover quarterback Sam Darnold.

Sam darnold
Minnesota quarterback Sam Darnold addressed the media from the TCO Performance Center during OTAs. Darnold joined the Vikings’ roster in March 2024 during free agency, on deck as a Kirk Cousins replacement and sharing the QB room later with rookie passer J.J. McCarthy of Michigan.

The plan sounds just fine to Vikings fans, but media pertaining to Minnesota’s chief rival, the Green Bay Packers, is wildly unimpressed. A site called Dairyland Express blasted the Vikings’ quarterback strategy this week, poking fun at Minnesota’s coaching staff’s enthusiasm for Darnold and chiding McCarthy for not already earning the QB1 gig.

“In 56 career starts, Darnold has completed 59.7% of his throws for 12,064 passing yards with 63 passing touchdowns and 56 interceptions. In addition, he had a 21-35 record. Those stats aren’t much to fond over, which is why the Vikings took McCarthy with the 10th overall pick this past draft,” DE’s Richard Louis wrote about Darnold’s career history.

Minnesota 2024 NFL Draft. Watch as QB J.J. McCarthy addressed the media from the TCO Performance Center on Friday. The Vikings traded up one spot on the draftboard with the New York Jets for McCarthy.

Then, Louis got to the juicy part: “To add more fuel to the fire, it looks like he isn’t ready to touch the field either. Being QB2 behind Darnold with no plan of playing is definitely a statement. Regardless, this sounds like great news to Green Bay as Minnesota has blind faith with the most important position on the football field.”

Signing a player like Darnold to hold down the fort during the early section of McCarthy’s development is not revolutionary or new. The Buffalo Bills used Nathan Peterman on the depth chart in 2018 before Josh Allen took over. The Los Angeles Chargers employed Tyrod Taylor in 2020, and Justin Hebert soon took over after a bizarre Taylor injury.

Vikings
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports.

And on the notion of McCarthy not setting the world on fire in May and June, well, the Wolverine was the youngest quarterback in the draft class, and Minnesota knew full well when drafting McCarthy that it might take time for him to see the field. DairyLand Express evidently doesn’t want Minnesota to think highly of its bridge quarterback and is stunned that McCarthy hasn’t taken the world by storm at age 21 in the spring and summer of his rookie season.

Lewis made sure to pound the chest of the cheese team, though, “The Green Bay Packers head into next season with the mindset of getting back to the top of the division and leading the charge once again. The Packers have won the NFL North title in eight of the past 11 years. In 2023, they went 9-8 and made it to the playoffs but had to go on the road for every contest.”

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings play the Packers on September 29th and December 29th.


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.