July 12, 2024

The Minnesota Vikings are set to introduce their fourth quarterback of the season, Nick Mullens, but there is skepticism about the longevity of his starting role. According to Mike Florio from Pro Football Talk on December 11, he anticipates that head coach Kevin O’Connell will replace Mullens with rookie Jaren Hall sooner rather than later.

Florio expressed doubt about the sustainability of both Josh Dobbs and Nick Mullens as starters. He asserted that Jaren Hall is likely to take over eventually.

Vikings bench Joshua Dobbs: Nick Mullens to start at QB in Week 15 vs. Bengals - DraftKings Network

Florio criticized Dobbs’ performance, describing it as too frenetic, with excessive thinking, taking numerous big hits, and holding onto the ball for too long, leading to his benching. Chris Simms, Florio’s podcast partner, also chimed in, stating that Dobbs tends to exhibit a last-play-of-the-game mentality, attempting risky throws and facing challenges at the moment.

Jaren Hall May Still Be Vikings’ Starter Had He Avoided Concussion

Last Sunday, Mullens joined the game against the Las Vegas Raiders in the fourth quarter with a tied score of 0-0. He successfully completed 9 out of 13 passes, totaling 83 yards, and orchestrated a game-winning field goal drive for the Vikings.

Consequently, Mullens has earned the starting position for the upcoming game against the Cincinnati Bengals. However, it was Hall who was initially chosen to start after Kirk Cousins suffered a season-ending Achilles injury in late October.

Vikings QB Jaren Hall ruled out with concussion; Joshua Dobbs, acquired this week, replaces him vs. Falcons - CBSSports.com

During Hall’s start against the Atlanta Falcons, he suffered a concussion in the first quarter. Dobbs replaced him and embarked on a dynamic run that has now concluded with some disappointment. Mullens, recovering from a back injury sustained in early October, was not ready to play in Atlanta on November 5. Consequently, it remains uncertain whether O’Connell would have selected Hall or Mullens to start if both had been in good health.

Assuming no further injuries, Minnesota will choose the quarterback who gives the team the best chance to win its final four games. Mullens, with a career record of 5-12 from his time with the San Francisco 49ers and Cleveland Browns, provides a clear expectation. On the other hand, Hall, while offering the potential for more upside, has significantly less experience, having played only six professional seasons compared to Mullens.

Minnesota signed Mullens to a two-year deal worth $4 million over the offseason, and Hall was selected with a fifth-round draft pick before signing a four-year rookie contract totaling $4.1 million.

Vikings Still in Play to Win NFC North Division Over Lions

Despite Minnesota facing unfortunate injuries and a lackluster offensive performance in the last three games, Florio highlighted that the team still holds a genuine opportunity not only to secure a playoff spot but also to clinch the NFC North Division.

With 5 Straight Wins, Vikings Have Shot To Catch Lions In NFC North

Florio emphasized, “The Vikings have two matchups against the [Detroit] Lions, giving them control over their destiny. While I’m not optimistic about their chances against the Bengals in Cincinnati, if they manage to win, they have home games against the Lions and [Green Bay] Packers, followed by an away game in Detroit. Despite the seemingly unlikely scenario, they could still emerge victorious in the division, especially considering their recent offensive struggles.”

The current standings show Detroit at 9-4, the Vikings at 7-6, and the Packers at 6-7. The Chicago Bears, at 5-8, are in last place but have won three of their last four games. Notably, Minnesota holds a 1-0 record against Green Bay this season and has already split the season series with Chicago.

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