Does Josh Dobbs Deserve a Chance at Redemption in Week 14?
The Minnesota Vikings have a tough decision to make in the next week and a half.
After falling to the Chicago Bears on Monday night, they now sit at 6-6 for the season, and the quarterback position will be combed over with a fine-toothed comb based on Kevin O’Connell’s postgame comments.
It was a dreadful night for Dobbs, who threw for just 169 yards and a single touchdown while also tossing 4 interceptions. Even with a stellar performance from Minnesota’s defense, they were unable to capture a win because of these turnovers. So, does Dobbs deserve a chance at redemption two Sundays from now, or is it time for the Vikings to look elsewhere?
Making a Case for Josh Dobbs’ Chance at Redemption
The biggest reason for the Vikings to remain with Dobbs moving forward is his athletic ability. He has displayed a terrific knack for extending plays outside of the pocket and picking up yardage with his legs. It can be argued that this is a reason for some of Minnesota’s new-found production in the running game.
If the opponent has to keep Dobbs’ legs in mind, they can’t simply load the box against the running backs in case he decides to keep the ball himself.
Nick Mullens, for instance, is another pocket QB similar to Kirk Cousins and rarely ventures outside of the tackle box. If mobility is a trait that Kevin O’Connell wants for his starting QB, Dobbs could be the best option.
The problem, though, is that the Vikings simply haven’t utilized Dobbs’ legs much over the past few weeks. He has just 32 rushing yards to his name over the past two games after totaling a combined 110 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns against the Falcons and Saints.
If the Vikings want to give Dobbs another chance, they need to re-evaluate how they are using him. Keeping him inside the pocket has led to turnovers (7 in the past two games alone), and O’Connell made it clear back in September that turnovers would lead to players being benched.
However, that leads to the question of which QB would turn the ball over less than Dobbs? Throughout Mullens’ NFL career, he has proven to be a bit of a gunslinger without the overall talent to warrant the risks that he’s taken. Mullens has played in 24 games and has had 17 starts. These games have led to 23 interceptions. He has thrown multiple INTs in seven of his 17 starts.
The other option is rookie Jaren Hall, and while he was very efficient in college and showed signs of promise during his only start, turnovers should be an expected result with any rookie QB.
Overall, it may be smartest for the Vikings not to panic with Dobbs and react too swiftly. It is worth mentioning that Justin Jefferson will return to the field in Week 14 as well, giving Dobbs another reliable, safe option in the passing game. Perhaps the star receiver’s presence can help limit any turnover problems that we’ve seen over the past couple weeks.
If the Vikings start Dobbs in Week 14, it should certainly come with a short leash, though. After back-to-back losses, Minnesota certainly needs to get a win next weekend in order to secure their hopes of the playoffs. Ultimately, this would be your humble author’s choice for the Vikings next weekend. We’ll see if it comes to fruition.
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Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.