How Nick-the-Pick Stole Christmas: A Look into the Vikings QB Situation

Dec 24, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Nick Mullens (12) looks to pass against the Detroit Lions during the first quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

‘Twas the noon before Christmas, when all over US Bank, DBs flying around, showing that Mullens may be looking to tank. 

All jokes aside, despite the four-interception day, Vikings QB Nick Mullens certainly left it all on the field for the purple. Over the past two and a quarter games, the roller coaster was fast, fun, gut-wrenching and most of all, a product of what losing football unfortunately looks like. It turns out, “leaving it all out on the field” sometimes can be a recipe for carelessness and disaster. So, where do we go from here?

A Look into the Vikings QB Situation

Vikings QB
Dec 24, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Nick Mullens (12) looks to pass against the Detroit Lions during the first quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

According to NBC’s Mike Florio, the Vikings are apparently “taking a long look at whether Mullens should be benched for Jaren Hall.” Now, it’s never a good sign for a team with playoff aspirations to be having a quarterback controversy in Week 17 of the season. Despite the long odds, here we are, absolutely needing a win to keep our dreams of a Lombardi alive. 

Before, we engage in the typical fan reaction of jumping ship, let’s take a step back and build a case for Mullens to retain the starting position in the upcoming game against our cheesy rivals to the east. First off, something must be said about continuity and the importance of it.

I’m no quarterback whisperer by any means, but it doesn’t take a genius to realize more snaps between the quarterback and their surrounding team promotes chemistry and communication. 

Furthermore, marching out the same QB week in and week out instills a trust in the players that should trickle down throughout the team. 

Nov 27, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Joshua Dobbs (15) warms up before the game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Chicago Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

While this can all stand true, there is a big “but” that should follow that paragraph. What if your quarterback throws potential game winning passes that fly like a duck on a mid-October northern Minnesota morning? The argument could be flipped on its head. Usually, a team fighting and clawing for a playoff berth shouldn’t need an additional spark to get them going. I think in the case of the Week 17 Vikings, that is just what we need. 

Now, I watched the full all-22 film on Jaren Hall’s start against the Falcons. I realize the sample size is small, but when running KOC’s opening drive script, he looked so comfortable, and the offense was about as efficient as we’ve seen this year.

The Vikings marched 78 yards in just over four minutes of game clock. When most rookie quarterbacks drop back, they look like a nervous squirrel, but Hall looked composed and was noticeably making his reads, and the right reads. In addition to potential better play on the field, we can also assess what we have in the youngster going into his first full offseason with the team. 

Nov 5, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Jaren Hall (16) warms up on the field prior to the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

It won’t be an easy decision, but whoever the Vikings decide to march out there on Sunday night, it should be entertaining. As the Vikings games usually are. As for what I think? Although the gunslinger rollercoaster Mullens puts us through can be fun, it has to be time for him to ride the pine.

You simply cannot expect to win with four interceptions and two fumbles. Furthermore, Jaren Hall hasn’t done anything to lose that spot after his concussion. I’d have to assume Justin Jefferson would agree with me after his post-game comments commending Kirk Cousins

With that being said, I think I speak for the rest of the overreacting, delusional Vikings fans out there when I say, we’d like to see the Mormon Missile – Jaren Hall – on Sunday. A Vikings win would bump our odds up to 49% and would cement Hall as a promising young Packer slayer. 

This idea should give all fans of the purple slight goose bumps. At this point, what do we really have to lose? Either way, it’s all about the journey, and it certainly has been fun.