Kevin O’Connell Hints at QB Change After Josh Dobbs’ Dreadful Performance
While Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell did some damage control, he acknowledged a potential QB change coming after the bye week. Dobbs struggled as the Vikings (6-6) fell 12-10 to the Chicago Bears (4-8) at home.
“We’re going to take a look. Really evaluate inventory of plays now we have of Josh,” O’Connell told reporters afterward. “We got healthy. We got Jaren [Hall] back available to us, and then Nick Mullens is available as well.”
Hall, a rookie, started the Atlanta game in Week 9, but he exited the game due to a concussion. He has 101 yards on 8-10 passing in two game appearances this year.
Mullens has much more experience than either Dobbs or Hall. The former Southern Miss standout has 17 career starts in 24 games played over five seasons.
Kevin O’Connell on Josh Dobbs: “He’s Still Getting Comfortable”
When Hall was sidelined, Dobbs made his debut and captured the Vikings fan base’s attention along with the country’s attention for his play and his off-field story. Dobbs’ strong start with the Vikings looked light years in the past.
“As much as he’s done some really good things for us, he’s still getting comfortable in our pass game,” O’Connell said. “We’re working through that.”
O’Connell also “I think three of the interceptions were off of tipped balls” regarding Dobbs’ performance. However, the decline of Dobbs with a 54.3 quarterback rating showed on Monday.
Dobbs completed a season-high 68.8% of his passes, but everything else showed backwards momentum from his Vikings debut in Week 9. His total passing yards, average yards per completion, and rushing yards have all declined in the past three weeks. In addition, Dobbs has yet to throw more than one touchdown in a game.
“As much as the turnovers absolutely crippled you offensively, I still thought Josh battled — no flinch. He just kept playing and competing, trying to help us win. I really credit him for that. It’s tough to do on a night where you’ve turned the football over.”
Dobbs Couldn’t Elevate the Offense
O’Connell also noted that the “rhythm and timing of our offense [was] just not feeling as crisp as we want to” throughout. He also said “we had no right being in” the game “with how poor we played on offense with the turnovers”.
Minnesota mustered 242 yards of total offense, and nine of 11 drives resulted in zero points. Dobbs couldn’t elevate the offense for most of the night with just 169 yards on 22-32 passing, and he couldn’t run the ball with just 11 yards on two attempts.
“They just wouldn’t let Josh’s athleticism get started,” O’Connell said, crediting the Bears defense. “They kept him contained in there pretty good.”
His two interceptions in the first half led to Vikings kicker Greg Joseph needing to kick the team to a 3-3 halftime mark. Dobbs then squandered his chances again with two more interceptions in the second half.
His last second attempt at leading a rugby-like series of tosses around the field didn’t count as a turnover. The only moment Dobbs looked like the player who electrified the fan base in his first three games happened when he hit tight end T.J. Hockenson for a 17-yard touchdown.
“Until we figure out a way to play complimentary with our defense, we get a little bit more production without the ball being turned over on offense, we’re not going to win,” O’Connell said.
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