The Vikings Hopes for the No. 2 Seed May Lie in the Hands of Their Former QB3

Jan 1, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback David Blough (17) passes the ball against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

If the Minnesota Vikings want to land in the No. 2 seed for the NFC playoffs, they are going to need some help along the way. Because of that, very ironically, the fate of Minnesota and the Vikings hopes for the No. 2 seed may very well lie in the hands of their former QB3, David Blough.

After spending the early portion of the 2022 season with the Minnesota Vikings on their practice squad, the Arizona Cardinals signed Blough in the wake of Kyler Murray’s torn ACL during Week 14. After Colt McCoy suffered a concussion, and Trace McSorley had a difficult showing in Week 16, Blough got his chance to start in Week 17.

The Vikings Hopes for the No. 2 Seed May Lie in the Hands of Their Former QB3
Jan 1, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback David Blough (17) drops back to pass against the Atlanta Falcons in the first half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinals lost their game to the Atlanta Falcons, 20-19, but Blough had himself a decent day, completing 24-of-40 passes for 222 yards and a touchdown. The Cardinals, of course, have not made a final decision on a QB for this weekend, but Blough certainly seems to have earned another go at a start this weekend against the San Francisco 49ers.

That’s where the Vikings chances at the No. 2 seed come in. In order reclaim that spot in the second seed, Minnesota needs to find a way to beat the Chicago Bears in Week 18. This scenario comes as a result of their blowout loss to the Green Bay Packers in Week 17. Minutes afterwards, Robbie Gould kicked a game-winning field goal for the 49ers against the Las Vegas Raiders in overtime.

The Minnesota loss and San Francisco win allowed the 49ers (12-4) to leapfrog the Vikings (12-4) in the standings because of San Francisco’s superior record against NFC opponents. Now, the Vikings not only need to be the Bears, but they also need the Cardinals to beat the 49ers.

Sep 30, 2022; Thundridge, United Kingdom; Minnesota Vikings quarterbacks David Blough (2), Kirk Cousins (8) and Nick Mullens (12) during practice at Hanbury Manor. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 2 seed is extremely important because in the event that both the 49ers and Vikings advance to the Divisional round, the owner of that seed will be the host of the game. The Vikings have an 8-1 record at U.S. Bank Stadium this year, but they are just 4-3 on the road. Meanwhile, the 49ers are 7-1 at home and 5-3 on the road, including losses to the Bears and Broncos.

Additionally, with the Vikings injuries on the offensive line, another matchup with the No. 6 seed New York Giants looks extremely daunting right now. Minnesota lost Brian O’Neill to a calf injury in Green Bay that head coach Kevin O’Connell described as “significant”, and he is out for Week 18. Meanwhile, Austin Schlottmann, the backup center, was lost for the year with a fibula fracture. A matchup with rising star pass rushers Azeez Ojulari and Kayvon Thibodeaux without two of the main offensive linemen just makes things even tougher on Kirk Cousins and the offense.

That problem could be fixed if the Vikings old friend David Blough can help them out this weekend. Granted, it’s a very unlikely scenario, but the 49ers nearly lost to the Las Vegas Raiders this past weekend. As Kevin Garnett would say, “anything is possible”, right?

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. He also earned minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys marathon training, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his opinions, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.