The Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings are doing whatever they can to get a win on Sunday Night. With both teams sitting at 7-8, their Week 17 matchup is essentially an elimination game. The winner will still have a real chance to make the playoffs this year.
Today it was announced that the Vikings made a pretty significant change for their matchup against the Packers.
The Minnesota Vikings Make A Change At Quarterback Prior To Matchup Against The Green Bay Packers
According to Kevin Seifert of ESPN:
Rookie Jaren Hall will start Sunday night’s game against the Green Bay Packers, coach Kevin O’Connell confirmed Thursday, marking the team’s fourth change in starters since Kirk Cousins tore his right Achilles tendon in Week 8.
Hall will replace Nick Mullens, who went 0-2 while throwing for 714 yards and four touchdowns, along with six interceptions, in a wild two-game stint as the Vikings’ starter. The losses pushed the Vikings to the edge of the NFC playoff picture, and they now have a 19% chance to clinch a postseason berth, according to ESPN’s Football Power Index.
Hall, a fifth-round pick in the 2023 draft, was Cousins’ backup at the time of his injury. He made one start, in Week 9 at the Atlanta Falcons, but departed after suffering a concussion in the first quarter.
Joshua Dobbs, acquired from the Arizona Cardinals after Cousins’ injury, replaced Hall and started the Vikings’ next four games before giving way to Mullens, who had entered the season as the Vikings’ No. 2 quarterback but suffered a back injury in October. Speaking earlier this week, before the decision was made, Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson expressed confidence in Hall’s development since his first start.
What Does This Mean For The Packers Defense?
During his brief appearance against the Falcons, Hall completed five of six passes for 78 yards and scrambled twice for 11 yards. Nonetheless, Mullens and Dobbs’ turnovers in this season significantly contributed to O’Connell’s decision.
A Packers’ secondary who will be without star cornerback Jaire Alexander will need to get pressure on the rookie quarterback. Throughout this season, O’Connell has emphasized how important Hall’s development is to him, and the Vikings were hesitant at times to put him back in the starting lineup while he was still learning the offense. To give Hall more practice time as the No. 2 quarterback rather than running the scout team as the No. 3 quarterback, they moved him ahead of Dobbs on the depth chart the past two weeks.
Getting the rookie quarterback under duress early and often will be key to getting their offense off the field. When fans heard the news, they reacted accordingly online:
Smart move doing it against a Joe Barry defense
— Brandon Gebhard (@BrandonGebhard6) December 28, 2023
The Vikings have mailed it in
— Lost Tribe Sports (@LostTribeSports) December 28, 2023
But Why! 🤷♂️
— El Pooopi (@ElPooopi) December 28, 2023
This seems like a terrible idea.
— BluejayBuckets (@BluejayBuckets) December 28, 2023
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