Nick Mullens Proves Kevin O’Connell Right, Even in Vikings Loss

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Every week it seems like we get a different version of the Minnesota Vikings and week 15 was no different. In Cincinnati on Saturday, with the entire football world watching, Nick Mullens led an offense that looked like a completely different unit than what we saw the few weeks prior.

When it was over, the Vikings offense put up 424 total yards and Mullens went 26 of 33 (79%) for 303 yards and 2 touchdowns (to go along with 2 interceptions but we’ll get to those momentarily). This, just 6 days after their prior starting QB mustered just 63 yards in 3.5 quarters vs the Las Vegas Raiders in week 14.

Related: Minnesota Vikings Playoff Odds

Nick Mullens was the right choice, even in a loss

Some, like Kurt Warner, might have been surprised by how easily the Vikings offense was moving vs the Bengals. Others (like me) were not. Sure, Nick threw a couple of his patented dumb interceptions at the worst possible moments. Both were in thrown in the red zone. One was possibly the most ill-advised throw in NFL history.

But you can’t throw dumb red zone interceptions if you never lead your team into the red zone. Was Nick Mullens perfect on Saturday? Hell no. He isn’t going to be. We found ways to convince ourselves that Kirk Cousins was bad at quarterbacking.

Week 15 Starting Backup QB > Week 14 Starting Backup QB

You think Nick Mullens is going to impress us on a throw by throw basis? There’s a reason why Mullens is a career backup. Watching him is supposed to make you miss Kirk Cousins because Kirk is 47x the QB Nick is.

The Vikings lost today and Mullens deserves his fair share of blame. His two interceptions cost the Vikings points that probably would have put his team up three scores at one point or another during this game, pushing Cincinnati’s hopes of overtime just about out of reach.

Related: Justin Jefferson Loves His Starting Quarterback Kirk Cousins

But unlike Josh Dobbs the last few weeks, Mullens was able to move the offense up and down the field nearly every drive. Ty Chandler gave the run game a much needed pop and Mullens was beyond good enough to keep the defense honest.

Mullens deserves plenty of blame for Minnesota Vikings loss

Yes, his INT’s allowed the Bengals to hang around and eventually steal a game they shouldn’t have had a chance in. But the Vikings still should have won, had it not been for the defense’ sudden inability to stop the Bengals offense paired with Kevin O’Connell’s false worship of the tush push gods.

If there’s one thing we can take out of the 2023 season for sure, it’s that none of the Vikings QBs are Jalen Hurts and it’s time for KOC to give up on the tush push goal line offense.

Related: How Much Will Kirk Cousins Cost; Could Vikings Get Discount?

Had the Minnesota Vikings won on Saturday, they would have been near a lock to make the NFC playoff field. Of course, we should have known it wouldn’t be that easy.

With a handful of NFC teams sitting at 6-6 entering week 15, it’s most likely the Vikings will sit one game up on the teams trying to chase them down over the stretch run of the 2023 season.

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