Mannion Over Mond is Correct Call

Photo: Harrison Barden – Minnesota Vikings

For the first time since 2017, the Minnesota Vikings have a QB controversy. Well, maybe not… but there’s consternation raging across the fanbase both on and off the internet. Just a couple of hours after Kirk Cousins hit the COVID-19 reserve list on Friday morning, Mike Zimmer officially named Sean Mannion as the new starter for Sunday night’s VERY important matchup vs the Green Bay Packers.

Let’s just say that Zim’s announcement was met with plenty of skepticism.

There’s a great debate to be had on whether Mike Zimmer and/or Rick Spielman deserve to keep their jobs next season and beyond. I wouldn’t bat one eyelash if the Wilf’s fired both of them tomorrow. And I’d happily take all of the clicks this website would get in the aftermath.

But the Minnesota Vikings starting Sean Mannion over Kellen Mond this weekend isn’t surprising. They haven’t shown even the slightest inkling that they’re impressed by the former Texas A&M quarterback, let alone comfortable throwing him onto a Lambeau Field in a MASSIVE nationally televised night game that’s currently forecasted to be in the below-zero temperatures.

On Sunday night, Zimmer is going to run his available running backs into the frozen Lambeau turf. Dalvin Cook might have 25 carries in the first half and I’d be surprised to see Mannion throw more than 15 times through the entirety of the game. With that being the case, the head coach is going to play the QB who is most able to manage that running game. Sean Mannion is the obvious choice.

Starting Mond Does What, Exactly?

Is it possible that Kellen Mond would have used this weekend to launch himself into the future role he hopes to have as Minnesota Vikings starting quarterback? Maybe… but probably not. No matter which backup starts on Sunday night, their likelihood for success is small. Given the opponent, the venue and the weather, it’s going to be difficult for either guy to have what fans and media would consider a “good game”.

So what good are you doing for Kellen Mond’s career by throwing him into that situation? Especially if you, as a head coach and/or general manager, don’t believe he’s ready. Let’s just pretend, for a moment, that Zimmer changes his mind before Sunday’s game and starts Mond.

What happens if he struggles? Many fans and media members would write him off and then run him down for an entire offseason. Meanwhile, other teams get one or two games worth of tape on him for next year and beyond. How does that help Kellen Mond’s career?

What’s best for Kellen Mond, most likely, is another offseason. Another six months getting to know the Vikings system and more time to become a quality NFL quarterback.

This Ain’t It.

There are a lot of things for Minnesota Vikings fans to be upset about, as we turn the page to 2022. But I’m just not sure that Mannion over Mond is one of the top issues for fans to concern themselves with. We will soon find out what Kellen Mond is and it’s better for all involved if that happens in better circumstances.

Will Sean Mannion pull off a miracle in Green Bay on Sunday night? Probably not. But I have a hard time believing that Kellen Mond would have improved their odds, even in the slightest. So let’s just pray on Sunday morning (if you’re into that) and hope the football gods are finally behind us.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan