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The Vikings Should Take a Chance and Start Jaren Hall

With playoff hopes dwindling, the Vikings should give Jaren Hall an opportunity to save the season.

The Minnesota Vikings' playoff hopes may still be alive mathematically speaking, but they really hurt their chances in a 30-24 home loss against the Detroit Lions. Minnesota now only has a 26% chance of making the postseason according to the New York Times. Even if the Vikings were to beat the Green Bay Packers at U.S. Bank Stadium, and then pull off a road upset against the Lions, they would still be relying on outside help to clinch a playoff berth.

These next two games for Minnesota feel rather meaningless in a way. What’s the point of making a change at quarterback when the Vikings playoff chances are on life support? Why not just ride it out with Nick Mullens at this point? The Vikings may still be in the hunt, but all they can do is win and hope for the best. It’s a completely helpless situation to be in, which begs the question:

“What do you do when you can’t do nothing, but there’s nothing you can do?”

“You do what you can.”

The Vikings may be in a situation where they have very little control over their own destiny as far as the playoffs are concerned, but that shouldn’t stop them from doing everything they can to win these last two games, even if that means starting Jaren Hall when there is no guarantee that he’ll be better than Nick Mullens.

What we do know is that Nick Mullens is an average backup quarterback. He does just enough as a passer to keep his job on a weekly basis, but not enough to elevate the talent around him. Mullens had over 400 yards passing against the Detroit Lions, but for every 100 yards Mullens threw for he paired it with a turnover. At best, Nick has been a net neutral for the Vikings. At worst, he’s the reason Minnesota lost their last two games. Now you'd be asking a low-upside backup QB to elevate his team without T.J. Hockenson and Jordan Addison, when he has shown that he isn't capable of elevating the offense even with Hockenson and Addison healthy.

The Vikings could easily lose both games with Jaren Hall under center, and he could end up looking god-awful. However, we won’t know until it happens. Starting Jaren Hall over Nick Mullens would send a much-needed message to the fanbase: The status quo isn’t good enough. Just because Nick Mullens has been serviceable, doesn’t mean the organization should play it safe when they have nothing to lose. Can Kevin O’Connell still have pride in his performance as a head coach this season if he didn’t explore every possible option at quarterback?

Minnesota is set to play two division rivals, and the biggest thing that’s at stake aside from staying in the playoff hunt is their pride. The Packers are playing to eliminate the Vikings and to maintain their semblance of pride. The same can be said for the Lions who would want nothing more than to beat their division rival twice.

The Vikings playoff hopes may be dying, but that shouldn’t prevent Kevin O’Connell from doing what he can to keep the Vikings playoff hopes alive. Even if it means turning to a rookie quarterback to save the season.

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