Skip to main content

News | Minnesota Vikings –

Presented by

NFL Power Rankings: Vikings Move Up & Down During Bye Week

So far, the 2023 NFL season has been the year of the (backup) quarterback.

Through 13 weeks, 14 teams have deployed multiple starting quarterbacks. Those 14 teams have combined to make 35 changes (not starting the same player two weeks in a row) at starting quarterback, with the Cleveland Browns leading the pack with seven (among four different starters).

Vikings Head Coach Kevin O'Connell on Wednesday is expected to announce his choice to start — between Joshua Dobbs, Nick Mullens and Jaren Hall — when Minnesota (6-6) visits Las Vegas (5-7).

The Raiders also have dealt with a quarterback shuffle. Rookie Aidan O'Connell (no relation to the Vikings coach) has started the past four games for the Raiders and five overall. Jimmy Garoppolo started six, and Brian Hoyer has started one.

Despite not playing last week, the Vikings moved up in a couple of lists but fell back in others in this week's Power Rankings. Here's a look at where the Vikings rank heading into Week 14:

No. 17 (down 1 spot): Eric Edholm,

This week's post-bye game against the Raiders figures to have some real drama beyond whether Justin Jefferson plays or not. There's a chance that Head Coach Kevin O'Connell could make a change at quarterback — either before Sunday's contest or during it — given Joshua Dobbs' colossal struggles against the Bears in Week 12. At the very least, you can expect understudy Nick Mullens to be on ready-alert going into this game. Rookie Jaren Hall is back in the mix, too. This game — and the stretch that follows — not only will dictate whether the Vikings make the playoffs, but it likely will help determine the team's offseason plan at QB. Another concern: Can the offensive line, which has been a team strength, hold up down the stretch? It did not against Chicago.

No. 12 (up 3 spots): Pete Prisco, CBS Sports

[The Vikings] come off the bye and might make a quarterback change from Josh Dobbs to Nick Mullens or even Jaren Hall. They have to cut down on the turnovers, no matter who starts.

No. 20 (down 2 spots): Josh Kendall, The Athletic

Since Kirk Cousins became a regular starter in 2015, he is sixth in the NFL (among quarterbacks with more than 1,000 attempts) in passer rating (99.9) and 10th in EPA per pass attempt (.21). After beating two NFC South teams in the first weeks without Cousins, the Vikings have lost their last two, and it's clear how much they miss Captain Kirk. There's every reason to believe Cousins will return at basically full strength from his torn Achilles, but he's scheduled to be a free agent in 2024. Minnesota should fix that.

No. 16 (no change): NFL Staff, Bleacher Report

Not that long ago, Joshua Dobbs was the toast of the Twin Cities — the quarterback who was going to save Minnesota's season after Kirk Cousins got hurt.


But at least whoever starts under center in Week 14 should have wide receiver Justin Jefferson back after a stint on Injured Reserve with a hamstring injury.

No. 18 (down 2 spots): Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News

The defense and running game need to be a bigger part of the formula to close out another playoff berth.

No. 17 (up 1 spot): Nate Davis, USA Today Sports

Bad news regarding their belated playoff push. Minnesota (6-6) is 5-2 since wide receiver Justin Jefferson's hamstring injury … unfortunately, he's set to rejoin the lineup.

No. 19 (up 1 spot): Frank Schwab, Yahoo! Sports

Justin Jefferson should be coming back this week, and adding the reigning NFL Offensive Player of the Year probably isn't getting enough attention in the playoff race. The Vikings quarterback situation is a lot shakier after Joshua Dobbs' disaster against the Bears in Week 12, but anyone would be helped out by throwing to Jefferson.