How many wins would the Vikings have with Kellen Mond starting at QB?

(Photo by Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) Kirk Cousins and Kellen Mond
(Photo by Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) Kirk Cousins and Kellen Mond /

If the Minnesota Vikings were forced to start rookie quarterback Kellen Mond for an extended period of time in the 2021 season, could he lead them to the playoffs?

Kirk Cousins’ future with the Minnesota Vikings was definitely put on notice when the team made the decision to use a third-round pick in this year’s NFL Draft on former Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond.

Mond isn’t viewed as a threat to challenge Cousins for the starting job this year. But it’s certainly possible that Mond could wind up starting under center for the Vikings as early as the 2022 season.

Since the sport of football is incredibly unpredictable, Minnesota might even be forced to start their rookie signal-caller in some games during the upcoming 2021 campaign if Cousins goes down with an injury. Would the Vikings’ chances for success this year be doomed if Mond has to be utilized as a starter?

How many games would the Minnesota Vikings win in 2021 with Kellen Mond as their starting quarterback?

Currently, Minnesota has a projected 2021 win total of 8.5 games according to WynnBET. Oddsmakers also have the Vikings favored to hit the over and surpass this win total next season.

These projections for Minnesota have been made based on the assumption that Cousins will be the team’s starting quarterback for the majority of the 2021 campaign. But what if he’s not?

Hypothetically, let’s say Cousins suffers a season-ending injury in one of the Vikings’ three preseason games this summer. Minnesota would then likely be forced to take the field in Week 1 against the Cincinnati Bengals with Mond as their starting quarterback.

If this scenario took place, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Vikings’ projected 2021 win total decrease by a game or two. There would still be too much unknown about Mond to make a confident estimation about what Minnesota might be capable of with him starting under center.

At the same time, the Vikings have a lot of weapons in their offense that can make Mond’s job a lot easier. If the rookie is capable of playing the game-manager role, it doesn’t seem crazy to believe that Minnesota could still surpass their current 2021 projected win total of 8.5 games.

With Mond under center, the Vikings’ ceiling feels like it could get as high as 10 or 11 wins next season. Since he’s a rookie though, Minnesota’s floor with him as their starter could also be somewhere around four or five wins.

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For the sake of making a prediction though, let’s just say that the Vikings would finish the 2021 season with a 9-8 record if Mond was their starter for all of their games. The combination of a strong rushing attack and a revitalized defense would allow Minnesota to still ease Mond into the NFL without putting too much on his plate.