Against the Cincinnati Bengals this past weekend, the Minnesota Vikings had a win in their grasp. The Vikings led by 14 points going into the fourth quarter, but when it was all said and done, they left Cincinnati with a loss and a 7-7 record.
Minnesota is still very much in the playoff race this season, but any hopes they had of potentially leapfrogging the Detroit Lions for the NFC North crown are virtually nonexistent now.
It was a rough loss for the Vikings in a pivotal matchup for both sides that was going to help or hurt their playoff chances, depending on the outcome
After such a tough loss for Minnesota, there is plenty of finger-pointing and blame to go around. But which members of the Vikings are getting too much blame on their shoulders for the loss to the Bengals this past weekend?
1. Nick Mullens - QB
Before this section is started, let's preface this by saying that Nick Mullens was far from perfect against Cincinnati. Everyone knows that Mullens made mistakes, so there is no denying that fact.
Mullens had costly interceptions during two of the Vikings' offensive drives on Saturday that would have likely resulted in the team scoring six points. So there is certainly room for improvement.
However, Mullens and Minnesota's offense still looked far better against the Bengals than they did in recent games with Josh Dobbs as the team's starting signal-caller. Mullens completed nearly 80 percent of his passes, finished with over 300 passing yards, and tossed two touchdowns as well.
Getting his first start in the NFL since 2021 and doing so on the road against a formidable Cincinnati defense, it wasn't a terrible outing for Mullens at all. If he can clean up his mistakes just a bit, Vikings fans should be happy moving forward with him as the team's starting quarterback.
Now that Mullens has more playing time under his belt, there should be hope that he's got his legs under him and he's ready to roll. He wasn't perfect on Saturday, but he also did a fine job in his first start this year to reassure Minnesota fans that he'll be just fine moving forward.