Nick Mullens will turn the ball over at least twice
Saturday’s game will mark the Vikings’ fourth different starting quarterback of the season when Nick Mullens gets the start against the Bengals.
Kirk Cousins suffered a torn Achilles in the win over the Green Bay Packers on October 29, and the Vikings have turned to Jaren Hall and Josh Dobbs, but Mullens might be the most similar quarterback to Cousins as a pocket passer with an important caveat.
Ball security has been a weakness for Mullens, as he’s posted a 4.4 turnover-worthy play rate throughout his career. He threw just as many touchdowns (12) as interceptions (12) during his last run of extended playing time with the San Francisco 49ers in 2020 and posted a 5.8 percent turnover-worthy play rate, according to PFF.
Even more concerning is Mullens’s performance when pressured. Mullens posted a seven percent turnover-worthy play rate when pressured in 2020, with seven of his interceptions coming when the opposing defense had a hand in his face.
With Minnesota right tackle Brian O’Neill out for Saturday’s game with a sprained ankle, the odds of giving the ball to the Bengals' defense are high. It will be on Kevin O’Connell and his staff to limit those instances and keep the Vikings offense afloat.