Josh Dobbs ‘didn’t take a single rep’ after trade before leading Vikings to win

Perhaps the most improbable performance from the entire NFL Week 9 slate?

It came from a quarterback on his third team of the season.

Josh Dobbs, acquired by the Minnesota Vikings ahead of the NFL’s trade deadline following a season-ending injury to starting quarterback Kirk Cousins, was pressed into action when rookie passer Jaren Hall was knocked out of Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons.

After starting last week for the Arizona Cardinals, Dobbs stepped into the huddle for Minnesota and led an improbable comeback, as the Vikings scored 21 points in the second half to beat Atlanta by 31-28. The quarterback finished the day having completed 20 of 30 passes for 158 yards and two touchdowns, and he added a touchdown on the ground.

This touchdown pass late in the game, to Brandon Powell, gave the Vikings the lead with under a minute remaining:

Following the game, it was time for some introductions.


“I hope people understand what Josh Dobbs was able to accomplish that was very special and I’m really proud of him,” said Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell after the game.

The coach highlighted Dobbs in an emotional locker room speech to the team:

Just how improbable was what Dobbs did Sunday? With the Vikings starting a rookie quarterback, Hall was given all the first-team snaps in practice. Minnesota needed to get the rookie up to speed.

So when Hall went down, it was time for a crash course for Dobbs.

Starting with the snap counts:

Video even emerged of Dobbs going over things with his offensive line before entering the game:

Dobbs was then tasked with throwing to players whose names he did not yet know:

Since he was still in the process of learning the playbook, O’Connell was translating plays for him through the helmet radio as the play clock wound down before each snap:

Yet, they were able to pull it off, for one of the most improbable wins of the season. Thanks to the effort from Dobbs, the Vikings improved to 5-4 on the season, and won their fourth-straight game.

Left for dead weeks ago, the Vikings are now in the thick of the playoff race. If the postseason began this week, Minnesota would be in the dance as the seventh seed, facing a trip to Detroit to take on the Lions on Wild Card Weekend.

Just imagine how they’ll be when they get Justin Jefferson back.

And his new quarterback learns his name.