New Orleans Saints v Minnesota Vikings
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The Minnesota Vikings possessed an insane amount of good fortune in 2022: they won all 11 of their one-possession games, which is an NFL single-season record. After an 0-3 start to 2023, the magic pixie dust has returned to the Twin Cities as the Vikings have won six of their last seven games to run their record to 6-4, good for the seventh and final playoff seed 10 weeks into the 17-game season. They have won their last five in a row without 2022 Offensive Player of the Year wide receiver Justin Jefferson, and in the last four of these victories, they haven't been favored.

Should they defeat the 4-5 Broncos in Denver on Sunday night, Minnesota would become the first team since the 2011 Broncos --- aka Tim Tebow's Broncos -- to win five in a row without being favored. The quarterback for the last two wins and seemingly the rest of the season is journeyman Joshua Dobbs. The Vikings are the fourth team he has received snaps with in his NFL career, and he was forced into action in Week 9 at the Atlanta Falcons five days after joining the team via a trade with the Arizona Cardinals despite not taking a snap in practice. Rookie Jaren Hall soaked up all of the practice snaps in place of the injured Kirk Cousins (torn Achilles), so Dobbs had to teach center Garrett Bradbury his cadence during a timeout in the middle of the game while not really knowing the playbook. 

"It's like if you were taking AP Spanish all year and you showed up on Wednesday and someone told you you have an AP French exam on Sunday, and you have to go execute," Dobbs said postgame, via FanNation, when asked about learning a brand new offense and playing without practice reps after scoring three total touchdowns and racking up over 200 total yards in a 31-28 victory. "Someone's gonna talk to you in Spanish and translate it to French."  

Last week, Dobbs had a slightly better grasp of the playbook, and he threw for a season-high 268 passing yards and a touchdown while rushing for 44 yards and a touchdown in a 27-19 win over the New Orleans Saints. His Minnesota totals of two wins, 426 passing yards, three touchdowns as well as 110 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns make him the first quarterback since the 1970 AFL/NFL merger with two wins, two passing touchdowns, two rushing touchdowns and an average of 200 or more passing yards per game (213.0). Following his eight-game run with the Cardinals this season, Dobbs is the first player in NFL history with a passing and rushing touchdown in multiple games for multiple teams in a single season.

Joshua Dobbs since joining Vikings

Week 9 at ATL Week 10 vs. NO


W, 31-28

W, 27-19

Pass Yards



Pass TD



Rush Yards



Rush TD



* 1st player in NFL history with pass & rush TD in multiple games for multiple teams in a season

Since Dobbs has been on six NFL teams that have given up on him -- Steelers, Jaguars, Browns, Lions, Titans, Cardinals -- let's take a look at each one that let him go and how much they would likely regret moving on from the Week 9 NFC Offensive Player of the Week. Regret is ranked on scale of 0-10 with zero being "Joshua Dobbs who?" and 10 being a five-alarm fire and trying to find a time machine to avoid letting Dobbs get away. 

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Seasons with team: 2017, 2018, 2020, 2021
  • Stats with team: 45 passing yards, 1 INT, 10 of 17 passing in six games played, no starts
  • Team regret level: 7 out of 10

The Pittsburgh Steelers had the NFL's first pass at Dobbs, selecting him 135th overall (fourth round) in the 2017 NFL Draft out of Tennessee. Dobbs sat behind an aging Ben Roethlisberger, Landry Jones and current Steelers backup quarterback Mason Rudolph in his time in the Steel City. Roethlisberger's eventual retirement, favoring Rudolph and the selection of current Pittsburgh starting quarterback Kenny Pickett 20th overall in the 2022 NFL Draft are played into Dobbs being allowed to walk out the door for good in the 2022 offseason when he became a free agent. 

Pickett hasn't drawn rave reviews for his play one-and-a-half years in. He has 15 total touchdowns and 11 turnovers in 21 career starts both the fewest touchdowns per start (0.71) and the fewest turnovers per start (0.52) by any quarterback with his first two seasons in the 21st century among 52 quarterbacks with at least 20 starts. In short, he's a placeholder quarterback who doesn't do much to raise the ceiling of a team. In the Steelers' last 19 games dating to last season, they are averaging 19.1 points per game. This season, their 17.3 points per game are 26th out of 32 NFL teams. 

The Vikings are averaging 29 points per game in Dobbs' two starts with the team. A ferocious defense led by three-time First-Team All-Pro T.J. Watt and an offense piloted by Dobbs could have the Steelers even higher in the standings than their 6-3 record. That's an added cherry on top of the Steelers having their first-round pick back in the 2022 draft to bolster a position of need like somewhere along the offensive line. Pittsburgh had multiple opportunities to provide Dobbs with more reps and evaluation time, only adding to the regret level here. 

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Seasons with team: 2019
  • Stats with team: No snaps
  • Team regret level: 2 out of 10

The Jaguars acquired Dobbs from the Steelers in 2019 in exchange for a 2020 fifth-round pick after Nick Foles went down with broken collarbone in the first week of the season. He never saw the field for Jacksonville because of Gardner Minshew's flash in the pan with the team. The regret here is the lowest of any team on the list because they eventually but painfully found their franchise quarterback in Trevor Lawrence, but they had to go through plenty of losing and chaos to acquire him. The only frustration here is now having a slightly worse version of Dobbs, statically not stylistically speaking, in backup quarterback C.J. Beathard. Not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things. 

Cleveland Browns

  • Seasons with team: 2022
  • Stats with team: No snaps
  • Team regret level: 9 out of 10  

The Browns are the team with the biggest reasons to desire a do-over when it comes to Dobbs. They swiped him from the Steelers, an AFC North division rival, on a one-year deal in 2022, but they never gave him the chance to play. Cleveland opted to start Jacoby Brissett, who had a career-high 88.9 passer rating that year with the Browns, and former three-time Pro Bowl quarterback Deshaun Watson, who they traded six picks for -- including three first-rounders -- and signed to a fully guaranteed, five-year, $230 million contract. Now, Watson is out for the year with a shoulder injury and has three years to go on the deal. That's on top of him struggling mightily in 2022 when he returned from his suspension. 

At 6-3, Cleveland has the second-best record through Week 10 since the 1970 AFL/NFL merger by a team with the NFL's worst team passer rating (66.9). The only team with a better record through the first 10 weeks of a season with the league's worst passer rating was the 2015 Denver Broncos, who were 7-2. That season, their domineering defense led by linebacker Von Miller dragged Peyton Manning's corpse to a Super Bowl 50 title. Cleveland's team completion percentage of 56.5% and touchdown-to-interception ratio of 8-12 are also both the worst in the league. The Browns have the NFL's best total defense (242.7 total yards per game) while defensive end Myles Garrett co-leads the league in sacks (11.0) and forced fumbles (11) in 2023.

The reason Dobbs was traded to the Cardinals ahead of the start of the 2023 regular season for a 2024 fifth-round pick is because of faith in the team's rookie fifth-round draft pick, Dorian Thompson-Robinson. DTR had a strong preseason, totaling two passing touchdowns and no interceptions for 98.3 passer rating while also rushing for 69 yards on 14 carries (4.9 yards per carry).  However, he struggled in his only career start in Week 4 against the Baltimore Ravens, throwing for 121 yards and three interceptions on 19 of 36 passing in a 28-3 defeat. Thompson-Robinson is now Cleveland's starter, but the Browns have to be kicking themselves that they let one preseason influence a decision to kick a steady, veteran quarterback to the curb. Defense typically has a wider year-to-year variance than offense, so it would have greatly benefitted the Browns to have a reliable presence under center RIGHT NOW to capitalize on the zone their defense is in this season. 

Given their current situation, the Browns have to be crying in a corner thinking about what could have been had they just held on to Dobbs for this season. 

Detroit Lions

  • Seasons with team: 2022
  • Stats with team: No snaps
  • Team regret level: 2 out of 10

The Lions acquired Dobbs after the Browns released him to make room on their active roster for Deshaun Watson once his 11-game suspension ended last season. They only had him for 16 days because the Tennessee Titans signed him off of their practice squad when Ryan Tannehill suffered an injury in late December. The area where they could have regrets is if they would prefer a more mobile backup behind Jared Goff given knee injuries have sapped much of backup Teddy Bridgewater's mobility as a passer and a runner. Otherwise, there isn't much to overthink. Goff is rolling for a top 10 Lions offense, 26.8 points per game, sixth-best in NFL, and the 7-2 Lions are a win away from their best 10-game start to a season since 1962, a season in which NFL all-time coaching wins leader Don Shula was their defensive coordinator. It seems like they're finally breaking through in 2023. 

Tennessee Titans

  • Seasons with team: 2022
  • Stats with team: 411 passing yards, 2 TD, 2 INT, 40 of 68 passing in two starts, both losses
  • Team regret level: 4 out of 10

The Titans were the first NFL team to provide Dobbs the chance to start as a pro. Unfortunately for Dobbs, those two starts came against the eventual 12-5 Dallas Cowboys and the eventual AFC South champion Jacksonville Jaguars, a team that gave the eventual Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs a run for their money in the AFC divisional round. It makes sense that the Titans let him walk in free agency, and they don't have much to regret given they might have found their long-term answer in 2022 second-round pick Will Levis

Their only consideration stems from not having a more reliable veteran quarterback in their room given Tannehill's injuries the last two years and Tennessee's clear disdain for Malik Willis' game. A healthy, veteran may have been a helpful backup to Levis, but that's not too big of a concern as the Titans let Levis show them what he has the rest of the year.  

Arizona Cardinals

  • Seasons with team: 2023
  • Stats with team: 62.8% comp pct, 1,569 passing yards, 5.9 yards per pass attempt, 8 TD, 5 INT, 81.2 passer rating, 258 rushing yards, 3 TD rushing on 47 carries in eight starts
  • Team regret level: 5 out of 10  

The Cardinals had the right idea to acquire Dobbs while franchise quarterback Kyler Murray recovered from his torn ACL. He flashed in the team's one win with him under center, a 28-16 upset of the Dallas Cowboys. He completed 17 of his 21 passes for 189 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 55 yards on six carries. His quick decision-making helped mitigate the impact two-time First-Team All-Pro edge rusher Micah Parsons and the Cowboys' top pass rush could have on the game. That game stands out as remarkable given Arizona has one of the least-talented rosters in the league this season. 

It's understandable why the rebuilding Cardinals felt it was worth cashing in Dobbs for a sixth-round pick in a trade with the Vikings but having only 2023 fifth-round pick rookie Clayton Tune behind Murray makes for a tenuous quarterback room. If anything happens again to the diminutive, dynamic quarterback that Murray is, the Cardinals offense is likely cooked.