Josh Dobbs leads Vikings to thrilling victory over Falcons after Jaren Hall’s injury

Josh Dobbs

The Minnesota Vikings pulled off a stunning comeback win over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, thanks to the heroics of their third-string quarterback Josh Dobbs, who replaced the injured rookie Jaren Hall in the first quarter.

Josh Dobbs

Dobbs shines in relief of Hall

The Vikings were trailing 9-0 in the first quarter when Hall, who had been starting in place of the traded Kirk Cousins, suffered a concussion after a hit by Falcons linebacker Deion Jones. Hall was taken to the locker room and did not return to the game.

Enter Dobbs, who had just joined the Vikings on Wednesday after being traded from the Arizona Cardinals for a fifth-round pick. Dobbs had not taken a single snap with the Vikings offense in practice, and barely knew the names of his teammates.

But that did not stop him from putting on a show, as he completed 20 of 30 passes for 248 yards and two touchdowns, and ran for 66 yards and another score. He led the Vikings to four scoring drives in the second half, including two in the final five minutes of the game.

Vikings rally from 11-point deficit in fourth quarter

The Falcons, who had lost their previous three games by a combined seven points, looked poised to snap their skid when they took a 28-17 lead with 10:12 left in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Matt Ryan threw his third touchdown pass of the game, a 12-yard strike to rookie tight end Kyle Pitts, who finished with seven catches for 103 yards.

But Dobbs was not done yet. He answered with a 75-yard drive that ended with a 2-yard touchdown pass to running back Alexander Mattison, who also ran for 89 yards on 18 carries. The Vikings then forced a three-and-out by the Falcons, and got the ball back at their own 25-yard line with 3:21 remaining.

Dobbs wasted no time, as he hit wide receiver Trishton Jackson for a 31-yard gain on the first play. He then scrambled for 18 yards to the Falcons’ 26-yard line, and two plays later, he found tight end Irv Smith Jr. for a 24-yard touchdown that gave the Vikings their first lead of the game, 31-28, with 1:48 left.

Falcons’ comeback attempt falls short

The Falcons still had a chance to tie or win the game, as they had two timeouts and the two-minute warning. Ryan, who had 291 passing yards and three touchdowns, moved the ball to the Vikings’ 40-yard line with 1:02 left. But on fourth-and-10, he threw an incomplete pass intended for wide receiver Calvin Ridley, who had eight catches for 86 yards and a touchdown.

The Vikings then ran out the clock and celebrated their improbable win, which improved their record to 5-4 and kept them in the hunt for a playoff spot in the NFC. The Falcons, meanwhile, fell to 3-6 and suffered another heartbreaking loss.

Dobbs credits his teammates and coaches for his performance

After the game, Dobbs was humble and grateful for his opportunity to play and lead the Vikings to victory. He credited his teammates and coaches for helping him adjust and execute the game plan.

“I’m honored to be in Minnesota and introduce myself to everyone. Tremendous game, team effort. I know the circumstance I was put in was a little abnormal for a Sunday in the NFL,” Dobbs said. “I know it was a little muddy to start but once we got a rhythm, we were able to go down the field and play really good football.”

Dobbs also praised Hall, who had won his first two starts with the Vikings, and said he hoped he would recover soon.

“Jaren is a great player and a great person. I hope he’s doing well and I hope he’s back soon. He’s been playing great football for us and I just wanted to do my part and help the team win,” Dobbs said.

Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell was also impressed by Dobbs’ performance and resilience, and said he was proud of him.

“I hope people understand what Josh Dobbs was able to accomplish that was very special and I’m really proud of him,” O’Connell said. “He came in here with very little preparation and showed a lot of poise and confidence. He made some big plays with his arm and his legs, and he gave us a spark that we needed.”

O’Connell did not say who would start at quarterback for the Vikings next week, when they face the Green Bay Packers in a crucial divisional matchup. He said he would wait and see how Hall’s condition progresses and how Dobbs fits into the offense.

But for now, the Vikings and their fans can enjoy the moment and celebrate the remarkable story of Josh Dobbs, who went from being a backup in Arizona to a hero in Minnesota in less than a week.

By Kane Wilson

Kane Wilson, founder of this news website, is a seasoned news editor renowned for his analytical skills and meticulous approach to storytelling. His journey in journalism began as a local reporter, and he quickly climbed the ranks due to his talent for unearthing compelling stories. Kane completed his Master’s degree in Media Studies from Northwestern University and spent several years in broadcast journalism prior to co-founding this platform. His dedication to delivering unbiased news and ability to present complex issues in an easily digestible format make him an influential voice in the industry.

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