Josh Dobbs Isn’t a Just Viral Story, He’s a Valuable Lesson for Sports Fans


In the world of sports, everyone loves a Cinderella story. Whether we’re talking about a March Madness upset or watching an unheralded rookie get a run in the spotlight, there’s a certain appeal to underdogs. On the NFL stage, Joshua Dobbs is playing that role to a tee.

After bouncing around the league since 2017, the quarterback began the 2023 season as the Arizona Cardinals’ starter in Kyler Murray’s stead. He then joined the Minnesota Vikings at the trade deadline and has since become one of the NFL’s top storylines.

Dobbs, however, is more than just a viral, feel-good story. He’s providing some valuable perspective for sports fans everywhere.

Dobbs Has Been Flying High With the Vikings

With all due respect to Dobbs, his NFL résumé isn’t much to look at. After entering the league as a fourth-round pick in the 2017 draft, he appeared in only eight total games through the 2022 season. But 2023 has been a different story.

Dobbs began the year as the Cardinals’ starting quarterback, replacing the injured Murray. While he didn’t light the league on fire (1,569 yards and eight touchdowns in eight games), the former Tennessee Volunteer did enough to impress the Vikings. Following Kirk Cousins’ season-ending injury, the NFC North club landed Dobbs at the trade deadline.

Since then, the journeyman has been following a Hollywood script. In his first start, he led Minny to a win despite spending just a few days with the organization. He didn’t know the playbook or even the names of his offensive teammates.

During Dobbs’ second time out, the trend continued. Despite some growing pains—this time, TV cameras captured him asking for directions to the right locker room—the quarterback delivered. When the dust cleared, he had thrown for 268 yards and a touchdown in another Vikings win.

The wider football world has taken notice. The league’s official X (formerly Twitter) account put him in a place of honor, formerly occupied by Taylor Swift. The QB’s exploits were also displayed prominently on and ESPN’s NFL page. He also featured in Fox Sports’ viral recap of the weekend.

Dobbs Isn’t Just Trending; He’s Performing Well

When someone becomes a “viral” story, it can be easy to write off the success as little more than a flash in the pan. Focusing on the catchier aspects of Dobbs’ story, however, overshadows the fundamental reality that’s driving the narrative.

The quarterback is, quite simply, playing good football.

To be clear, Dobbs isn’t threatening Tom Brady‘s position as the NFL Goat. He’s not even the best quarterback in the division (this year, that title would go to Jared Goff) or the Vikings roster (when healthy, Cousins sits in the metaphorical top spot). In all likelihood, Minnesota fans weren’t planning a parade when he came to town in exchange for a conditional seventh-round pick.

But, when push comes to shove, he’s done more than good enough in difficult circumstances. Let’s rewind and reconsider what he’s done this year.

As mentioned above, Dobbs started the season on an Arizona team that many expected to sit in the league’s cellar. In eight games in the desert, the QB completed 62.8 percent of his passes for 1,569 yards, eight touchdowns and five interceptions.

Then, in Minnesota, he posted a 158-yard, two-touchdown performance in his first game with the club. Dobbs also added 66 yards on the ground and ran for a touchdown. Remember, that came with essentially no preparation—Dobbs, on the whole, was running on (football) instinct.

Minny’s next game saw the signal-caller throw for 268 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 44 yards and another score. The Vikings secured a 27-19 win against the Saints.

And, to make things even more impressive, Minnesota is without star receiver Justin Jefferson. Despite that setback, Dobbs is keeping the team in the playoff picture. Even if he’s not posting all-world stats, that’s worthy of praise.

For fans, it can be easy to fixate on the biggest stars and assume that everyone else is awful. And while that emotionally makes sense—we get attached to big-name players and don’t want to see them replaced by a backup—that assumption isn’t 100 percent accurate.

Dobbs is the perfect example of that. Is he an elite NFL talent? Respectfully, no. Would any fan choose to place their team’s fate in his hands? Probably not. Does his professional résumé seem like anything special? Not really.

But, by virtue of making it to the NFL, Dobbs is still one of the best quarterbacks on the planet. And while he might not be identical to Cousins, he’s capable of managing an offense for the rest of a season. And he’s proving that to be true, despite bouncing around the league as an overlooked backup.

So the next time a starter goes down and you’re about to bemoan the quality of the replacement option, keep Dobbs in perspective. We don’t have to be Pollyanna about things and pretend that every player is equally skilled, but there are quality options out there.

Maybe you’ll be surprised by what you see.

Uncommon Knowledge

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

The post Josh Dobbs Isn’t a Just Viral Story, He’s a Valuable Lesson for Sports Fans appeared first on Newsweek.

Leave A Reply