Skip to main content

Wide Left: All Vikings fans want is to give Kyle Sloter a chance

Blair Anderson is a superfan speaking on behalf of all fans.
Kyle Sloter

Throughout the chapters of Viking history, the backup quarterback has been a position that has been focused on obsessively and for good reason. In 1987, Wade Wilson took over for Tommy Kramer and led the Vikings to the NFC Championship Game. In 1998, Randall Cunningham did the same taking over for an injured Brad Johnson.

In the 2000s, numerous columns were dedicated to Todd Bouman taking over for Daunte Culpepper and earlier this decade, Matt Cassel was designated the savior to relieve us all from the Christian Ponder era.

Long story short, we sure love our backup quarterbacks here, which is why this year’s battle has been a hot topic of debate.

At the center of it all are Kyle Sloter and Sean Mannion. Both players have come from different backgrounds and have a different style of play that either excites or angers the coaches. In three preseason games so far, both quarterbacks have comparable stats with Mannion throwing for 247 yards, two touchdowns and an interception while Sloter has gone for 280 yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions and an absurd 85.2% completion rate.

The latest round in this competition took place last Saturday afternoon against the Arizona Cardinals. After starting quarterback Kirk Cousins mistook the noon kickoff for a 7:15 primetime start with the first team, Mike Zimmer turned to his trusty backup Sean Mannion to run the offense.

Zimmer has gone on the record that Mannion is the guy who currently brings what the Vikings want in a backup quarterback. He has experience of one start in the NFL, in which he threw for an electric 169 yards without a touchdown, but didn’t throw an interception, which is key. He also has a sick combover and according to my sources, he can get offensive consultant Gary Kubiak’s coffee order right from memory.

Perhaps more importantly, Mannion is the quarterback that simply lets the coach play the controls. In all honesty, it wouldn’t be shocking to see Kevin Stefanski holding a Playstation controller during a Mannion drive as he simply does what the coaches tell him to do. In other words, he’s a dream for a coach like Zimmer, who wants to win games by a score of 3-0.

In Saturday’s performance, Mannion came onto the field in front of a half-asleep U.S. Bank Stadium crowd and put the ball on the turf. By the time he left the game for Vedvik to miss his second field goal of the game, Mannion gave that crowd an opportunity for some REM rest by going 6-for-9 and 57 yards without a single scoring drive. Again…electric.

But then came Sloter, who’s biggest concern is that he doesn’t take practice seriously. For a disciplinarian like Zimmer, such a move could be fatal as he wants everything to be perfect up until the Vikings line up for a PAT. While Mannion put the crowd into a deep sleep, Sloter woke everyone up by driving the Vikings right down the field for a score.

As Sloter would lead the Vikings to another score on the final Minnesota drive in the game, you could see his control of the offense and his ability to actually put points on the board. His third-string teammates were fully behind him and by the end of the day, Sloter went 6-for-7 with 102 yards and a touchdown. (But about those practice habits…)

Sloter’s performance has been on par with the last three preseasons. The Vikings fall behind early in these games and Sloter torches the third string defense to lead Minnesota to a victory that doesn’t count. But the more important question is what would happen if Zimmer gave Sloter a chance with the second team?

In reality, that’s all the fans want leading into the Vikings’ final preseason game in Buffalo Thursday night. We get that Mannion has one more NFL start than Sloter has in his career and orders a fine double mocha Frappuccino, but don’t you want to make sure all of your bases are covered before making a decision?

We would sure hope so. Then again, perhaps Zimmer really does want to win those games without Cousins by a score of 2-0.

Next Up

ambulance

Body found in burned out car near Bird Island identified as local farmer

The deceased is a 59-year-old man from rural Bird Island.

Screen Shot 2022-12-06 at 2.47.44 PM

Minneapolis' Khâluna named in Eater's 2022 'Best New Restaurants'

The restaurant, opened in 2021, is known for its Laotian cuisine.

ambulance, crash

3 pedestrians struck by drivers Monday in Minnesota; 2 dead

The victims involved a 39-year-old man and two 74-year-old men.

snow, plow

Shifting storm tracks: Significant storms Friday, next week?

Sven Sundgaard has the details on an interesting forecast.

Life Link

Worker suffers serious injury in rooftop fall in rural Minnesota

The man only fell a few feet, but suffered a serious leg injury.

Walz, Flanagan

Minnesota reports massive projected budget surplus of $17.6 billion

The huge surplus comes as the DFL prepares to assume a trifecta of the Legislature and the Governor's House.

tap-gf9a40b157_1280

Boil water advisory issued for part of Minneapolis after water main break

The main break caused significant flooding in an area of North Minneapolis Monday evening.

PicketSignsNurseStrike

Deals struck between nursing union and hospitals, potentially averting strike

A strike was scheduled to start on Dec. 11 if a deal was not reached.

Minnesota Solar Installation - All Energy Solar

Make the Most of your Solar Panels with Energy Storage

Solar energy is great during the day, but what happens when the sun goes down?

Related

Harrison Smith

Wide Left: Vikings linebackers, secondary are still serious units

Blair Anderson, a superfan with a platform, opines on what matters most

Screen Shot 2019-08-10 at 7.50.44 AM

Wide Left: Vikes' offense looks legit; takeaways from preseason opener

Blair Anderson is a Vikings superfan who convinced BMTN to give him a blog.

Stefon Diggs

Wide Left: Casting doubts about the Vikings' chances this season

This is totally out of character for Blair Anderson.

Danielle Hunter, Everson Griffen

Wide Left: QBs should worry if Vikes' d-line reaches potential

Blair Anderson previews just how good the Vikings defensive line could be.

Kevin Stefanski

Wide Left: Revamped Vikings offense needs to be re-revamped

Any other Vikings fans feel the way Blair Anderson does?

Kyle Sloter

If Cousins gets injured, are Vikings better off with Mannion or Sloter?

Sloter feels like he's ready to "take off" if given the backup job.

vikes picks

Wide Left: Draft class sets Vikings on path to glory ... until our inevitable failure

Superfan Blair Anderson gives his hilarious verdict on all 12 draft picks.

Laquon Treadwell

Wide Left: 'Unfortunate reality' that Treadwell will be the 3rd WR

Another hilarious blog from Blair Anderson, the fan who bleeds purple.