The Vikings spent $84 million for Kirk Cousins to lead them in games like this.
And once again, he didn’t come through in prime time.
Cousins’ struggles were on center stage again last night, as he fell to 0-7 all-time on Monday Night Football (he’s 5-13 overall in prime time) in a flaccid 21-7 loss to the Seahawks.
“I don’t know what the scale [of frustration] is for that level, but certainly when you’re not putting as many points on the board as you know you’re capable of or you’ve shown in past games, it’s disappointing,” Cousins said, via Courtney Cronin of ESPN.com. “I think the added piece of the disappointment is when your defense is playing so well. Our defense, I feel the last couple weeks or the last several weeks, has played playoff football, high-level football, and put us in a position where we should and can be in the playoff conversation as a result of the way they are playing defense.
“You know that if our offense would bring it that way that we brought it in the earlier weeks of the season, we would be pretty dangerous.”
Of course, “our offense” is being led by him, and it’s easy to point to him as the reason for last night’s flop. Cousins was 20-for-33 passing for 208 yards, a touchdown and a fumble that resulted in a Seahawks score. But the team was 2-of-10 on third downs and 0-of-2 on fourth downs in particular, as Cousins was 1-of-7 for 2 yards, with a sack on those third and fourth downs.
The Vikings found something approaching the offensive balance they were looking for, but the quarterback didn’t deliver, though he was under significant pressure.
“What I felt coming off the field is there’s always a balance, a really hard balance to find between sitting in the pocket, going through your read, staying patient and then getting out of the pocket, giving up on the play and playing off schedule,” Cousins said. “And I think that’s something I’m going to go back and watch as to when do I want to quit on a play and get out and scramble and try to make something off schedule. I think I have the athleticism to do that. I think that’s in my game. I don’t think it’s something I do a lot of or enough, maybe, and when you have a pass rush like the Seahawks tonight, getting in there and influencing the plays and coverage, that was pretty sound. Maybe there were some times where I could’ve done that.”
The Vikings also underlined a troubling trend that doesn’t bode well for the playoffs. They’re now 0-5-1 against teams that entered their games .500 or better, but 6-1 against teams that were under .500.
That’s not getting their money’s worth.