Mike Zimmer steers clear of “this ‘Kirk Cousins on Monday night’ thing”

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Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins now has a record of 0-9 on Monday Night Football. And no matter how hard folks like Booger McFarland try to pooh-pooh Cousins’ responsibility for that level of futility, the reality is that, under the bright lights of prime time, Cousins more often than not plays like poo-poo.

Some say wins are an appropriate quarterback stat. Others loudly and vehemently disagree.

The truth is in the middle. A quarterback contributes significantly to potential victory by making good pre-snap decisions, good post-snap decisions, accurate throws, and minimal blunders. The accountability he instills during the days and weeks and months between games helps ensure that teammates will do their jobs well, too. And the leadership he brings to each and every game — especially in key moments — helps the whole become greater than the sum of the parts.

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer understandably wasn’t in the mood to entertain the broad, intangible connection between quarterback and wins/losses after Monday night’s loss to the Packers.

“I’m not going to get into this ‘Kirk Cousins on Monday night’ thing and all this stuff,” Zimmer told reporters after the 23-10 loss to the Packers, which relegated the Vikings to the No. 6 seed in the NFC playoff field.

The question that prompted the response focused on whether Zimmer was surprised with Cousins’ performance, given what was on the line. It wasn’t about Monday night; it was about Cousins’ play (which was poor) in a game with very high stakes.

There were bigger problems than Cousins. The absence of Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison kept the offense from committing to the run that way it usually does, and the lack of punch in the running game kept Cousins from dialing up significant opportunities via play-action and bootlegs.

“Offensively we didn’t play as well as we can play, I’ll say that,” Zimmer said. “And defensively we could have played the run better. So there’s a lot of things that we need to clean up.”

The defense didn’t play better because the defense spent most of the game on the field, with the Packers having a full 15-minute advantage in time of possession. And that happened because the offense, which had no rhythm or flow (remember that, folks, when putting offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski on the short list of no-brainer head-coaching candidates for 2020), could do nothing — converting three gift-wrapped turnovers into 10 points and then scoring none through the more traditional process of acquiring possession of the ball.

There’s plenty to clean up, and fewer than two weeks to do it before the Vikings face seemingly inevitable (based on last night) elimination at Green Bay or New Orleans.

84 responses to “Mike Zimmer steers clear of “this ‘Kirk Cousins on Monday night’ thing”

  1. Looked to me like Kirk was playing not to lose rather than taking some risks playing to win. He gave up on plays early although the rush was intense.

  2. Mike Zimmer often has some very unintentionally comedic press conferences.

  3. Did anyone ask him when he wasted a TO to punt from near midfield instead of taking a delay of game? That was so unbelievably stupid. He’s probably give some cliche, “football is a game of inches” nonsensical response.

  4. Cute how Vikings fan still thinks the Packers are going to be the 3 seed.

    If the Packers beat Detroit they are at worst the #2 seed. If Seattle beats San Fran then the Packers are the #1 seed in the NFC with a win at Detroit.

    THE NORTH IS NOT ENOUGH

    We have bigger fish to fry.👌

    LaFleur is giving the team off for Christmas and then will crank it and start to get ready Detroit on Thursday. One game at a time.

    Wish everyone a Merry Christmas!🎅🎄🎁

    #OneTeamOneNation

    #PackersNation!

  5. Zimmer also steered clear of sportsmanship with that hand shake after the game. Reminded me of how Belichick shakes hands with other coaches after he loses. Very childish for men that age.

  6. Not really. Aaron Rodgers is the Kirk cousins of the post season. Loses almost(not every) everytime hes there. If the Vikings get lucky they will get to face the packers again

  7. In Kirk’s defense, I’ve seen him play just as poorly on Sundays at noon. So it’s not just a Monday Night jinx.

    The play-calling and O-Line were awful but great QB’s can overcome that

  8. Did Zimmer comment on why he called a timeout on 4th down at midfield with 16 seconds on the play clock when the Vikings are trying to draw an offside penalty, only to end up punting?

    Did he comment on why he punted with 3+ minutes left in the game when the only chance the Vikings had to win was to go for it?

    Did Zimmer comment on why he acted like a whiny baby in the postgame handshake with LaFleur?

    Perhaps the Vikings would be better with a coach who understands strategy and has at least a touch of class.

  9. Cousins, like Andy Dalton, wilts under the brightest lights and cannot deliver in big games. Simply can’t take the pressure.

  10. Kirk Cousins was not the problem for the Vikings. The oline got dominated by a sub par d line. Pretty easy to see that. Dalvin Cook probably would’ve helped but not sure what made the difference. Vikings have some work to do in the off-season. But then again so do the Packers

  11. Because Zimmer is the Kirk Cousins of coaching. The bigger the game, the bigger egg he lays. 2016 ended with a week 15 blowout loss to the Colts, 34-6. 2017 ended in a 38-7 blowout loss to the Eagles. 2018 ended in a week 17 24-10 loss to the Bears. The guy cannot prepare for or perform in big games.

  12. I was unsure that Adam Thielen was even playing last night, until he got away with kicking the ball after a poorly thrown Cousins pass.

    That should have been 15 yards, but the Vikings refs just let it go.

    Zero catches.

  13. I’m a lifelong Vikings fan, (their life as well as mine), but that burned TO, instead of just taking a delay of game penalty, was one of the dumbest things I have ever seen, football or not. And his post game press conference, where he defers most questions with “I have to look at the tape”? If you have to look at tape to determine what happened, how in the world can you make in game adjustments? Just admit you were out-coached.

  14. Agree, Florio. And it seems that when something isn’t JUST right for Cousins (no Cook for the running game in this case), he simply can’t overcome it. But what surprised me most was the total flaccid performance by Mike Boone. I was actually thinking he’d be the X-factor in this game based on his potential. He’s third string for a reason apparently.

  15. It was really the extremely offensive line and Boone cutting into tackles instead of cutting back to wide open run lanes.

  16. “Hank Williams Jr needs to write a Cousins version…”

    That’s easy –

    “Are you ready for some losing? A Monday night meltdown!”

  17. I hope we go up and get a good QB in the draft this year and let him sit the year behind cousins, let Kubiak coach him up and hopefully get us a franchise quarterback of the future. Never should’ve let Teddy go.

  18. Zim may have opened the Wilf’s eyes last night to explore what a different coach could do with this defense. His motivational skills are near zero. He doesn’t understand anything except Tinkering his defense. Many of his challenges and time outs and decisions to go for it and not I’ve always thought what are you doing? The 38-7 pasting, pretty much every big game the team shows up flat. The Vikings if they don’t win the Super Bowl should move on to Kubiak.

  19. A Realistic Packer Fan & I agree most of the time. Zimmer is not ready for the Big Chair. I stopped watching after the 2nd GB td run so i didn’t see the handshake by the coaches. The Vikings need a better coach & then we can see what players need to go. Xavier Rhodes is terrible & I could not defend starting him most of the season but Zimmer keeos playing him. They have won 10 games despite poor play by certain guys all season long. The roster is solid but the coaching is fair at best and poor against good teams. Hopefully, the Wilfs make a change if the team does not win 2 playoff games & the way they looked last night they probably won’t. Skol Vikings!

  20. That O line made the packers think their D line is way more legit than it is. Kirk faded under the lights, but his line folded like some cheap camping chairs all night.

    I put that on coaching more than QB.

  21. It’s that time of year again.
    This is definitely going to be a scapegoat week.
    Zimmer has to throw the scent of blood off himself.
    It’s bound to be a dismal holiday for someone.
    Stuffed animals are already shaking in fear throughout the greater Minneapolis area.

  22. A few observations from a Viking fan:

    First, congrats to the Packers on winning the NFC North. They executed a defensive gameplan that worked like a charm, and the Vikings failed to adjust.

    In recent weeks I had started to believe in the Viking OL. After last night, I can’t. That line couldn’t pass block to save it’s life last night. Whether it was the failure to adjust to what the Packers were doing, or just getting over-powered by the pass rush, Minnesota will never beat a top team without better pass blocking, and it is not coming from the present group they have. The OL has been this team’s weak spot for the entire decade. Whether it’s better coaching or better personnel, changes are needed if they hope to compete with the top teams in the conference. At some point, Spielman and Zimmer need to figure this out. Right now, they look like they’ll be one and one in the playoffs.

  23. I’m curious to see how Zim preps for and coaches Da Bears game. Doesn’t seem he has the luxury of sitting players when his barneys needs a big win to restore some confidence.

  24. Realistically:
    139 total yards is garbage
    16/31 is garbage
    7 first downs is complete garbage
    Time of possession 38 minutes to 22 minutes is garbage

    They had a lead, but since they werent moving the ball, it wasnt going to last, cant keep giving Rodgers and the Packers the ball and hope to win.

    Zimmer should go. Cousins gets one more year and then he goes. The OL stinks again.

  25. That game was hot garbage for the Vikings offense. 3 turnovers by the Packers before halftime and only a 10-9 lead? The Defense faltered in the second half because they were on the field the entire game. Mike Zimmer is a Defensive coordinator. Not a head coach. This team has looked unprepared so many times in big games throughout the Zimmer era. Unacceptable. They have ignored their offensive line problems for 2 straight off seasons. Kirk Cousins melts under pressure and is not reliable in big games.

    10-7 on the way.

  26. Zimmer can Seek life elsewhere… Overrated loser of a head coach. Gives Jason Garrett a run for is money. Take that over paid clown cousins with you.

  27. lewisthegiant says:
    December 24, 2019 at 7:56 am
    Not really. Aaron Rodgers is the Kirk cousins of the post season. Loses almost(not every) everytime hes there. If the Vikings get lucky they will get to face the packers again

    zzzzzzzzzz

    I guess you forgot the super bowl ring and mvp he has. Plus the 3 nfc championship games he’s played in.

  28. lewisthegiant says:
    December 24, 2019 at 7:56 am
    Not really. Aaron Rodgers is the Kirk cousins of the post season. Loses almost(not every) everytime hes there. If the Vikings get lucky they will get to face the packers again

    Rodgers has a Superbowl ring and Superbowl MVP. Something no starting QB for the Vikings in the game as ever had. Except for Brett Farve, and he got his ring with the PACKERS.
    Also the Packers, overall have a 34-22 record in the playoffs, the Vikings have a 20-29 record. Statistically the Vikings have a long way to go just to catch up.

  29. I will give Zimmer a pass on the cold and short handshake with MLF. Zimmer had just gotton outcoached for the 2nd time this season by a rookie head coach. Zimmer knows LaFleur is going to own him again next season before Zimmer finally gets fired. Zimmer does not want to get chummy with MLF because he sees him as a big reason his coaching career is going to end sooner rather than later.

    #OneTeamOneNation

    #PackersNation!

  30. Kirk Cousins just doesn’t have the mental fortitude to excel. He has a propensity to play safe when the game is al the line. So he doesn’t make the tight throw but instead avoids the pic by missing the target. Not by much, but enough to avoid the pic. Not sure he can help it because he’s always been that way in the NFL. It’s who he is.

  31. It’s unfair to put this embarrassing loss all on Kirk Cousins. Like the Boogerman said repeatedly, its a team game and the Packers out played the Vikings in every phase. Our weak offensive line showed their true colors against a good defensive line and even if Cook would have played it wouldn’t have made a difference when you can’t block anybody. Adams had a career night with 13 catches against Xavier Rhodes. The play calling and coaching decisions are laughable. I’m afraid another Vikings season is going to end poorly again. Maybe next year.

  32. I don’t think the Vikings will get to the NFC championship game. However, if we go to Green Bay or Seattle again, I think there’s a very real chance we advance. Don’t forget, the first time the Vikings and Packers ever faced each other in the playoffs, the Packers swept the Vikings that year too. And then the Vikings beat them. I mean mooned them. I mean beat them.

  33. I was at the game last night and the packers just dominated our offense. Stefanski designed a high school game plan. And he wants to be a head coach!!! Anyway congrats packer fans. Your the champs….

  34. I heard a lot about the Ref’s…. I didn’t see to many of their pass breakups, but they must have been on lock down based on the passing stats.

  35. hbudgess says:
    December 24, 2019 at 11:47 am
    I was at the game last night and the packers just dominated our offense. Stefanski designed a high school game plan. And he wants to be a head coach!!! Anyway congrats packer fans. Your the champs….

    —————————————————————————————-

    Very classy post. I tip my hat to you and wish you a great Holiday season.
    As much as I razz Vikings fans (because they dish it out pretty good) I actually feel kind of sorry for them. Having to root for a team which almost always underachieves when it matters most has to be frustrating.
    The Packers went into that hostile environment last night and played one of their best games of the year. Their defense completely shut down the Vikings offense, and their offense did enough to win the game.
    I will take the win and the NFC North division crown and the bye (at the very least) after we beat the Lions this Sunday.
    Considering all the naysayers who criticized Aaron Rodgers and said his relationship with Matt LeFleur wouldn’t work, I feel very good about what they did and where they are right now. LeFleur has to be in competition for coach of the year and the Packers GM Brian Gutekunst has to be in the running for Executive Of The Year, too. They both did a magnificent job and the Packers are in good hands.

  36. Hey Ziggy, move Zimmer to Defensive Coordinator and make Kubiak the Head Coach. That time out on 4th and 1 is unforgivable.

  37. The “hold” on the Bisi Johnson TD is further proof NFL marketing Runs the show. There is film evidence of worse holding callls not beinf called az well as aton of false starts. The gMe is rigged like pro wrestling.

  38. I’ve said it a million times here, Zimmer is in way over his head as a head coach. He doesn’t appear to be a real quick thinker and seems to be a bit mentally unbalanced. How many offensive coordinators has he gotten rid of only to replace them with more garbage that he’ll blame for losses? Remember, he’s the same guy who needed to be talked off the ledge by some of his defensive players a couple of seasons ago. The Vikings are a more talented team top to bottom than the Packers (and most of the league), but they just can’t overcome the poor coaching of Mike Zimmer.

  39. something else counts more. His record in the playoffs. So far it is 0-1. It is likely to be 0-2 after this season.

  40. I don’t understand being down 2 scores and punting instead of going for it on 4 th down . There was nothing to lose at that point and burning a time out too.

  41. “The Vikings are a more talented team top to bottom than the Packers(And most of the league)”

    =========

    The Packers have proven on the field that they are the better overall roster and it isn’t even close.

    Vikings fan is still totally delusional or just lonely on Christmas and trying to get attention.

    Either way it is mildly disturbing and quite creepy.

  42. SKOL! I still believe… a little more rest for Cook & Mattison and we’ll be good to come early January, regardless what city we playing in. This team has the talent and the execution will come when it matters… in the grand scheme, it didn’t matter enough yesterday. We made the dance and Zimmer will get these guys ready. It’s his only hope – otherwise a HUGE shakeup coming the Vikings way in 2020.

  43. for the fans that say capt. kirk wasn’t the problem last night, what game did you watch. cousins has always melted in the big games. that is one of the reasons the redskins let him go without a fight. even when he had time he missed receivers
    that 4th down when they tried to draw the pack offsides was by far the shortest and weakest attempt ever. kirk walked off the field with 16 seconds on the clock.
    oh well, lets have fun in the playoffs.

  44. The Vikings rode Dalvin Cook too hard and he got hurt because they do not have enough offensive talent. They rushed both Cook and Thielen to play because the backups aren’t good enough.

    None of it matters because Cousins cannot beat good teams and Zimmer is over his head (still).

  45. Just come out with it already. No matter how Cousins plays in a game he just doesn’t have the right complexion to get any sort of credit, accolade or explanations from a media obsessed with only promoting one certain QB type at all Costs.

  46. If Minnesota doesn’t draft a Left Tackle and a QB, EVERYBODY involved with the Draft and operations need to be fired!. I am sick of this Clown under center, And we are going to lose out best and 3rd best Corners because of him. Plus we know Zimmer and Rick the Di*k will draft ANOTHER corner in the 1st round, a DL 2nd Linebacker 3rd, on and on.. Screw the fact they will NEVER win a north title with that O line getting pushed around like they have this year by the Bears and Packers.
    What a pitiful excuse of an Offensive game plan, that line looked like a Pop Warner line getting tossed around like 5 yr olds!! And a QB that runs hot and cold as a faulty hot water heater….

  47. If the Vikings TEs weren’t involved in the pass game, why weren’t they used to chip the GB DEs? Where was the chip on the GB tackles by the Minnesota RBs?

    The GB defense was in the Viking backfield as much as Cousins was. Reif was a turnstile, the C & Gs were getting blown up. All night long, it was two runs up the middle, pass on 3rd & long, punt. Ever think of a screen wide right?

    And the defense. Where is the logic in playing 8-10 yards off a WR when it’s 3rd and six? Why not just holler out, “Hey Aaron, that’s a gimme.”?

  48. Ross Berling says:
    December 24, 2019 at 8:41 am
    Kurt Cousins is the new Andy Dalton
    ____________

    No Dalton made the playoffs 5 times in a row in his career,he is also making 11 million less than Cousins this year, the crazy part it is, is if he had Diggs, Thielen, Cook, the defense and that protect the rookie QB mentaltiy that the Vikings used this year.

    I think the Vikings would be in a similar situation. Maybe an even nicer one cuz they would have that extra money to spend.

  49. djvh2 says:
    December 25, 2019 at 1:32 am
    One good way to get over it is to have a good laugh. Go back and read your posts to Packer fans for the past week, for example.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    All 42 of him have talked so crazy, with so little basis in reality, all they can do is double-down on the crazy talk. Take note, all 42 of him stopped even trying to be credible or even make sense some time ago. Now they just spit childish insults.

    If Aaron Rodgers is mentioned all 42 of him go with “He’s washed up.” Mention LaFleur’s success in the very next breath, and according to all 42 of him, “It’s because he inherited HOF QB, Aaron Rodgers.”

    All 42 of him are broken. Every last one of him.

  50. Viking trolls are in shock and in-denial. They saw a Packer defense come up admirably big in a big game, and they didn’t recognize what was happening. They’d only ever seen a Viking defense come up small in big games. This was new for them. It will take some time for their brains to catch up with their eyes. At least they’ve got a lot of purple kool-aid left over. They can use it to wash down all the Christmas Crow they’re consuming today. Yum, yum.

    Bon Appetit’

  51. venomraider says:
    December 24, 2019 at 1:41 pm
    Just come out with it already. No matter how Cousins plays in a game he just doesn’t have the right complexion to get any sort of credit, accolade or explanations from a media obsessed with only promoting one certain QB type at all Costs.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    What kind of QB is that… talented?

  52. Well that was embarrassing losing to that soft fraud of a team. Any given Monday
    ——
    You guys didn’t really lose remember? Just like the first game, the refs fixed it because they want the playoffs in Lambeau for the 100th season. You guys never had a chance. The team knows it, hence their poor play. That’s the only explanation.

  53. screamingyellowzonkers says:
    December 26, 2019 at 5:14 am
    Maybe Kirk can apologize again to get that edge back.
    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    I gotta say, that’s one of the best digs on Cousins I’ve seen in awhile! Funny stuff.

  54. This brain fart game by the Vikings is no different than the brain fart game the Packers had against the 49’ers. I am doubly glad the Packers prevailed twice this year. I still respect the Vikings and I still don’t want to play them again.

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