After a Week Four loss at Chicago, Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins had become a full-blown pincushion for criticism. He heard it, he got angry about it, and it carried him through much of the season (and it got him a call from the President).
Then came the Week 16 matchup with the Packers, and Kirk morphed once again into Kurt, losing for the ninth time in nine Monday night appearances and prompting many to presume that the player who is never ready for prime time won’t be ready for the playoffs, where he has a career record of 0-1.
On Tuesday, Simms and I conducted a draft of the quarterbacks we expect to play the best in January. Six rounds, twelve quarterbacks. Twelve teams. And Cousins finished . . . .
Not twelfth. He didn’t make the list at all, with one of us taking Taysom Hill instead.
A far more potentially motivational remark was made later on Tuesday, when Rich Eisen asked Saints defensive end Cam Jordan whether the wild-card game against Minnesota hinges on which type of Dalvin Cook the Saints are going to get.
“What do you think on that front?” Eisen asked.
“The issue of knowing what kind of Kirk Cousins you’re gonna get,” Jordan said.
So what do you mean by that, Cam?
“At times he looks to be a very proficient quarterback,” Jordan said. And while he wisely stopped right there (unlike December 2018, when he unnecessarily stirred up Ben Roethlisberger), the diss from Jordan and the return of the sense that Kirk simply can’t get it done could give Kirk some fuel.
A healthy Dalvin Cook helps, too. Regardless, if Cousins reacts now like he did after Week Four, he may get a chance to reunite with 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan in a way other than playing for him again.