New coach, same Kirk Cousins

Minnesota Vikings v Philadelphia Eagles
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I’ve resisted writing this for most of the day. I wanted to have a cooling-off period. A chance to R-E-L-A-X. Serenity now.

Insanity later.

My mind has not changed. Although the Week One game between the Packers and Vikings prompted some to think that new Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell had tapped into a stronger, better, faster (OK, not faster) version of Kirk Cousins, Monday night’s game at Philadelphia featured Same Old Kirk. Prime Time Kirk. 8-8 Kirk.

He’s now 2-10 on Monday Night Football. That’s enough of a sample size to come to the conclusion that the size of the prime-time stage is too big for Cousins.

At some point, we all become whatever we’re going to be. In his eleventh season, Cousins won’t suddenly access some well of football talent that has eluded him for a decade. It’s there, or it’s not. For Cousins, it’s not.

He’s 60-60-2 as a starter. The ultimate middle-of-the-road, center-of-the-pack quarterback. Win some, lose some. But he’ll never win enough to be among the best.

New G.M. Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has acknowledged it. While he was perhaps too candid, he said what most fans are thinking. What maybe O’Connell had found a way to coach out of Cousins, based on Week One.

Based on last night’s game, it’s still there. Waiting to rear its ugly head whenever the lights turn on and the game kicks off at some point after the sun goes down.

The good news is that the Vikings currently are scheduled to play only one more night game this year, on Thanksgiving against the Patriots. Maybe that means Cousins and company will win enough to get to the postseason. To prevail in the wild-card round (as long as the game isn’t played at night). And then to lose in resounding fashion in the divisional round to a clearly better team on that team’s turf.

Sort of like what happened last night in Philadelphia.

66 responses to “New coach, same Kirk Cousins

  1. Why would you need a cooling-off period to write what we’ve been saying about Cousins since the Vikings signed Cousins……3 contracts ago.

  2. As a Raiders fan we’re going through the same with Carr new coach same QB can’t always blame the coaches lol….

  3. The Vikings paid for the best median-level game-manager money could buy. Zimmer wasn’t wrong. The guy will never be a game-changer, and that’s what every team requires. Without him being a difference, Jefferson and Cook weren’t either. The schedule was released in mid-May. The Vikings have been preparing for one thing and one thing only. The Vikings put all their season-preparation eggs in the Packer basket and it paid off. Good luck with that.

  4. Zimmer was right. Spielman was wrong, but Kirk just gets paid, over and over and over again

  5. Zimmer was right about Mond…Cousins… I guess a defensive minded coach can see lack of talent and guts.

  6. If I’m not mistaken the Wilf’s asked Kirk Cousins for a loan in the offseason. Along with Dak Prescott…I’ve never seen 2 QBs make so much money and accomplish so little.

  7. The Vikings found out that not every game will be against a depleted team whose starters hadn’t seen live action in nine months.

  8. Ok it was a real bad look, a bad game, and Kirk is no Tom Brady, I know not even close, but to put the complete blame on him for last night is moronic, as a lifelong Viking fan (my first jersey was #10, what I seen last night was a horrendous defensive game plan, the corners were never within 8 yards of the line of scrimmage, I don’t remember seeing one blitz, the Vikings had one offenses possession, by the time they got there second one , they were already down 14 points, throw in the Smith drop, which definitely would of been a td, the bad route by JJ, how many drops throughout the night. And no running attack whatsoever. How do you just blame Cousins. He had a bad game, but he was by far not the only one. Just my opinion.

  9. It’s a little unfair to imply either you’re first or you’re last.

    He’s still better than most QB’s in the NFL right now.

  10. Kirk Cousins will never be able to win a Super Bowl due to the impossibility of winning 3 prime time games in a row. It’s not mathematically possible.

  11. The Vikings are horrible for re-signing him for ANOTHER extension when they really didn’t have to. The GM should have been fired for that alone. All teams need a great QB in order to win games Mr 500% Cousins isn’t that guy.

  12. Florio, I could tell you were starting to get a little too excited about the Vikings. Looks like reality has set back in.

    That defense is Swiss cheese. Made Jalen Hurts look like the second coming of Pat Mahomes.

    Death, taxes, and Kirk choking in primetime games. Same ole Vikings.

  13. Derek Carr of the Midwest. Their fans will claim their stats are great, but when you watch them play, the play doesn’t match the fanfare.

    He’s stolen so much money from that weak francahise. Ariani must be thrilled with the dominance!

  14. I remember a year or two ago it being pointed out his record for games not starting at 1eastern is terrible not just primetime.

  15. Yes, they were behind. But Dalvin Cook – 6 carries, 17 yards. You need to rush to keep the defense honest. Was Cousins supposed to play tackle and guard also?

  16. This is so disappointing.
    I like my Kirk Cousins arguing with his teammates on the sidelines, teaching Thielen routes, mixing it up with habitual abuser, Cook and getting screamed at by a rook.
    I miss his postgame fisticuffs with Zimmer.
    I don’t want to see my Kirk so beaten down, limp, bland and tasteless….like Kix Cousins.

  17. Kirk Cousins: a modern day 50/50 QB who has thus far earned $201,669,486 in his career.

    God bless America.

    In the 50’s and 60’s there were still HOF players in football and baseball who needed to work part time jobs in their respective off-seasons to support their wives and kids.

  18. Summer took the blame and got trashed by some players on the way out but honestly he did the best he could. Kirk can be great and he can elevate his game with the best of them, he just has no consistency at. Not even a little. He’s always in the top 15 for stats but not for wins (which matter btw). Some people get lost in the box score and say “man he puts up numbers”, the problem is it’s all for not. They were honestly better off with Zimmer. Now they’re gonna get twitchy and can Cousins and the new coach.

  19. Let’s be honest here. His refusal to get vaccinated is a problem. Same as Wentz. Anyone who denies the obvious is kidding themselves.

  20. Plucked him off the free agent pile in FF…thought I had steal….after Monday nights performance, he’s going right back IN the free agent pile!!!

  21. arwiv says:
    September 20, 2022 at 8:58 pm

    Kirk Cousins: a modern day 50/50 QB who has thus far earned $201,669,486 in his career.

    God bless America.

    In the 50’s and 60’s there were still HOF players in football and baseball who needed to work part time jobs in their respective off-seasons to support their wives and kids////////
    Ain’t that the truth !

  22. When Kirk Cousins plays like a 50% QB in previous years, it was all Mike Zimmer’s fault. When he does it this year, it’s Cousins fault. I guess we are protecting the genius flavor of the month Kevin O’Connell

  23. He isn’t the problem, but he isn’t the solution either. He is just there. The ultimate participation award QB.

  24. Cousins may be terrible in games not starting at 1pm, but he’s laughing all the way to the bank. That’s just wrong.

  25. Kwesi Adofo-Mensah is just as bad as Cousins for extending his contract and giving him as no-trade clause, as if anyone other than the foolish Vikings would want him.

  26. Im not sure why D Carr is compared to Cousins as the point of the article is winning at night. Carr had played some great games at night. Carr’s problem is playing poorly against teams that Vegas should beat.

  27. The Vikings will never get anywhere with Cousins at QB and they’re paying him too much to just send him packing. The Vikings, as long as they have Cousins, are destined for mediocrity.

  28. Savviest businessman in the game, that guy. The best part is, another team will pay him. KC will get at least one more massive payday. Can’t wait to see which team pulls the trigger too.

  29. Mr. Florio, I love your usage of Seinfeld quotes!! (Lloyd Braun: Serenity now,
    Insanity later!!) Seinfeld rules!

  30. MNF Record is indefensible. However, try to enjoy watching a QB that can’t win during daylight either (Name every embarrassing team here for the last 10 years).

  31. 60-60-2

    If this ends up being his last season as a Viking (or starter in general) we’ll know for certain whether he’s a sub or over .500 QB based entirely on the 17 game season format.

    Unless he somehow manages another tie.

  32. He had a lot of really good throws and a few lousy ones. The whole team stank and blaming it solely on him may come with the territory but doesn’t tell the whole picture. I’m not a Vikings fan but as far as I’m concerned, all the NFC North teams look mediocre so far.

  33. If a qb isn’t top 10, he’s terrible. That’s the insane thinking of fans. There are many really bad qbs in the nfl then

  34. It’s the Andy Dalton paradox. He’s just good enough to trick you into thinking you might be able to build around him, but in truth you’re just passing up opportunities to draft a real franchise QB year after year.

  35. It’s absolutely amazing that the Vikings are so terrified of going 5-12 that they will pay absolutely anything, whatever it takes, to first go 8-8 and now 8-9. They don’t want to be first, they just don’t want to be last.

    No wonder Cousins basically has a lifetime guaranteed contract with the team. The GM even admits he’s more worried about a bad year than having a good one.

  36. Kirk is Kirk, but there is plenty of blame to go around for that game. The coaching staff was completely dominated. The defensive scheme was a joke. Even Aikman was ripping on it.

  37. Kirk Cousins is the Vikings’ own version of Jay Cutler. You’d expect, having lived in the same division as Cutler all those years, that the Vikings would have learned something about QBs who never deliver. But apparently not — the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Lots of insanity going on up north in Vikings front office and fandom.

  38. So was it Kirk’s fault 84 dropped the ball that was placed perfectly for a LONG gain and potentially a TD to make the game close early?

  39. sharpdressedfan17 says:
    September 20, 2022 at 8:04 pm
    If I’m not mistaken the Wilf’s asked Kirk Cousins for a loan in the offseason. Along with Dak Prescott…I’ve never seen 2 QBs make so much money and accomplish so little.

    You might be too young to remember, but Sam Bradford has something to say in the form of “Hey, I got paid too”.

  40. Vikings beat Green Bay in Minnesota.
    That’s their Super Bowl .
    Reality will kick in
    Green Bay will win in Green Bay
    And , win NFC North

  41. singularitynow says:
    September 20, 2022 at 11:53 pm

    50/50 I can live with, but the defense is 10/90./////////////
    You sound like a Kirk fan guy.I don’t want to live with a .500 QB. The defense wasn’t very good but the Eagles didn’t score in the second half and Cousins threw 2 picks in the red zone preventing a comeback from happening along with a Smith dropped TD. The Eagles were the better team Monday however.

  42. Cousins is nothing but a glorified backup. Minnesota made the mistake of paying him like the star he’ll never be.

  43. Last I looked football is a team game right? JJ didn’t flatten the route on the Slay INT. Irv Smith went all Christian Watson and dropped and easy TD catch. Defense had problems getting off the field in the first half on 3rd down. Stats are cute and fun but the only stat that matters is the final score.

  44. When will he learn when underpressure in the red zone not to throw the fade away prayer to the end zone… that something kids do on madden.

    He did it against GB a few seasons ago in a CRUCIAL moment. Vike fans pointed at refs about a play with OPI earlier instead of blaming Kirk. He did b2b plays at on MNF with some pressure coming and it burned him again.

    If fans can see the issue you know the coaches do.

  45. I am just amazed that very few people appreciate the fact that Cousins is only as good as him time to be, the man doesn’t get hurt, and is very accurate.

  46. The interesting question is, WHY does he always lose in primetime? The answer is, he gets physically too tense when the spotlight is shining brightly. He’s a tense, wiry guy all the time; when the spotlight is shining, the tenseness goes off the charts and affects his throwing. It’s a very deep, muscular thing that could be ameliorated with the right tools.

  47. The Vikings are like the Browns, just a different color uniform. Extremely poor front office decisions leading to mediocre results, season after season.

  48. I’ve never seen 3 QBs make so much money and accomplish so little.

    You can throw K Murray in there too.

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