Yet another game in which Kirk Cousins has failed to rise up to the occasion. There was a lot that went wrong for the Vikings in this game, but ultimately Cousins was the one that held this team back. Dalvin Cook did more than his fair share with 154 yards and a TD, averaging a mind blowing 7.7 yds per carry. On the defensive side of the ball Minnesota was off to a rough start but after going down 21-0 at the 14:16 mark in the 2nd quarter the defense was incredible, from then on shutting out Rodgers and the Packers offense.
Despite the Packers defense giving the Vikings o-line a tough time the majority of the mistakes made by Cousins were not a result of a lack of time in the pocket. Cousins missed numerous throws right from the pocket under no pressure, which caused multiple 3 and outs. The 2 interceptions were simply reckless. The first one was out of sheer desperation as he tried to fit the ball into triple coverage to Diggs while Rudolph was wide open for a first down. The 2nd one was even worse as he hesitated to throw the ball to Diggs who was coming free across the field, however he decided to hold on to the ball and continued going backwards until he finally mindlessly lobbed the ball up into the back of the end zone into double coverage, giving his receiver no chance to make a play on the ball.
Regardless of Cousins’ mistakes, it’s easy to scapegoat the offensive line, and put the blame on the rookie center Garrett Bradbury who had an awful day against Green Bay’s Kenny Clark. Then there’s also the countless penalties totaling 100 yds, especially the OPI on Dalvin Cook which took a TD off the board. Even, a missed field goal by Dan Bailey costing the Vikings 3 pts. But the facts are, Cousins has a solid running game, an exceptional defense and plenty of weapons on offense, it’s time for him to put that to good use and win football games.
Despite all the mistakes that were made, Cousins still had the ball with 4:06 on the clock with 3 timeouts down by just 5 points. At this point in the game he had all the time in the world to orchestrate a drive down the field and score a TD. But, Cousins decided to play hero ball and threw another ball up to Thielen which had nearly zero chance of being caught, resulting in almost another interception. Nevertheless it came down to 3rd and 7 and he had Thielen over the middle for a first and he got hit as he threw and the ball sailed over his receiver’s head. There’s no arguing the fact that it’s a tough throw to make, but great QBs find a way to make it.
After all that you can’t really blame Mike Zimmer for punting the ball with 3 mins to go with the way his defense had been playing, but that was the end of the game for Minnesota. It still isn’t the end of the world for the Vikings as there’s still plenty of football left to play this season. They have a very good football team and if Kirk Cousins can figure things out it’s possible that that they can still make something out of this season. If there’s anything left to say, Cousins has already said it. If he keeps playing the way he did against Green Bay he won’t be playing quarterback much longer for the Minnesota Vikings.