Cousins: Clutch X2

Kirk Cousins
Aug 18, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) looks on prior to the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

I don’t know how this season will end, but I do know Kirk Cousins has been clutch so far.

Our Vikings are sitting at an uninspiring 3-3. If the team did right by its QB, we would be at 5-1. Anyone of us would have been thrilled with that record.

At the end of the Panthers game, Minnesota’s defense did its best impression of Houdini. Rather than seal the game by again getting after Sam Darnold, we opted for more stress and anxiety. It would seem as though we’re incapable of simply winning a game in a stress-free manner.

Alas, the stress didn’t lead to Vikings doom. Instead, it lead to Cousins again being clutch.

Cousins deserves credit for how he played at the end of regulation. With :42 left on the clock, Cousins found a way to give Minnesota a shot at the win. He completed passes to Osborn, Westbrook, and Thielen. He also added a 16-yard run. Unfortunately, Joseph missed his second long field goal of the game.

In OT, C.J. Ham made the right call on the coin toss. Minnesota began with the ball, needing a TD to win the game. We ended up going 75 yards in 9 plays. That drive featured all of our main playmakers. Jefferson and Thielen each caught passes. Dalvin Cook had some nice runs. And, of course, K.J. Osborn was excellent. On 3rd & 3, Osborn made a tough grab for 13 yards, extending our drive. A few plays later, Osborn made the game-winning touchdown catch.

Go ahead and watch that OT game-winning pass in the above tweet. Folks, that was a sensational throw from Kirk. I’ve made this point before, but it’s perhaps worth reiterating: he has likely been our best player so far.

Cousins diverted the praise following the game, instead giving credit to the defense: “I thought our defense did a tremendous job all game long. They faced some adversity and did a tremendous job and really gave us a chance on offense to move the football. They gave us short fields. It took all four quarters and overtime, but there were some positive things. Good to get this win and get back to .500.”

Zimmer said that Cousins has been clutch: “I don’t know – you guys (in the media) know all the stats on second-half comebacks or fourth-quarter comebacks and all that stuff, but I know that he’s done an awful lot. Even since that New Orleans game down in the playoffs, he’s done this continually now. I think that breeds a lot of confidence in him in some of the 2-minute drills. We talked about going some 2-minute during the game today, too. We weren’t on the ball a couple times, and we didn’t really go 2-minute. But he’s been really successful at it.”

Heading into the bye, Cousins has impressive numbers. 69.5 completion %, 1769 passing yards, 13 TDs, and 2 INT. PFF ranks him as the 3rd best QB in the NFL. Most importantly, Cousins has made plays in clutch moments. With a difficult post-bye schedule waiting, Cousins will need to continue being excellent for our Vikings to sneak into the playoffs in a tough NFC.

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