Jefferson Defends Cousins’ “Dad Swag,” Mentions MVP Race

Nov 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8), wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18), and wide receiver Adam Thielen (19) celebrate the win against the New England Patriots after the game at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Recently, Justin Jefferson defended his QB1 on Twitter. As we all know by now, Kirk Cousins is both a full-time football player and full-time debate starter. Like flint that helps set the wood ablaze, Cousins ignites the fires of online fisticuffs and squabbling. Apparently, #18 has seen enough, made evident when Jefferson defends Cousins’ “dad swag.”

Take a look at what the WR1 had to say:

Now, there are a few reasons for writing this post. The first and most obvious merely rests in the simple fact that some people will be interested in seeing Minnesota’s best player defending its most controversial player.

However, there’s an even better reason.

As the season gets closer and closer to its conclusion, the debates about who will win the major awards will only intensify (Dustin Baker thinks a certain WR is going to be Offensive Player of the Year). For the most part, Cousins is being overlooked in the MVP discussion. QBs like Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Joe Burrow, and Jalen Hurts are getting more attention.

Truth be told, I don’t think Cousins should get the award over these aforementioned players.

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Oct 9, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) and quarterback Kirk Cousins. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Going into Week 17, Cousins has a 65.7 completion percentage and 93.3 quarterback rating. He has 4117 yards, 27 TDs, and 11 INTs. PFF puts him at 14th overall with a 76.2 grade. Most impressively, he has led 8 game-winning drives, a truly sensational accomplishment that illustrates how he has delivered in clutch moments on a game-in, game-out basis.

Nevertheless, I’d still be more inclined to throw MVP support behind Jefferson. Apart from the clutch factor, Cousins’ numbers aren’t altogether spectacular. Very good? Yes, most certainly. However, the overall stats aren’t extravagant.

Jefferson, on the other hand, is making history. Once the season is done, we may be able to say – without any hyperbole – that no one has ever done what Jefferson did. Jerry Rice, Randy Moss, and every other one of the game’s great receivers might fall behind the 23-year-old WR for single-season records. He has already surpassed Moss and Cris Carter in the franchise record books for yards and catches. Not bad.

If one player from Minnesota’s roster gets tossed into the MVP conversation, it should be Jefferson.

My opinion aside, we’ll bring things back to the criticism. As some of you will know, I’ve been among those who have been fairly critical of Kirk Cousins in the past. My main issue? He didn’t win with any consistency. In 2022, my main concern has been totally undermined. The Vikings are 12-3 and Cousins is a major reason why. There is no NFC North championship without a QB1 who was repeatedly undaunted by the big moment.

For Minnesota to reach its potential in the postseason, Cousins and Jefferson will need to continue nurturing their incredible connection. The QB will need to keep heaving the ball in his WR’s direction; the WR will need to keep making his QB look smart for doing so.

Even before the playoffs arrive, though, we can get a chance to see what this pair can continue accomplishing. Going into Lambeau and securing the victory behind a marvellous performance from these two would be a welcome way to begin 2023.

At some point, we’d even have to assume that the criticisms would continue dwindling.

Perhaps 2023 will be that year.

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