Vikings QB Kirk Cousins Honestly Reacts to Mistakes in Week 1 Loss

Sep 10, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) leaves the field after the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins looked poised to put his team back in front as he threaded the needle to star wide receiver Justin Jefferson, who had an explosive first half at the time.

Undrafted Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie defensive back Christian Izien flipped the script instead as he swiped the ball from K.J. Osborn at the goal line with the game tied 10-10. It became a critical change of events as the Vikings fell to the Buccaneers 20-17 on Sunday, September 10, at US Bank Stadium.

“Turnovers will always make a major difference in the game,” Cousins told reporters on Sunday. “We had three, and they didn’t have any. And then, we had the yards in the first half, [but] we didn’t come away with necessary points, largely because of turnovers. The game is always about points — not about yards.”

Minnesota turned it over twice before either team scored with a pair of Cousins fumbles, and his second led to a Bucs field goal by kicker Chase McLaughlin, who also hit the game-winning 57-yard field goal. The Vikings defense shut down the Tom Brady-less Bucs offense for most of the first half and took a 7-3 lead on a 39-yard touchdown pass to rookie wide receiver Jordan Addison.

“I haven’t seen it yet, but it felt like it just knocked out of my hand as I was … turning but I haven’t seen it,” Cousins said about a fumbled handoff.

His fumbles seemed relatively inconsequential at that point with the Vikings in firm control of the game. However, Cousins’ interception at the goal stung even worse, and the Bucs capitalized with a big second half.

Cousins expressed his frustration on the sideline after the play as caught on CBS Sports. He otherwise dominated on Sunday as he completed 75% of his passes for 344 yards and two touchdowns versus the pick for a rating of 102.8.

Vikings skill players start strong in passing game, but running attack lags behind in defeat

Sep 10, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) stiff arms Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Carlton Davis III (24) in the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Jefferson tore things up overall against the Bucs defense with nine catches for 150 yards, an average of 16.7 yards per reception. However, most of that came in the first half as he mustered two catches for 12 yards in the second half.

Addison only had three receptions for 22 yards outside of his touchdown as he finished second on the team in receiving for the day. Tight end T.J. Hockenson had the third-best day receiving for the Vikings with eight catches for 35 yards.

Minnesota also had solid starts by fellow tight end Josh Oliver and wide receiver K.J. Osborn. Oliver tallied three receptions for 32 yards, and Osborn had three catches for 31 yards.

“I thought our skill players did a great job today … all the way through the position groups, but they played hard, fought for every yard and made plays,” Cousins said.

Minnesota didn’t do enough in the running game, however, after enjoying years of 1,000-yard productivity with former running back Dalvin Cook. Alexander Mattison simply didn’t get the job done with 11 carries for 34 yards, and the Vikings largely abandoned the running game with only 17 attempts as a team.

Kirk Cousins: ‘we’ve got to turn the page quickly now’

Kirk Cousins
Sep 10, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) prepares to throw a pass against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings have to turn around quickly to visit the defending NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday, September 14 at Lincoln Financial Field.

“Tough to lose. We’ve got to play better,” Cousins said. “So we’ve got to turn the page quickly now. This is a good football team up ahead, and that’s where we are.”

Philadelphia beat the Vikings 24-7 in Week 2 last season for a Monday Night Football game.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.