Prime Time Kirk Will Dominate The Headlines For the Rest of 2021

Nov 7, 2021; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) leads the offense in the second quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings have already had two prime time games. They’ve gone 1-1, losing to the Cooper Rush-led Cowboys before holding on to take down the Steelers last Thursday. Their next game takes place on MNF against the Bears. After a tough December 26th game against the Rams at 12 CT, Minnesota will travel to Lambeau for a SNF showdown with the Packers. Expect plenty of discussion of Prime Time Kirk Cousins leading up to these games.

We’ve already seen a fair bit of discussion on this topic. Pro Football Network breaks it down across TNF, SNF, and MNF. Fansided considers the so-called “meme-ification of Kirk Cousins in primetime.” Heck, even Vikings Territory has joined the fun, drawing attention to Mike Zimmer’s uninspiring 11-13 record in these games.

These pieces will function as the appetizer for the full meal that is still to come.

A surefire way to undermine how these stories go is to, you know, win. So much of the Prime Time Kirk discussion centers on his less-than-stellar record in these high-pressure games. It currently sits at 9-17. Decisively beating an inferior Bears team before pulling off the road upset against a superior Packers team will take the wind out of the media’s sails.

Now, such a statement – though true – will inevitably raise some eyebrows among the “wins are not a QB stat” crowd. I can sympathize with this perspective. Most often, games are won and lost because of the entire team. Keep in mind, though, that the undisputed most important component on a football team is the QB position. Why do football fans far and wide agree that Tom Brady is the GOAT? Folks, it’s not because he has made a habit of losing, nor is it because he only wins some of the time. Brady has found a way to marry exemplary QB play with consistent winning.

Up until this point, Kirk has only been able to marry mostly exemplary play with a .500 record. Reasonable minds can disagree how much blame he deserves for this reality, though there’s no disputing this basic fact.

Like with most polarizing, controversial subjects, the truth rests somewhere in the middle.

A win against the Bears (led by rookie Justin Fields) on MNF would bring his career record to 58-58-2. In those 58 losses, Cousins has been the victim of his team underperforming on several occasions. He has also been among the main reasons why his team has lost on numerous occasions (see the team’s Week 8 showing against the Cowboys; the team put together a measly 16 points).

The aforementioned two prime time games from 2021 have been among the worst efforts from Kirk Cousins this season. 184 passing yards and a lonely TD against Dallas. 216 passing yards and a pair of TDs against Pittsburgh, though the game did feature missing Justin Jefferson on several occasions and two interceptions.

Putting up 300+ yards and 3 TDs would do much to tame the Bears in Soldier.

Buckle up, Vikings fans. The season, somehow, isn’t over yet, and the purple fate will largely flow from how Prime Time Kirk performs when all eyes are on him.