Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins tied the NFL record for most game-winning drives in a single season (8) last weekend, but some NFL brains still don’t trust him with the game on the line.
Former NFL linebacker Channing Crowder was asked earlier this week whether folks should be encouraged or discouraged about the 12-3 Vikings on ESPN’s First Take. Crowder tabbed Cousins as the franchise’s weak link, “Kirk Cousins in the 4th Quarter, down by three or up by two — I don’t trust him in that situation. I’m discouraged if I’m the Minnesota Vikings.”
Crowder elaborated, “I’ve seen some weaknesses out of the Vikings, and it’s on Kirk Cousins’ shoulders.”
Justin Jefferson Pounds the Table for Kirk Cousins
Cousins has delivered 1,407 passing yards and 13 touchdowns in the 4th Quarter and Overtime of games in 2022, and both marks lead the NFL. It is unclear why Crowder would describe Cousins as the Vikings weakness.
Well, Justin Jefferson, Cousins’ favorite target, doesn’t understand it either. In direct response to the Crowder criticism, Jefferson tweeted Wednesday night, “All of the Kirk criticism has to stop!! I understand y’all hate the dad swag but come on his numbers are right with y’all’s MVP candidates.”
Here’s the tweet:
Jefferson has always been a proponent of Cousins, despite false narratives created to drive the two apart. The Vikings wideout said about Cousins last January, “Our relationship has been growing ever since I stepped in the building last year. Things aren’t always perfect with us, but he’s the reason I’m getting all these yards.”
In 2020, Cousins missed a throw, catching Jefferson on an on-the-field microphone saying, “Damn, Kirk. Throw the ball.” For some, that was a smoking gun illuminating an apparent rift between the men -– as preposterous as that sounds. In fact, throughout 2020 and 2021, conjuring beef between Jefferson and Cousins was common.
Jefferson’s support of Cousins in response to the Crowder video isn’t the first of its kind. Back in July, Jefferson invited Cousins across the country for a “throwing session,” but the Vikings signal-caller had a prearranged family engagement and could not attend. Folks seized on the non-event as a chemistry killer cooked up by Cousins.
And so the typical anti-Cousins fodder commenced:
But Jefferson tweeted after the “throwing session” hubbub, “Taking my words out of proportion…”
It’s also odd that Crowder picked this time and date to identify Cousins as the Vikings weak spot, as the quarterback leads the NFC in touchdown passes and is playing his best football of the season. In his last five games, Cousins has produced 1,656 passing yards, 13 touchdowns, and 3 interceptions. It’s a strange time on the calendar to drop never-Cousins takes.
Jefferson, too, is hotter than lava. He’s approaching the NFL’s all-time receiving yards mark for a single season, trailing Calvin Johnson from 2012 by 208 yards. Jefferson could become the first player in history to record 2,000 receiving yards in a season. And he leads the business in receiving yards over Tyreek Hill and Stefon Diggs. Accordingly, Jefferson believes he should receive some MVP attention. He told reporters this week, “Having the type of season I’m having, I feel like that’s a conversation that needs to be had for me to be MVP.
No matter what happens, though, Jefferson is no fan of Cousins slander.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).