On Saturday, the Minnesota Vikings pulled out another big victory against the New York Giants. It wasn’t the prettiest game, but very few have been this season. While Kirk Cousins labored through parts of the contest, he ultimately added another 4th quarter comeback and hung in through adversity. He’s done it all season.
Yes, on Saturday, Kirk Cousins tied Matthew Stafford’s record for most 4th quarter comebacks in a single season with eight. He’s continued to rise above when the pressure is the highest this season, and while that is the part drawing attention, it’s what he has done throughout the game to answer. Even with an improved offensive line, Minnesota’s quarterback has been battered all season long.
Kirk Cousins Standing Tall for Vikings
Having never previously been sacked more than 41 times in a season, Cousins has been brought down 44 times through just 15 games this year. With two more contests to go, he’s only going to further add to the career total, and he’s been hit substantially more often than just the times that show up in the box score.
What started as somewhat of a slower year statistically for Cousins has taken off in the second half. He’s again headed to the Pro Bowl, and he’ll surpass the yardage output he generated a season ago under Mike Zimmer. There’s an outside chance he surpasses his 33 total touchdown passes, but even if he doesn’t, it’s impossible to call 2022 anything but a success.
Being able to do that, and show up every week as well as Cousins does, is something truly exceptional. Last season, Cousins made 16 starts, missing a single game due to illness rather than injury. This time around, he’s in line to start all of the Vikings 17 regular season games, and the readiness he has shown physically weekly is something to behold.
With teams targeting the Vikings passing game as an area of focus on defense, there’s been a constant barrage of defenders looking to throw Cousins off. He has dealt without his best lineman, Christian Darrisaw, for a matter of weeks and has also played with a backup center. Fill-ins have done their best to keep him on his feet, but there have been more than a few hits that would keep other players on the ground.
For a team with so much salary capital invested in their quarterback, having Cousins available is as imperative as any player on that sideline. He’s done a great job of showing up regardless of what his body feels like throughout his career, but no season has been more apparent and worthy of praise than this one.
No matter where the Vikings finish when their season is over this year, everyone within the organization should be able to agree that Cousins left it all on the line on a weekly basis. As much as leadership has been a theme for the organization this year, he’s shown a great deal of it under center.
Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.