The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the quarterback-less San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, advancing to Super Bowl LVII, where they’ll take on the Kansas City Chiefs, who bested the Cincinnati Bengals on Championship Sunday.
Eagles-49ers was a snoozefest because San Francisco had no healthy quarterbacks midway through the game, but Chiefs-Bengals was premium football.
‘PFT’ Picks Another Fight with Kirk Cousins
And predictably, the two conference championships were used to attack Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, even though he wasn’t anywhere near the matchups.
ProFootballTalk.com’s Mike Florio wrote a 232-word article about Cousins’ non-involvement after Championship Sunday. When the Vikings lost to the New York Giants two weeks ago, Cousins was skewered for “throwing short of the sticks” on Minnesota’s final offensive drive and 4th and 8 play. Cousins was about to get sacked by Dexter Lawrence and delivered this pass:
The completion effectively ended the game, and the Vikings were bounced from the playoffs — at home — after a 13-win season.
Well, observing the conference championships, Florio opined on other quarterbacks’ tendencies to toss the ball past the sticks on 4th Down, “Two weeks ago, the football-following world was trying to understand why/how Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins threw the ball five yards short of the sticks on fourth and eight, with the season on the line in the wild-card round. On Sunday, three quarterbacks showed a willingness and ability to throw past the sticks on a high-stakes fourth-down play.”
“Some would say that it helps to have Chase. Well, Cousins has Justin Jefferson. And Cousins didn’t throw the ball to Jefferson with the season on the line. This is a prime example of the difference between those who get it done in the postseason and those who don’t,” Florio concluded.
And last week, Florio went on the warpath, too, regarding the same topic. He joined KFAN’s Paul Allen last week on The Paul Allen Show to chat about the Vikings disappointing loss to the New York Giants, “Joe Burrow is the anti-Kirk Cousins. Joe Burrow is the guy who, like Kirk, will have a great season. But when the lights get bright, you’ve got one game, and your whole season is riding on it — do you crumble, or do you rise? Joe Burrow rises. Kirk crumbles.”
Florio adamantly contrasted Burrow and Cousins and concluded, “Kirk doesn’t have it. You can take your rose-colored glasses and shove them up your butt. Kirk doesn’t have it.”
Some will maintain that Cousins didn’t have time in the pocket to provide one final heave versus the Giants. Others agree with Florio that it was Cousins’ responsibility to shed the impending Lawrence sack and conjure a Vikings victory.
And the rest just recognize this a day in the life of Cousins — scrutinized when he isn’t playing.
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 Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).
All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.