There’s no denying that the Minnesota Vikings played a horrible half of football on Saturday against the Indianapolis Colts. There’s no denying they should never have needed a comeback of historic levels to beat a team as bad as Jeff Saturday’s club. That happened, though, and Kirk Cousins helped to lead the charge. Now he’s being awarded for it.
On Wednesday, it was announced that the Vikings signal caller Kirk Cousins was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week. That was in response to a game where he put up 460 passing yards and four touchdowns. Yes, he threw two interceptions, one of which was a pick-six. The other was a deep ball to Jalen Reagor on a route where the wide receiver simply stopped running.
The irony is that national media has been spewing the narrative all week that Cousins did not play well.
I looked at this more in-depth earlier this week over at Vikings PTSD. Since roughly the second season he was in Minnesota, Cousins has become a lightning rod of criticism. Some of that is because he is the quarterback, making him the focal point of any organization he’s employed by. Another significant aspect is due to the percentage of salary cap his contract takes up. That is further addressed in the piece over at Vikings PTSD. At the end of the day, though, it’s beyond lunacy to suggest the eventual outcome of the Colts contest being indicative of a poorly played game.
So-Called ‘Poor Game’ Earns Kirk Cousins Player of the Week Honors
Yes, Cousins and the offense (along with the special teams unit) were primarily to blame for the 33-0 halftime deficit. There is no skirting around how bad of a half those two units started with. There is also no way to downplay how integral both units were in generating the greatest comeback we have ever seen in NFL history.
Cousins found a groove in the second half. He began spreading the ball around and allowed K.J. Osborn to go off for his greatest career game. Adam Thielen was rescued from witness protection and caught a pass in the end zone. Justin Jefferson wound up posting 123 yards en route to another banner day. After a first half to forget, Cousins threw four touchdown passes and managed his way to the 7th fourth-quarter comeback of his season.
At this point, to suggest that Cousins played a poor game is doing a disservice to analysis. There’s no denying he played a poor first half; he would likely be the first to admit that. Coming back in a game that required 39 second-half points doesn’t get done without playing a near-immaculate 30+ minutes of football. Cousins accomplished that and then led an overtime drive that left the Vikings on top.
It’s not incorrect to suggest this season hasn’t gone as well for Cousins as last year, but the team results are what matter, and his individual numbers hide the strides he has made in crunch time. While there may be yardage, touchdown, or interception gripes to be had, you’re doing mental gymnastics to suggest Cousins wasn’t good against the Colts and hasn’t been an asset to the Vikings in year one for Kevin O’Connell.
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.