No doubt, there’s plenty of video and animation of Kirk Cousins’ throwing bombs to Stefon Diggs out there on social media this Monday. It’s taken 19 years to see a wide receiver again catch two balls over 50 yards from a Viking quarterback in a game, and it’s worth getting your fill.
But on a play that won’t get much airtime, I’d like to examine Kirk Cousins’ brilliant game against the Philadelphia Eagles under the microscope of one play. That play being his sole interception of the contest–to none other than former Viking safety Andrew Sendejo.
Chillin’ Against The Villian
Late in the second quarter, on a third-and-long from their own 44 (the type of situation that this Vikings’ offense was menaced by most of last season), fans watched a charged Eagles’ rush came at Cousins on the obvious passing down.
US Bank Stadium, enjoying a nice Vikings’ lead, but of course waiting for a shoe to drop, holds their breath.
However, Cousins seems to look over the pressure like it’s part of a choreography. After a three-step drop, he jumps deftly out of the pocket right, sprints to the sideline with his shoulders perfectly square to the field, and delivers a strike to Stefon Diggs just past the first down marker.
Indeed, Diggs lets the ball go through his hands, off his helmet and into the hands of Sendejo–but that’s not the point. The play is a sharp pitch-and-catch that Cousins executes perfectly. It displays the clear fact that this quarterback was not only on the top of his game throughout this contest, but furthermore, that ‘game’ was arguably the best we’ve ever seen of him.
In fact, let’s face it. It’s a game we’ve now seen out of number 8 for two weeks now. It’s enough to make you consider him the guy that the Vikings have been waiting for. And you see it in an interception he throws, meaning Cousins has played his role perfectly, which is all these Vikings’ coaches ever wanted from him.
And Now For Something Completely Different
Outside the steak dinner Cousins served to numerous Vikings’s receivers and tens of thousands of Viking fans in US Bank Stadium yesterday afternoon, he even put a little sizzle on the table also, and it made that steak taste even better.
Late in the game, with a fourth-and-five just outside the Eagles red zone, the Vikings decided not to kick another field goal in a three-possession game with 3:20 remaining in the game. Why? Not really sure. You’d think run, kill some clock, let them have to throw the field at the end.
But no. In unorthodox fashion, Cousins goes play-action, bootleg left–which does not fool the Eagle’s linebacker–and decides to whip a rope off his back foot to none other than now Viking journeyman Laquon Treadwell at the very edge of the sideline. A dagger below the dagger already in the green-and-white jersey.
Some insult to injury? Sure. But the Philadelphia Eagles can take it. They’ve never minded doling it out.
An Impressive Reply
Whether or not Kirk Cousins had heard or was notified by the disparaging remarks made by an ex-teammate during the week (he claims he did not), it all became a wash as the Vikings’ pulled away in this game in the second half. Afterward, it became a hollow follow-up by reporters that should have just been forgotten.
Eagles QB Carson Wentz and the Eagles’ offense did make this one a contest in the third quarter–at one point looking up a mere four point Minnesota lead–but all the work they did was made a moot point by Kirk Cousins’ superlative and perfunctory performance once he got the ball back in his hands.
It was not only the best game performance of his seven and a half year career, it came at the most crucial time for this 2019 Minnesota Vikings’ team.
Critics have made it quite cleat that this quarterback was 5-27 against teams with a winning record in his career as an NFL starter.
It’s true you can’t argue with facts, but Kirk Cousins just made that record 6-27–with a bullet.