Per History, Vikings Have Right Man for Job in Philadelphia

Vikings Will Learn a Lot
A Philadelphia Eagles fan in the first half at MetLife Stadium. © Danielle Parhizkaran/ / USA TODAY NETWORK.

If history is a reasonable indicator, the Minnesota Vikings should be in good shape for Monday’s date with the Philadelphia Eagles because of one man.

The Vikings are currently two-point underdogs for the Monday Night Football showdown.

According to quarterback mano-a-mano, which the media adores, it’ll be Kirk Cousins for the Vikings taking on Jalen Hurts from the Eagles. Hurts has never faced the Vikings, but Cousins has assuredly had numerous dates with Philadelphia.

Vikings Announce Team Captains
Aug 20, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Because Cousins has encountered the Eagles nine times in his career, the Vikings have an incumbent advantage. Moreover, when the 34-year-old plays Philadelphia — either at home or the road — his teams win 67% of the time.

It’s true — the Eagles are one of the teams Cousins has dominated in 11 seasons. While Cousins has struggled against some franchises, like the New York Giants and Atlanta Falcons, the Eagles haven’t posed significant problems.

In his career as a starter, these are Cousins’ statistics versus Philadelphia:

  • 9 Games Started
  • Team Record = 6-3
  • 67.1 Completion %
  • 2,756 Passing Yards
  • 306.2 Passing Yds/Gm
  • 21 Passing TDs
  • 6 INTs
  • 104.9 Passer Rating
  • 1 Rushing TD

Not bad.

Purple Rumor Mill: Make-or-Break for Cousins, Troubled Salary Cap, Wyatt Davis on an Active Roster
Feb 4, 2022; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Cousins also thrives in the city of Philadelphia. Yes, on the road versus the Eagles. In fact, his career passer rating in Philadelphia is the best ever as an opposing quarterback dueling the Eagles:

Top Passer Rating,
vs. Eagles at PHI,
NFL History:
(min. 75 pass att)

  1. Kirk Cousins (112.1)
  2. Peyton Manning (106.6)
  3. Dak Prescott (101.7)
  4. Tom Brady (100.6)
  5. Milt Plum (100.1)
  6. John Brodie (98.2)
  7. Charley Johnson (96.6)
  8. Cam Newton (96.4)

While passer rating has inflated over the last 20 years because quarterbacks minimized interceptions, Cousins still tops the list as best-ever at Philadelphia.

The projection for Cousins is also enhanced because of Minnesota’s Week 1 output. For seven months, Vikings fans envisioned an unshackled Cousins excelling in a pass-first, Kevin O’Connell offense. Well, that happened in Week 1, as the Vikings chipped off the most-hated foe, the Green Bay Packers, 23-7. Cousins enabled Justin Jefferson to unlock his best career game, accruing 184 receiving yards and two touchdowns — and almost a third touchdown that was called back a tippy toe.

Of course, the Vikings aren’t guaranteed to beat the Eagles. They must improve their run defense in a hurry against an Eagles team that gashed the Detroit Lions for four touchdowns six days ago. However, if Ed Donatell schemes the Eagles like he successfully did the Packers, Cousins has “been there before” with Philadelphia and thus has the tools to guide the Vikings toward a 2-0 start to 2022.

And, as a Viking, Cousins has already helped Minnesota defeat the Eagles twice, once in 2018 and the other time in 2019.

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 Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).