The “Kirk Cousins Curse” Has Ended

Vikings QB Situation
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If you’ve never heard of the “Cousins curse”, it’s pretty simple.

Since Kirk Cousins entered the NFL in 2012, no team that had ever lost to him as a starter has gone on to make the Super Bowl in the same year. That is, until Sunday night when the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Detroit Lions in the NFC Championship Game.

The “Kirk Cousins Curse” Has Ended

Cousins Curse
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

It seemed like the curse was going to continue for another year with the 49ers trailing by 17 points going into halftime. However, they outscored the Lions 27-7 over the final 30 minutes of the game, and they earned a 34-31 victory to reach the Super Bowl for the eighth time in their franchise’s history.

Of course, this comes after the 49ers lost to the Minnesota Vikings by a score of 22-17 in Week 7 of the regular season in which Cousins threw for 378 yards and a pair of touchdowns. This result was shocking simply because of how dominant the Vikings looked throughout the game.

It was a Monday Night Football matchup (a time slot in which Cousins historically has struggled), and the Vikings were still reeling from the loss of WR Justin Jefferson to a hamstring injury just two weeks earlier against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Back at Jordan
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

Instead, the Vikings held a double-digit lead for a good chunk of the game, and when the dust had settled, it seemed to be the momentum they needed to rejuvenate their 2023 season after a 1-4 start to the year.

Of course, that momentum would quickly vanish after Cousins was lost for the season in Week 8 against the Green Bay Packers, and the Vikings stumbled to a 3-6 finish without their QB1 and a revolving door of Josh Dobbs, Jaren Hall, and Nick Mullens taking his place.

Coming into the 2023 season, Cousins had faced off against eventual Super Bowl participants 12 times, and he would go on to lose each and every one of them and added a 13th loss this season to the Chiefs. That streak comes to an end with the 49ers making Super Bowl LVIII, though.

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Here is a look at each of these losses along with the final scores:

  • 2014 vs. Seattle Seahawks (17-27)
  • 2015 at Carolina Panthers (16-44)
  • 2017 vs. Philadelphia Eagles (17-30)
  • 2017 at Philadelphia Eagles (24-34)
  • 2018 at Los Angeles Rams (31-38)
  • 2018 at New England Patriots (10-24)
  • 2019 at Kansas City Chiefs (23-26)
  • 2019 at San Francisco 49ers (10-27)*
  • 2020 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (14-26)
  • 2021 at Cincinnati Bengals (24-27)
  • 2021 at Los Angeles Rams (23-30)
  • 2022 at Philadelphia Eagles (7-24)
  • 2023 vs. Kansas City Chiefs (20-27)
    *: Loss to 49ers in 2019 season came during playoffs

Of course, there is still a chance that a version of the “Cousins curse” lives on. If the Chiefs go on to win the Super Bowl in a couple weeks, no team that has ever lost to Cousins will have gone on to raise a Lombardi Trophy at the end of the season.

Super Bowl LVIII is scheduled to kick off on Sunday, February 11th at 5:30 PM Central.

Editor’s Note: Statistics for this article were found via Pro Football Reference and Stathead.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.