The Kirk Cousins Curse Is Intact

Have the Vikings Ever Been This Overlooked?
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Before the NFL’s conference championships two weeks ago, the “Kirk Cousins Curse” was this: No team had ever lost to a squad quarterbacked by Kirk Cousins and later reached the Super Bowl.

The Kirk Cousins Curse Is Intact

During the NFC Championship, the Detroit Lions sprinted to a 24-7 lead over the San Francisco 49ers, a team favored by a touchdown entering the game. But then the 49ers rebounded, wiped the Lions’ 24-7 lead in about 30 minutes of real-life time, seized the advantage, and completed the largest comeback in AFC or NFC Championship history. Even the Minnesota Vikings had never crumpled that mightily on a grander stage. Too bad, so sad for Detroit, eh?

Cousins Curse Is
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Now, the Kirk Cousins Curse — if folks want it to be a thing at all — lives on. “No team has ever lost to a squad led by Kirk Cousins and won a Super Bowl.” It’s a slight modification that can still pack the heavy, weird punch regarding Cousins’ apparent hex.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the 49ers on Sunday night 25-22, a contest that transformed into a thriller in the second half. Patrick Mahomes and friends meandered through the motions in Quarters 1 and 2, but after Usher performed at halftime, everything changed. Mahomes authored a Mahomesian moment, and Kansas City became the first team to repeat as champs since the New England Patriots in 2003-2004.

Therefore, a new or modified Kirk Cousins Curse is present: no club has ever gone on to win a Super Bowl in the same season when losing to a Cousins-led squad.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports.

Of course, the Lions were about an hour away from extending the original Kirk Cousins Curse in the NFC title game, but Detroit met a dreadful fate. The Lions became the first team in NFL history to lose a conference championship game when leading by 17+ points at halftime. Before then, all other teams were 21-0 when holding such a lead at the half. It was a historic meltdown by the Lions. On their biggest stage ever — outscored 27-0 in less than an hour.

Thanks to Mahomes, the Chiefs erased a 10-point lead in Super Bowl LVIII and, in fact, the Chiefs have trailed by 10 in each of their last three Super Bowl victories. It’s like a prerequisite to recent Chiefs football. Get down by 10, feel the heat, and rally to win.

Purple Rumor Mill: Cousins-Niners Fodder, Johnathan Abram, the Big Goon
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If Cousins stays in Minnesota next season — that’s a huge if at the moment — the Kirk Cousins Curse could potentially apply to these 2024 opponents:

  • Arizona Cardinals
  • Atlanta Falcons
  • Chicago Bears
  • Detroit Lions
  • Green Bay Packers
  • Houston Texans
  • Indianapolis Colts
  • Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Los Angeles Rams
  • New York Giants
  • New York Jets
  • San Francisco 49ers
  • Seattle Seahawks
  • Tennessee Titans

Vikings fans should learn a verdict on Cousins’ impending free agency in the next four weeks. Free agency begins with “legal tampering” in 28 days.


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,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.

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