With the Minnesota Vikings coming off a Sunday Night Football loss to the Chicago Bears in Week 11, it was a game that hurt for a variety of reasons. For starters, the team had a chance to jump Chicago in the standings and take over first place in the NFC North. Instead, they now sit at 5-4-1, with a whole lot of work to do to catch the 7-3 Bears.
Obviously, there’s a lot of football left to be played, and the Vikings are a good team, but they’ll also be looking over their shoulder as well. The Green Bay Packers are close behind at 4-5-1 and the Detroit Lions are 4-6, setting up a big push for the division and/or a Wild Card spot.
And with such a crucial stretch of games ahead, that’s why a stat which NFL analyst Rich Eisen brought up is so interesting. As he revealed, Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins is 4-12 in his career in primetime games.
Unfortunately, this stat isn’t just relevant for the long-term outlook, but specifically for the remainder of the 2018 season.
Vikings Final Stretch Features Key Primetime Games
Minnesota almost certainly needs to win the bulk of their divisional games and also any against teams who may be in the mix for a Wild Card spot. And in the team’s final six games of this season, they play two games under the lights, with the first coming against the Packers in Week 12 on Sunday Night Football.
To follow that up, two weeks later, the Vikings head to Seattle to play the 5-5 Seahawks on Monday Night Football. If those two games weren’t tough enough, a date with the New England Patriots is squeezed directly in the middle, although that’s not a primetime matchup.
Obviously, the script can flip on a stat like this fairly quickly, but it’s a large sample size for Cousins. Just four wins in 16 games while playing in front of a national audience is tough, especially for the outlook of this season. We’ll find out quickly just how concerning this stat is, because the next three weeks will be telling.