Vikings’ Pro Bowler Sounds Off on Cousins’ Disastrous Night

Justin Jefferson, Vikings

Getty Marcus Epps #22 of the Philadelphia Eagles tackles Justin Jefferson #18 of the Minnesota Vikings during the third quarterat Lincoln Financial Field on September 19, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

The Minnesota Vikings sauntered confidently into Lincoln Financial Field on Monday for a showdown with the Eagles. However, their previously earned swagger had been significantly diminished by the time they departed a few short hours later.

An offense that sliced and diced the Green Bay Packers to the tune of pretty much whatever it wanted just eight days before never got off the ground in Philly, as the Vikings produced just one touchdown compared with three interceptions.

Two-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Justin Jefferson, who authored arguably the most spectacular stat line of Week 1 across the entire NFL, made just six catches for 48 yards against the Eagles. He spoke to his personal disappointment, as well as the team’s, following the 24-7 loss.

“The most frustrating thing is just losing,” Jefferson said. “I mean, of course we [wanted] to come into this game and just dominate, especially after last week’s performance. But we definitely had plenty of opportunities to score the ball and make something happen.”

Jefferson Shoulders Responsibility For Cousins’ First Interception

Kirk Cousins, Vikings

GettyDefensive tackle Fletcher Cox of the Philadelphia Eagles forces a fumble against quarterback Kirk Cousins of the Minnesota Vikings during the fourth quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on September 19, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Quarterback Kirk Cousins‘ struggles under the spotlight continued in Philly, as his record in Monday Night Football games fell to an abysmal to 2-10 mark following a loss in which he registered just a 51.1 rating and an abysmal QBR of 17.5, per ESPN.

Cousins was just 27 of 46 passing for 221 yards and three interceptions against the Eagles, each one more baffling and frustrating than the last. However, Jefferson stepped up and took responsibility for the first turnover of the night. The play came in the end zone during the opening drive of the second half on a pass Cousins intended for the All Pro wide receiver.

“That’s honestly on me. I’ll take that one,” Jefferson said. “I’ve got to be flatter if [Darius] Slay is going to sit on that type of route. I’ve got to come flatter and be in front of [Slay] instead of going behind him.”

Slay picked off Cousins a second time, roughly halfway through the fourth quarter, on another pass intended for Jefferson, though there was little the wideout could have done to prevent that result.

Vikings’ HC O’Connell Blames Himself For Cousins’ Miserable Night

Kevin O'Connell

GettyHead coach Kevin O’Connell of the Minnesota Vikings looks on during a preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers at U.S. Bank Stadium on August 20, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)

Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell also rushed to Cousins’ defense during his postgame press conference, shouldering some of the blame for the quarterback’s continued woes Monday night.

I thought Kirk battled tonight. [We] put him in some tough spots. Our overall offensive philosophy when we do not succeed in activating [third-down conversions and efficiency], it puts a lot of pressure on the quarterback.

I do mean it. I do feel like this one’s on me. I told our team that I’m going to work like crazy to make sure that this does not happen again. I have no doubt that we’ll be prepared and ready to respond.

While Jefferson’s and O’Connell’s efforts to share the blame and protect the franchise quarterback are admirable, Cousins was responsible for making a handful of dangerous and confounding decisions that will continue to hurt Minnesota until he adjusts.

The Vikings (1-1) return to the gridiron on Sunday, September 25, for a home contest against an apparently improved Detroit Lions (1-1) squad at noon Central Standard Time.

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Jason King
Jason King
5 days ago

Ya’ll fair weather fans are quick to throw the QB under the bus. Let’s look at the games in prime time that’s been lost. Out of them all, you can place blame on just him in 2, maybe 3 of them. The rest are games the defense or dropped passes have been factors. Last year the Vikes had the lead in 15 of 17 games. The first year he came, which ya’ll decided he should have won the SB with a 26th ranked D. C’mon now!

Joe Topolka
Joe Topolka
8 days ago

We’ve had 6 years with this guy and he’s taken us nowhere. You get him riled up and he goes to pieces, like lining up under the guard, throwing passes to nobody, I think it’s time to go in another direction. Your never going to win with him.

8 days ago

A genuine football player hold themselves accountable. Not the coach. As much as he is paid he should speak on that not the coach receiver or lineman. Nothing against Kirk. He has been giving everything a QB could ask for Money weapons even new Coaches. I have seen more QBs in the league with way more game that didn’t get a third of what he has to give back to the organization. Ziggy fly me in to open Occonells mind . Not saying he doesn’t have it . I rather his mind be open to all aspects on the offensive side of the ball. Analytics doesn’t lie.

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