Vikings’ Kevin O’Connell Makes Strong Confession on Kirk Cousins After Eagles Loss

Kirk Cousins

Getty Vikings coach Kevin O'Connell admitted he put Kirk Cousins in some "tough spots" after a 24-7 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night Football.

The Minnesota Vikings suffered one of their most ugly losses in recent memory on primetime against the Philadelphia Eagles.

The defense surrendered 347 total yards and 24 points in the first half. The offense struggled coming out of the gates and never found a flow, failing to score points on four trips to the red zone while playing from behind in the second half on Monday.

In the comeback attempt, Kirk Cousins threw three interceptions for the first time since Week 6 of the 2020 season, when Cousins faced serious consideration of being benched entering the bye week.

Cousins largely took the blame for his performance in that game, saying “the reality is if the pace that I’m on — in terms of the interceptions —  if that were to continue I won’t finish the season.”

However, following a 24-7 loss to the Eagles, first-year coach Kevin O’Connell took the blame for his quarterback.

Kevin O’Connell Admits He Put Kirk Cousins in ‘Tough Spots’

In a September 19 postgame press conference, O’Connell centered himself on his first loss as Vikings head coach.

“When I look back on tonight, ultimately I put this one on me,” O’Connell said. “I don’t think I did enough for our team in-game.”

Speaking on the offense’s struggles, O’Connell pointed to just 21 offensive plays in the first half that were a result of failing to convert on third down and finding efficiency and rhythm — forcing Cousins into some “tough spots” by having to speed up the offense

“I thought Kirk battled tonight,” O’Connell said. “(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 and that’s where once again, I put this 100 percent on me to be better for our offense, for our team.

“I do mean it, I do feel like this one’s on me,” O’Connell added. “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.”


Kirk Cousins Speaks on Early Struggles

Cousins completed 27 of 46 pass attempts for 221 yards a touchdown and three interceptions for a 51.1 passer rating — his second-worst rating as a starter for the Vikings.

He admitted that going three-and-out on their first two drives contributed to even more struggles. Minnesota went three-and-out on four of its five first-half drives — the other went 75 yards on nine plays and was capped by a Cousins touchdown connection with Irv Smith Jr.

“I think part of the challenge is we didn’t stay on the field, we didn’t run enough plays. And so those three-and-outs early aren’t how we want to start,” Cousins said in a September 19 postgame press conference.

The Vikings (1-1) have seen polar opposite performances in the past two weeks and are sitting in a familiar place, .500. Minnesota enters a short week against the feisty Detroit Lions (1-1), who have scored 35-plus points the past two weeks and 36-27 victory over the Washington Commanders.

O’Connell, tasked with getting the most out of Cousins, will have a quick turnaround if he hopes for his offense to fare better at Detroit.

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