Kirk Cousins Furious With Vikings Coach on Sidelines [WATCH]

Kirk Cousins

Getty Kirk Cousins of the Minnesota Vikings.

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins was visibly frustrated after throwing an interception during Sunday’s loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Cousins was seen on the CBS broadcast screaming at Vikings quarterbacks coach Chris O’Hara as they went over the red-zone interception where Cousins threw the ball behind K.J. Osborn, who had it stripped from his grasp. Committing three turnovers on Sunday, the Vikings’ offense’s miscues under Cousins led to a 20-17 loss on September 10.

Spotlighting Cousins’ frustration is not a slight against the Vikings quarterback. Longtime NFL quarterback Matt Ryan, as a guest analyst during the broadcast, put the frustration from Cousins into context.

“There’s a little frustration and rightfully so. But you want to get it out and get your mind right. It’s 10-10 at half. You come out and play a clean second half. If they take care of the ball, they’ve been dominating this game,” Ryan said.

However, there is a trend with Cousins regarding his outbursts that is telling of the season ahead for the 35-year-old.

Kirk Cousins’ Emotional Outbursts Over Time Call Attention to Pressure Facing Vikings QB

The pressure is on this season for Cousins who is playing in the final year of his contract.

Star Tribune columnist Michael Rand noted a trend with Cousins and his emotional outbursts over time — that they’ve come during times of peak tension in his career.

“The pattern with Cousins’ emotional outbursts, at least the ones we’ve seen, is that they come when he is feeling tension: 2015, trying to establish himself as a starter and silence critics; 2018 in the finale, yelling at [Adam] Thielen as a playoff berth slips away for a team that was supposed to compete for a Super Bowl; 2021, when Cousins bailed out [Mike] Zimmer and helped the Vikings avoid a disastrous 1-5 start; and now Sunday, with Cousins coming off a 13-4 season but with his contract set to expire after this season,” Rand wrote.

Cousins was not entirely to blame for the three turnovers credited to him in Sunday’s loss. One came on a fumbled snap where guard Ed Ingram clubbed the ball out of Cousins hands. Another came off a big hit on a Buccaneers blitz.

But the throw to Osborn represents the ongoing battle Cousins has with balancing risk as a quarterback. He posited that the throw was “too aggressive,” but Kevin O’Connell supported  Cousins’ decision-making in the moment.

Kevin O’Connell Defends Kirk Cousins’ Decision on 1st Half Interception

In his postgame media conference, O’Connell did not tear down Cousins for making the risky throw to Osborn, saying that in a game of inches it could have easily become a game-tilting play in the Vikings’ favor.

I didn’t mind the decision,” O’Connell said. “We’ll take a look at it, whether the location could have been better. But ultimately, I want him to be aggressive. We fit that ball in that window and score, everybody thinks it’s a great execution.”

There were better options available understanding the play became a negative in hindsight.

Rand argued that the play represents Cousins is still out of his comfort zone at times in O’Connell’s offense.

“The tension that seems to still exist between Cousins and the Kevin O’Connell offense even now in Year 2 is when to cut it loose and when to play it safe,” Rand wrote. “My guess is that the offense pushes him into some uncomfortable risk-reward throws, and when the risk becomes a turnover Cousins bristles at the aftermath.”