Vikings QB Kirk Cousins Has His Biggest Critic Showing a Change of Heart

robert Griffin III

Getty Robert Griffin III has shown a change of heart on his former teammate, Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins.

Kirk Cousins has gone from “collecting checks” to an NFL Most Valuable Player dark horse in the eyes of his biggest critic.

Robert Griffin III, selected No. 2 overall by the Washington Commanders and 100 picks before Cousins, lost his starting role to Cousins in 2016 due to injury struggles that hampered his career. Griffin has since moved on to a broadcasting career and notably criticized his former teammate after the Vikings selected Kellen Mond in the 2021 draft.

“As you’ve seen, Cousins has been collecting checks there in Minnesota for a long time, taking them to 8-8, 9-7 seasons,” Griffin said in April 2021. “If he has a bad start to the year like he did last year, I could see the fans and maybe the organization leaning toward Mond if he comes in and impresses.”

“Yeah, I can tell you that No. 8 in Minnesota is not real happy right now, because Kellen Mond represents exactly what he doesn’t do well,” Griffin added. “Kellen Mond is the big, physical quarterback. He can run it, throw it all over the field, and I don’t think that’s something that No. 8 is able to do in Cousins in Minnesota.”

Griffin has since shown a change of heart on Cousins, who after a middling tenure in Minnesota the past four seasons, is leading the Vikings to their best start since 2009.

RGIII Calls Vikings the Most Underrated 7-1 Team in NFL History, Predicts MVP Bid Ahead for Kirk Cousins

Following the Vikings’ win over the Commanders on November 6, Griffin tweeted that Minnesota is the “least talked about 7-1 team in the history of the NFL.”

Back in Week 4, Griffin was speaking on how the Green Bay Packers pulled out a 27-24 overtime win over the New England Patriots, crediting Green Bay for the win.

“Good teams find a way to win even if it’s ugly,” Griffin added.

Vikings Central replied, saying in the Vikings’ case, it’s just a bad win — words that proved true as national pundits continue to discredit Minnesota’s success this season.

Griffin’s reply was prophetic, as the NFL exploded after Cousins’ shirtless, chains celebration on the flight home from Washington in Week 9.

“Vikings are good. If they start the year 7-1 with wins over the Dolphins and Cardinals the NFL will be shook,” he said.

The biggest statement he made followed: “that Week 10 matchup against the Bills would be an MVP opportunity for Cousins. One game at a time though. You guys should be excited.”

Kirk Cousins Playing Like an MVP When it Matters

While Cousins statistically is having one of his worst seasons on record, his ability to lead fourth-quarter comebacks in 2022 has catapulted the Vikings into a virtual lock for the postseason.

Cousins has a career-high four game-winning, comeback drives in the fourth quarter through just eight games this season. Considered an empty-calorie, garbage-time producer the majority of his career, Cousins flashed his clutch gene in 2021, but too often his late-game scoring drives were foiled by the defense’s ineptitude.

This season, Cousins and the Vikings are playing their best football in the fourth quarter — a credit to head coach Kevin O’Connell for preparing his team for late-game situations.

Minnesota has a +33 point differential in the fourth quarter and hasn’t lost that quarter against an opponent yet this season. However, the team’s -33 point differential in the third quarter remains the bane to the fan base.

O’Connell has been adamant about his team continuing to clean up its play and show more consistency. When that happens, Cousins could be on the brink of merging his empty calories of the past with his present winning ways into a serious MVP candidacy.