I’ve resisted writing this for most of the day. I wanted to have a cooling-off period. A chance to R-E-L-A-X. Serenity now.
My mind has not changed. Although the Week One game between the Packers and Vikings prompted some to think that new Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell had tapped into a stronger, better, faster (OK, not faster) version of Kirk Cousins, Monday night’s game at Philadelphia featured Same Old Kirk. Prime Time Kirk. 8-8 Kirk.
He’s now 2-10 on Monday Night Football. That’s enough of a sample size to come to the conclusion that the size of the prime-time stage is too big for Cousins.
At some point, we all become whatever we’re going to be. In his eleventh season, Cousins won’t suddenly access some well of football talent that has eluded him for a decade. It’s there, or it’s not. For Cousins, it’s not.
He’s 60-60-2 as a starter. The ultimate middle-of-the-road, center-of-the-pack quarterback. Win some, lose some. But he’ll never win enough to be among the best.
New G.M. Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has acknowledged it. While he was perhaps too candid, he said what most fans are thinking. What maybe O’Connell had found a way to coach out of Cousins, based on Week One.
Based on last night’s game, it’s still there. Waiting to rear its ugly head whenever the lights turn on and the game kicks off at some point after the sun goes down.
The good news is that the Vikings currently are scheduled to play only one more night game this year, on Thanksgiving against the Patriots. Maybe that means Cousins and company will win enough to get to the postseason. To prevail in the wild-card round (as long as the game isn’t played at night). And then to lose in resounding fashion in the divisional round to a clearly better team on that team’s turf.
Sort of like what happened last night in Philadelphia.