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On fateful play, Patrick Peterson thought Kirk Cousins didn’t know what down it was

Mike Florio and Chris Simms analyze how Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings' rally came up short in a season-ending defeat to the New York Giants.

A special season for the Vikings had an abrupt ending, with quarterback Kirk Cousins throwing five yards short of the sticks on fourth and eight in the closing moments of the playoff game against the Giants. Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson addressed the moment during the latest episode of his podcast, All Things Covered.

“Going into that final play, when I saw it, the only thing I could think about, I was like, ‘He must have didn’t know what down it was,’" Peterson said, via Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “I haven’t heard his explanation about it as of yet. But on the sideline it just took me back because I was just shocked that we threw the ball three yards when we needed eight.”

Cousins and coach Kevin O’Connell addressed the situation after the game. Some would say Cousins should have thrown the ball to receiver Justin Jefferson, even though he was double covered. Others would say Cousins should have held the ball a bit longer, until receiver K.J. Osborne broke open, which he did. Still others would say Cousins had no choice but to throw, because he had Giants defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence in his face.

“I really don’t know what went into that, how that decision came about, him throwing the ball that short,” Peterson added. “But as far as his overall performance in that game, I thought he played solid. I thought he was one of the top 10 quarterbacks all year long. He’s a guy that you can win with, for sure.”

Still, through five years in Minnesota, Cousins has one playoffs win and two playoff appearances. He’s been just good enough. At some point, just good enough isn’t good enough.