No matter how much you wanted Kirk Cousins out of Minnesota, removed from the helm of the Minnesota Vikings… No matter whether you wanted the Vikings to see where the 2023 season goes, or to burn it all down and aim for draft day… No matter how oddly high of an opinion you might have of backup quarterback Jaren Hall…
There’s one thing I think we can all agree on, regarding what is likely the end of the Cousins Era in Minnesota, after the quarterback tore his Achilles on Sunday in Green Bay:
Not like this.
Not after a half-season in which Cousins has thrown for the second-most yards in the league, tossed the most touchdowns, attempted and completed the most passes of any quarterback in the NFL.
Not on a day when the Vikings beat the Packers at Lambeau Field, a 24-10 win soundtracked by the football merrily clanking off the hands and helmets of Green Bay’s receivers, and by the agonized groans of thousands of Packers fans, booing their own terrible team.
Not when the Vikings defense is playing as well as it ever has, and the Purple has finally found some semblance of an offensive line, and they’re rounding into shape at every one of the skill positions on offense, and they’ve won three games in a row.
Not when Minnesota’s remaining schedule includes just two teams that currently have a winning record.
We’re stuck now. We’re stuck watching Hall try to lead the Vikings to the playoffs, even though he’s now thrown all of four big-league passes so far. We’re stuck seeing what the Vikings would do if they had a quarterback that can move around in the pocket a little bit, perhaps the main skill that Cousins didn’t have - but that also possesses none of the skills that Cousins does have, at least not that we’ve seen so far.
It seems likely we’ve seen the last of Cousins in purple. He’ll go down with a 50-37-1 record as Minnesota’s quarterback, having thrown more touchdowns than anyone but Fran Tarketon, and for more yards than anyone save Tarkenton and Tommy Kramer, and with the highest passer rating in Vikings QB history.
There were plenty of people who wanted to see the end of Cousins, who was ultimately a good-but-not-great quarterback in Minnesota. Plenty of people wanted to see someone who could use his feet to make plays, a huge skill in today’s NFL. Plenty wanted a young quarterback that would go a bit easier on the Vikings’ salary cap. Plenty wanted Minnesota to use this season as an effort to get a high draft pick for next year, and to snag a new franchise quarterback.
But whether you’re one of the plenty, or whether you defended Kirk against all of the criticism, we can all agree:
Not like this.
WOLVES at Atlanta, 6:30pm, BSN
WOLVES vs Denver, 7pm, BSN
WILD vs New Jersey, 7pm, BSN
GOPHERS MEN’S BASKETBALL, Macalester, exhibition, 7pm
GOPHERS VOLLEYBALL at Ohio State, 5:30pm, BTN
GOPHERS WOMEN’S HOCKEY vs MSU-Mankato, 6pm
GOPHERS MEN’S HOCKEY vs Minnesota-Duluth, 7pm, FOX 9+