The Minnesota Vikings had a landing place at Green Bay within the fourth quarter of their week 2 encounter, with a primary objective contained in the 10-yard line.
Then a regrettable throw of imbalance from Kirk Cousins thwarted their rally and apparently threatened to cement his standing as a quarterback who couldn’t be counted on the most important moments.
The cousins and the remainder of the offensive have resolutely recovered from the creaky determination and ensuing interception in the long run zone which primarily sealed a win 21- 16 for Packers. Finally, the Vikings have the chance to take revenge for this damaging defeat once they host the rematch on Monday night. Having captured no less than one wildcard spot within the playoffs, the Vikings may also stop their primary rivals from successful the NFC North on their very own turf.
As a testomony to endurance on this immediate judgment league, Cousins and his runners, blockers and receivers carried out properly sufficient after a tough September that scoring factors and defending the ball turned Minnesota's least downside. They have actually come a great distance since that day in Green Bay.
"It's hard to go back and watch this tape. We are so much better as a football team, so much better on offense than we have been," stated quarterback Kyle Rudolph.
Cousins was knocked out twice on this game whereas getting 14 for 32 for the second completion share of his profession, whereas the Vikings fell 21-Zero within the second quarter. Two weeks later, they misplaced 16-6 to Chicago with a complete of 222 yards on the low of the season whereas Cousins was sacked six occasions on the excessive of the season.
Coupled with its regression within the second half of 2018 that helped wipe out Minnesota's playoffs in its first season, the totally assured $ 84 million contract that the Vikings gave the Cousins was beginning to appear like a legal responsibility. It turned out that Cousins simply wanted extra time to settle in with the brand new system led by attacking coordinator Kevin Stefanski and designed by attacking counselor Gary Kubiak.
The Vikings have averaged 29.four factors prior to now 10 video games, even with star receiver Adam Thielen absent for about two-thirds of that streak. With a productive rush assault as a base, Stefanski put the cousins in nonetheless favorable conditions by steadily utilizing play, display screen and deployment passes from the middle. This arrange a number of deep balls on the proper time for Stefon Diggs that Cousins put in the precise locations for game-changing positive aspects.
"It's still a work in progress, and I don't really like to put my stake in the ground and say something about my performance," stated Cousins, "but I think the more you play, the more you feel comfortable with a system, the more comfortable you feel with your teammates, the better you can make decisions in seconds to control the ball or take the deep shot, throw it, avoid a bag. "
In his fifth full season as a starter, Cousins nonetheless has no playoff victory and just a few highway wins against the successful groups. He did, nonetheless, start to kill a few of these sports-talk-show-filler dragons this 12 months with fourth quarter returns, evening game wins and a major discount in turnover.
Currently ranked within the prime 5 within the league in completion share, yards per try, passing rating and interception share, Cousins has unquestionably produced the very best season of his profession. Beating the Packers can be one other notable achievement.
"I hope he has a great game and I hope we win, but that's not all for him," stated coach Mike Zimmer. "We have 21 other players, and they have to go out and run as much as he does."
Packers coach Matt LaFleur has lengthy admired Cousins. He was the Washington quarterback coach for the primary two years of Cousins within the league.
"If the game is there, it does, period, every time," stated LaFleur. “He is so exact and intensely clever. He is aware of what he’s on the lookout for and when he sees it, there isn’t any hesitation. "
Current LaFleur pupil Aaron Rodgers has lengthy proven such willpower, amongst many different elite attributes. With the Packers relying extra on racing nowadays and a group of principally inexperienced receivers, Rodgers ranks behind Cousins in nearly all statistical metrics this 12 months. Still, he hasn't pitched interception in eight straight video games, and he helped the Packers attain the 11-win mark for the primary time in 5 years.
"That's why we play video games, for occasions like these, to hit the highway in a hostile setting and have an opportunity to lock the North with a win," said Rodgers. “Everyone will be ready to ride. "Monday Night Football" adds a little extra, I'm sure. It will be one of those contests at the old NFC North. "
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