Minnesota Vikings: Kirk Cousins facing unfair criticism following Week 11 loss

Minnesota Vikings, Kirk Cousins (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
Minnesota Vikings, Kirk Cousins (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) /

Kirk Cousins is getting unfairly criticized for the Minnesota Vikings loss to Dallas.

After starting the regular season schedule with a rough record of 1-5 overall, the Minnesota Vikings entered Week 11 against the Dallas Cowboys riding a three-game winning streak while inching their way back into the NFC playoff picture.

Unfortunately for Minnesota, its winning ways came to a close on Sunday afternoon in Week 11, falling in the final minutes at home against Dallas who had entered the game at just 2-7 overall.

In the game, the Vikings had a lead late in the contest until the Cowboys jumped out in front with under two minutes left. Minnesota had a chance to put together a drive at the end of the contest to either tie things up with a field goal to force overtime or win the game on a touchdown.

The Vikings, however, went three-and-out in the final drive and weren’t able to accomplish that while falling 31-28 at home to drop to 4-6 overall going into Week 12.

In that final drive, Minnesota didn’t manage to threat Dallas, capped off by a deep pass from Kirk Cousins while pressured that resulted in an incomplete pass and ultimately ended the game.

Since the game concluded, Cousins has since received some criticism from local and a few national media members, comparing the drive he and the Vikings put together to the late-game drives Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes put together in Week 11.

Cousins has deserved criticism throughout his career and especially his time in Minnesota, but this time around, that criticism isn’t fair to the quarterback.

The Minnesota Vikings Week 11 loss isn’t on Kirk Cousins.

First of all, games aren’t won or lost in one drive or on one play, although teams may ultimately win or lose a contest on the final play. But there were many reasons why the Vikings were put in that situation that took place throughout the course of the game.

Secondly, Cousins played well and fueled a comeback for Minnesota, which trailed going into halftime and had to seemingly battle back for a remainder of the game and fight off Dallas. Int he contest, Cousins finished with 22 completions on 30 pass attempts, throwing for 314 yards and three touchdowns through the air. All of his touchdown passes especially were great plays by the veteran quarterback that put his team in a situation to win with just a few minutes left.

You could look back to numerous things that fed into Minnesota’s loss in Week 11, notably the dropped interception in the endzone by Vikings cornerback Chris Jones that would have ended the game to a few games later score the go-ahead touchdown. Or the dropped pass from rookie wide receiver Justin Jefferson during the final drive that hit his hands before the turf. Or the fumbles that took place during the previous three quarters.

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Sunday evening’s loss to Dallas wasn’t solely because of a failed final drive that could have tied the game up or decided the game in Minnesota’s favor late, there was more to it than that. And any criticism that Cousins is receiving shouldn’t be happening, because he ultimately did what a player should do — put your team in a position to win the game late.