The Minnesota Vikings are not your normal dominant 12-3 team. Their losses have been in blowout fashion and their victories are almost all nail-biters, leading to some trepidation when discussing the team this season.
Most of the stats point to a team closer to being .500 than one that ran away with its division lead. Alas, you are what your record says you are and for the 2022 season, the Vikings are one of the best teams in the NFL. Racking up victories has not kept people from taking shots at them, however.
One player who has been the target of a lot of that has been quarterback Kirk Cousins. There is a perception of Cousins around the football world that wide receiver Justin Jefferson is looking to put an end to. He recently voiced his support for his starting quarterback this week.
“Everybody wants to make jokes about him. Always want to talk about him. But his numbers are showing differently,” Jefferson said, via Kevin Seifert of ESPN. “I don’t really want to talk too much on it, but he’s doing whatever he needs to do in order for his team to win and we’re definitely standing behind him.”
Jefferson went as far as to suggest that Cousins should be mentioned more often in the MVP race. On the season, Cousins has completed 65.7 percent of his passes for 4,117 yards and 27 touchdowns along with 11 interceptions. That puts him fifth in yardage and tied for fourth in touchdowns, so Jefferson could have a case.
The strongest argument for Cousins is his production in crunch time. He has led eight fourth-quarter comebacks and game-winning drives, which is the most in the NFL. Cousins is leading the league in passing yards and touchdowns in the fourth quarter and overtime combined, which is another feather in his cap.
Cousins and Jefferson should both be receiving some MVP attention for the seasons they are having, as Cousins ranks near the top of many passing stats and Jefferson is on the cusp of making history. People dismissing the 12-3 record of Minnesota are doing so at their own risk as the offense is good enough to keep up with anyone in the league.