NEW YORK, NY – “Remember, Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.” So wrote Andy Dufresne in Stephen King’s oft-quoted, seemingly-always-on-TV, The Shawshank Redemption. It’s a great line, a memorable line, and maybe even mostly true, but I can tell you this: There’s no way that Stephen King is, or ever was, a Minnesota Vikings fan.
On Monday night the Vikings hosted the San Francisco 49ers, and pretty much everyone in America awaited the inevitable beatdown the Niners were going to unleash upon their purple-clad, dome-dwelling opponents. It never happened. The Vikes somehow squeaked out a 22-17 win, moving their record to 3-4, and keeping their faint playoff hopes (there’s that word again) alive. But that’s not the part of the story I’m interested in.
Prior to that improbable win Monday, I texted these words to a friend who’s also a Vikings fan: “The dream is [Kirk] Cousins plays just well enough to lose and then gets traded to some sucker.” Well, he kinda did just play well enough to lose, with the slight exception being that they didn’t lose. Cousins went 35-45 for 378 yards, 2 TD, and 1 INT. Those are impressive, and very tradable, stats! But they are deceptive. In fact, if you change the sure interception that Jordan Addison remarkably ripped away from a San Fran DB and took for a 60-yard touchdown, Cousins would have had at least one fewer completion, one fewer touchdown, and one more interception. That’s the Kirk we know and loathe. And, like always, he’s mucking up the works.
The Vikings are not a Super Bowl contender this year, with or without Cousins. Which is why it would be so much better for them to be without him. This unlikely win against a team considered to be one the best p if not the best – in the NFC is going to give Minnesota the one thing they don’t need right now, hope. They’re 3-4 in a conference chock full o’ 3 and 4 win teams. They’re in second place in their division and the team leading the division, Detroit, just got annihilated by a pretty average Baltimore Ravens team. Minnesota and a large and very disturbed percentage of their fans can probably see a path to the playoffs with Cousins right now. I am here to tell anyone who will listen, THERE IS NO PATH. Let me clarify. They could possibly make the playoffs, but the path ends right there. This team will win nothing of consequence with Cousins as their quarterback. It’s that simple. Stefon Diggs knew it, which is why he booked a one-way ticket out of Dodge as fast as he could. It’s only a matter of time before Justin Jefferson does the same.
The Vikes have one of the most dynamic young receiving corps in the game and they need a QB who is equal to their talents. Kirk Cousins is equal to tepid dishwater. It’s long past time to move on. The NFL Trading Deadline is October 31st, Halloween. Time for Minnesota to trick some GM and treat themselves to a Cousins-free future. Now this is the kind of hope I can get behind.