NCAA Football

Confident Vikings thriving behind loose cousins

EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — After the Minnesota Vikings hired a coach with a first-player approach and a quarterback track record while keeping the entire starting offense intact, the 2022 season was off to a good start for Kirk Cousins.

Questions about whether Cousins ​​would find a higher level of comfort this year, his fifth with the Vikings, were answered by the NFC North ratings.

Recent video evidence of the team’s plane — of Cousins ​​dancing shirtless with diamond-studded chains dangling from his neck, glittering gold watches on his dangling arms and a grin from ear to ear — dispelled any lingering doubts.

“It was lit,” said rookie cornerback Akayleb Evans. “Kirk was cheating on me. He was turning all of us with all the chains. I just liked it. He’s not afraid to do that. I like it very much.”

Calculative, disciplined and studious, Cousins ​​used those attributes to outdo himself along the way as a last-minute recruit at Michigan State and a fourth-round pick for Washington.

These traits can also impede success at times on the field, when it comes to relying more on confidence and the instinct to let the ball roll for, say, Justin Jefferson, even if coverage dictates that a pass must go elsewhere. That style doesn’t translate perfectly into leadership either, and Cousins ​​spent much of his early seasons with the Vikings feeling his place on the team.

However, winning makes all the difference, especially when supported by a first-pass manual installed by Kevin O’Connell and a more relaxed atmosphere around team headquarters following the change in coaching staffs.

“I definitely like seeing Kirk having fun like this,” O’Connell said.

After the Vikings bounced back from a 10-point deficit to beat the Commanders on Sunday at the stadium where he made his NFL debut, extending his winning streak to six games, Cousins ​​and his self-deprecating nightclub act became the talk of the show. time. turns on.

He was a guest with the Manning brothers on their Monday night talk show alternative to the game’s standard broadcast, and his appearance included much discussion about his dance moves and good vibes.

Cousins ​​said on Wednesday he never expected the attention — dating back to Minnesota’s victory over New Orleans in London on Oct. from the flight home – because of an unofficial rule about no social media posts from the charter plane.

“Once you get off and the train comes off the tracks, it’s hard to stop at that point, as evidenced by my not wearing a shirt last week,” Cousins ​​said.

Vikings in first place (7-1) face their scariest journey yet this week.

They play Sunday in the Super Bowl preseason favorite in Buffalo (6-2), having defeated only one team (Miami) that currently has a winning record, so a win over the Bills would likely trigger another plane party after more touching and pumping for the quarterback.

“He has his own version of everything, and that’s who he is,” said running back Dalvin Cook. “I think that’s why I love him so much. He is just who he is.”

After the Vikings made the playoffs just once in their first four years with a 33-31-1 regular season record, their strong start this fall helped Cousins ​​win over his teammates in ways that never materialized in 2018- 21.

With a 19-yard touchdown against Arizona on October 30, which was capped off by a header dive into the end zone after passing two Cardinals defenders on the sideline, Cousins ​​had center Garrett Bradbury and the rest of the forwards fully silly with your respect. 🇧🇷

“Garrett said it was the best thing he’s ever seen,” Cousins ​​said with a slight shrug.

During a 47-yard pass to Jefferson against Washington, Cousins ​​took a heavy blow that left him breathless.

“No one ever talks about it,” said security guard Harrison Smith, “but this guy is tough.”

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