MINNEAPOLIS – Mike Zimmer has no idea if he will pull Kirk Cousins in the middle of the first half where the Minnesota Vikings quarterback threw three blocks that resulted in a 40-23 loss to the Atlanta Falcons, who responded to a simply “no” when asked if he or she is considering making a change.
But even though the head coach removed any notions about QB job security, the cousins knew the consequences could come if his blocking trend was taken after the Vikings bye week.
“The truth is if my speed is in terms of blocking, if that continues, I will not end the season,” Cousins said. “I don’t – you know what I mean? There’s a little bit, you have to improve. If they say to me, ̵6;Hey we should improve,’ or they pull me; we’re fine. That’s the rest of the time it will be for me, trying to protect football as much as I can. Because when you change the ball, it really hurts your chances of winning. I know that. I just need to improve as we look ahead for the rest of the season. “
The three interceptions Cousins threw before halftime on Sunday were the most he threw in the first half of his career, according to ESPN Stats and Information. Cousins were given a two-year, $ 66 million extension in March that keeps him under contract with Minnesota until the 2022 season. In six games, the 32-year-old quarterback led the NFL with 10 interceptions after throwing just six in 2019.
“I have to correct,” Cousins said. “I have to end the season with another story, regarding the blocking, so that’s something I have to improve on the rest of the games we have. I didn’t know I was going to limit it to blocking. I just think it was the whole offensive performance. It’s just, I have to be better, we have to be better. “
Minnesota won a coin toss and started the game on offense. Cousins threw a block in the first play of the game on a pass intended for rookie Justin Jefferson. Atlanta linebacker Deion Jones returned the ball to the Vikings’ 24-yard line where the Falcons jumped to a 7-0 lead after orchestrating a 29-yard 5-play drive and ended with QB Matt Ryan who hit Julio Jones in a 20-yard touchdown.
From that point on, the Vikings couldn’t get up and really tried the former without a Falcons victory.
“I thought the former was the ugliest, if you will,” Cousins said of his three interceptions. “First game play, and the attachment is not confusing. It was just a collapse of the zone, and I just forced myself to cover football, I tried to do too much. That was the mistake I could have made in Year 1, but I failed I will do it now. The second, third down, saw Cover 2, felt that they had squeezed Adam (Thielen), doubled Adam, and wanted to replace the squeeze by throwing it at Justin, and the cloud corner jumped on it. and Made a great play. Third, the bender was just trying to work with (Chad) Beebe. It hit my arm, and obviously went up in the air and was blocked. “
The Cousins finished the game completing 24 of 36 passes for 343 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions. As the Vikings headed into their Week 7 bye with a record of 1-5, the worst start in Minnesota since 2013, the opportunity for investigation and potential changes was on the minds of many within the franchise.
“I think that’s something we need to look at here starting tomorrow when we come back and find out where we are, where we plan to go and kind of going there,” Zimmer said.
Jefferson, the Minnesota receiver recorded a 22nd overall, reaching another milestone in career loss along with another 100-yard received day (166 yards, 2 TDs). The last Vikings rookie to reach that task was Randy Moss in 1998 (4). Jefferson is also the second player in NFL history with 500 or more yards received through his first five career games (537).