SEATTLE — Kirk Cousins had a chance to lead the Minnesota Vikings to a big comeback victory Monday night, Nov. 2. Instead, the game ended with him still trying to shake his reputation for faltering in prime-time games.
After Minnesota’s 37-30 loss to Seattle on ESPN’s Monday Night Football, the network tweeted, “Kirk Cousins is now 0-8 on MNF. The worst record in NFL history.”
The game offered a golden chance for Cousins to build upon what has been a solid season for the 31-year-old quarterback. He entered the night leading the NFL in passer rating at 114.8, on pace to be the eighth-best mark in NFL history.
Trailing 34-17 early in the fourth quarter, the Vikings appeared to be done for the night. But Cousins gave them hope with a 58-yard touchdown pass to Laquon Treadwell and a 3-yard TD pass to Kyle Rudolph to cut the deficit to 34-30.
The Vikings (8-4) got the ball back in the final few minutes with a last chance to win. But that ended with Cousins’ incomplete pass thrown toward Irv Smith Jr. on fourth-and-3 at the Minnesota 42 with 2:27 left.
“I think we have a football team that can go on the road in a tough environment and get a win,” said Cousins, who is 0-2 on Mondays with Minnesota after going 0-6 with Washington from 2012-17. “I think this was an opportunity we missed, and that’s disappointing.”
Still, Cousins found some consolation in the Vikings’ comeback against the Seahawks (10-2), who are tied with four other teams for the NFL’s best record.
“We were able to at least show resilience, and we’re going to need that to win in December,” he said. “If you do take care of business … then you get a chance in January. That’s really what we want to do.”
Cousins wasn’t helped by a Minnesota defense that gave up 444 yards. Still, the Vikings have not beaten a team this season that currently has a winning record. They are 0-3 in such games, including previous losses at Green Bay (9-3) and Kansas City (8-4).
Cousins completed 22 of 38 passes for 276 yards, two touchdowns and an interception against the Seahawks. When he was picked off on the first play of fourth quarter by Tre Flowers, it ended a team-record streak of 201 consecutive passes without an interception.
“The one route that got intercepted, the guy kind of of sat on the route,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said of the turnover at the Minnesota 25, which led to Seattle touchdown and a 34-17 lead.
Overall, Zimmer was pleased with Cousins’ play.
“I thought he did well,” Zimmer said. “He made some good plays. He was under duress a few times but made good plays. He moved in the pocket pretty well. He got the ball out under some tough situations.”
Despite some pressure from the Seahawks, Cousins was not sacked. His accuracy wasn’t as good as it usually is. Entered the game completing 70.6 percent of his passes, Cousins hit on just 57.9 percent Monday.
“After a game like tonight, I like to get out there and play the next one,” he said. “You’ve just get back to work. You understand how important these last four games are.”
There is still a chance this season for Cousins to force ESPN to amend its tweet.
The Vikings will play host to the Packers on Monday Night Football on Dec. 23.