Kirk Cousins Disappoints Vikings Fans Yet Again After Crushing Playoff Loss to Giants

Doric SamJanuary 16, 2023

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - JANUARY 15: Kirk Cousins #8 of the Minnesota Vikings warms up prior to the NFC Wild Card playoff game against the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium on January 15, 2023 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins put up some solid stats in Sunday's NFC Wild Card Game against the New York Giants, but his final pass of the day will haunt him for quite some time.

With the Vikings' season on the line late in the fourth quarter, Cousins threw a checkdown pass on fourth down. The pass was completed to tight end T.J. Hockenson, but a defender was right next to him and stopped him well short of the first-down marker to seal a 31-24 loss for Minnesota in front of its home fans at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Cousins threw for 273 yards and two touchdowns on 31-of-39 passing, and he ran for another score. He kept his team afloat while the Vikings defense had a lackluster showing against a scrappy Giants offense. However, his decision to throw a short pass on a potential game-tying drive destroyed Minnesota's chances of continuing its postseason run.

NFL Twitter lit up Cousins for his blunder in crunch time, with many expressing a lack of surprise at the 34-year-old's misstep:

Bill Simmons @BillSimmons

A long off season ahead for Kirk Cousins after that 4th down throw. The 3 yard out when you need 8. Wow wow wow wow wow. Even Matt Patricia wouldn't have called that.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Final play of Vikings season: Kirk Cousins throws a 3-yard pass to T.J. Hockenson on 4th &amp; 8 😬 <a href="https://t.co/I1kZ2gXxCm">pic.twitter.com/I1kZ2gXxCm</a>

Michael Kist @MichaelKistNFL

You never know which Kirk Cousins you're going to get but somehow it's always exactly Kirk Cousins.

RyanFromCBus @RyanFromCBus

Per usual, never rely on Kirk Cousins

Shea Serrano @SheaSerrano

[4th and 8, final drive of the game, down by a touchdown]<br><br>KIRK COUSINS: go out three yards turn around and i'm gonna hit you right in the numbers<br><br>THE TEAM: kirk we need 8 yards though<br><br>KIRK COUSINS: *puts on a pair of sunglasses and smokes a big cigar* trust me

Marcus Whitman @TFG_Football

That play will be a significant part of Kirk Cousins' legacy.

trey wingo @wingoz

A 3 yard attempt on 4th and 8 is as peak Kirk Cousins as it gets

Rich Cimini @RichCimini

That fourth-down pass was so Kirk Cousins. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NYGvsMIN?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NYGvsMIN</a>

Phil Mackey 🎙 @PhilMackey

Kirk Cousins was mostly excellent today. But on the biggest play of the season, he throws a 5-yard checkdown with a defender barreling down on Hockenson.

Mark Feinsand @Feinsand

Kirk Cousins throwing a three-yard pass on 4th and 8 with the game on the line is the most on-brand play ever.

Pierce Simpson @PierceSimpson

Kirk Cousins really threw a checkdown with the season on the line. WILD.

Sidney Rice @sidneyrice

Why would Kirk Cousins ever throw that pass with the season on the line? 4th and 8 and you throw an option route at 4 yards deep? Help me understand.

CC @TheActualCC

"4th and 8"<br><br>Kirk Cousins: <a href="https://t.co/kd9p1DEDsX">pic.twitter.com/kd9p1DEDsX</a>

Greg Tepper @Tepper

"Hey Kirk, we need 8 yards or the season's over."<br><br>Kirk Cousins: <a href="https://t.co/Nih3DMJ1Xn">pic.twitter.com/Nih3DMJ1Xn</a>

McNeil @Reflog_18

4th &amp; 8 and a must-have first down<br><br>Kirk Cousins: <a href="https://t.co/6mgL4Wcbnt">pic.twitter.com/6mgL4Wcbnt</a>

Charlie O'Connor @charlieo_conn

When you say "he's a good quarterback but you'll never win a title with him," that 4th down pass by Kirk Cousins is exactly what you're thinking of even if you don't know you are.

Codey Dauch @codeydraws

I forever hate Kirk Cousins

Throughout his NFL career, Cousins has been viewed as a serviceable starter, but he's also faced questions about his ability to be the quarterback of a championship contender.

Sunday's ending will only amplify those questions, as it will be hard for him to live down another mistake when the lights are brightest.

Cousins and the Vikings will have a lot to think about this offseason as the end of their 2022 campaign will surely leave a sour taste for a while.