Kirk Cousins: a Travesty on Monday Nights

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 29: Kirk Cousins #8 of the Minnesota Vikings warms up before the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on September 29, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois.
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Kirk Cousins has been awful on Monday Night Football, posting a record of 0-9. He has always struggled in primetime, yet Monday Nights seem to affect him differently. He has been both with the Vikings and the Redskins in these losses and hasn’t put up numbers sufficient enough to get his team the win. Let’s look into each game and check out what went wrong.

Stats Courtesy of pro-football-reference.com*

Week 5 of the 2014 Season:

Kirk gets his first start on Monday Night Football. He has played only eight games in the last two seasons, while only starting four of them. The Redskins are playing at home, facing the Seahawks who would go on to lose in one of the worst fashions in Super Bowl history this season. Kirk is down by 17 halfway through the second quarter and never shows any fights. In the end, they lose 27-17. He put up two touchdowns on 201 yards passing and threw one pick in just his first Monday Night games, he has many more to come.

Week 13 of the 2015 Season:

Cousins is in his first season as a starter, he starts and plays all 16 games of this season. He is at home against the Cowboys who are 4-8. The game relies heavily on its kickers as it is back and forth, field goal after field goal until late in the fourth quarter. The Cowboys score a touchdown after a three-minute drive. Cousins, who usually isn’t great in these clutch situations, comes up clutch, delivering a 28-yard pass to DeSean Jackson with 44 seconds left. The Cowboys managed to drive down the field and hit a game-winning field goal with nine seconds remaining. Cousins threw for 219 yards and one touchdown with zero picks as he loses his second Monday Night game.

Week 1 of the 2016 Season:

One of Kirk’s two Pro Bowl seasons starts with a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. For the third straight year, Cousins is at home for a Monday Night game. The Steelers who were always strong, come in and embarrass the Redskins in front of their home crowd, winning 38-16. He threw for the most yards he’s ever thrown for in a Monday Night game, throwing 329 passing yards. Despite his yardage, Cousins threw two picks, not the best way to start the season.

Week 15 of the 2016 Season:

The first time Cousins plays two Monday Night games in one season. Of course, he didn’t redeem himself for the week one performance as the Redskins lose in a game that was never close to the Panthers, 26-15. Dustin Hopkins, the kicker for the Redskins scored all 15 points. Cousins threw for 315 passing yards and one interception. Uneventful scoring game for the Reskins.

Week 4 of the 2017 Season:

In his final season with the Redskins, Cousins tries to bring the playoffs to Washington D.C. one more time before his contract expires. Another one of his closer Monday Night games starts in Week 4 against the Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium. Kirk starts strong as the Redskins are up 10-7 at halftime. A close second half between the teams scoring back and forth. Kirk and the Redskins drive down the field and manage to get a field goal that ties it up with 47 seconds left. The Chiefs drive down and kick a field goal to win the game with four seconds left. Kirk showed a fight with 220 passing yards and two touchdowns. A nail bitter nonetheless.

Week 7 of the 2017 Season:

This was Cousins’ final Monday Night game as a Redskin before he signed with the Vikings. A game at Lincoln Financial Field up against the Eagles who went on to win the Super Bowl. The Redskins had a quality start taking a lead but lost it and couldn’t bring themselves back into the game. Kirk was on his game, completing 30 of his 40 passes for 303 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception. He leaves Washington D.C. with one more loss.

Week 14 of the 2018 Season:

Cousins’ first Monday Night game as a Minnesota Viking, up against the Seahawks in CenturyLink Field. The only time the game was close was when the game started and the score was 0-0. The Seahawks came out and scored 21 points before the Vikings scored. The score ended up being 21-7 as the Vikings lost. Kirk threw for 208 yards and one interception. New team, same Kirk.

Week 13 of the 2019 Season: 

Cousins’ second Pro Bowl season, this time with the Vikings. His second time facing the Seahawks on Monday Night Football in Seattle as a Viking. He helped the Vikings mount a comeback in the fourth quarter and nearly win. At the start of the fourth quarter, the Vikings were down 34-17 and needed to step up their game for a chance at a victory. Kirk proceeded to drive down the field twice and throw two touchdowns, bringing the game back to 34-30. The Seahawks scored a field goal with 25 seconds left and the Vikings couldn’t put together a win, losing 37-30. 

Week 16 of the 2019 Season:

Cousins needed to perform when it mattered most in a rivalry game against the Packers. The Vikings needed to win to even be in the running for the NFC North and Kirk did not deliver. The Packers came into U.S. Bank Stadium with 0 wins in the stadium and needed to win the division. Kirk threw for 122 passing yards, one touchdown, and one interception. Kirk did not perform in this game, with the lowest passing yards of all nine Monday Night games.

Looking Forward

Kirk Cousins is still trying to get his first Monday Night win. The Vikings play the Bears in Week 10 on Monday Night at Chicago. We will see if Kirk can improve his Monday Night record to 1-9 this season.