MINNEAPOLIS — Mike Zimmer did not give a lot thought as to if he would pull Kirk Cousins amid a primary half by which the Minnesota Vikings‘ quarterback threw three interceptions that resulted in an eventual 40-23 loss to the Atlanta Falcons, replying with a easy “no” when requested if he thought-about making a change.
However though the pinnacle coach dispelled any notion over the QB’s job safety, Cousins is conscious of the results that would come if his interception development picks up following the Vikings’ bye week.
“The truth is that if the tempo I am on by way of the interceptions, if that have been to proceed, I will not end the season,” Cousins mentioned. “I will not — what I imply? There’s a bit of little bit of, you bought to enhance. Whether or not it is them telling me, ‘Hey, we gotta enhance,’ or them pulling me; we acquired to get higher. That is what the remainder of the season will likely be about for me, is making an attempt to guard the soccer as finest I can. As a result of if you flip the ball over, it actually hurts your probabilities to win. I do know that. I simply want to enhance as we stay up for the remainder of the season.”
The three interceptions Cousins threw earlier than halftime Sunday have been his most in a primary half in his profession, based on ESPN Stats & Data. Cousins was given a two-year, $66 million extension in March that retains him beneath contract in Minnesota via the 2022 season. In six video games, the 32-year-old quarterback leads the NFL with 10 interceptions; he tossed simply six in 2019.
“I have to right it,” Cousins mentioned. “I would like to complete the season with a special story, relating to the interceptions, in order that’s one thing I would like to enhance with the remaining video games we’ve. I do not know that I might restrict it to the interceptions. I feel it is simply your complete offensive efficiency. It is simply, I have to be higher, we have to be higher.”
Minnesota received the coin toss and began the sport on offense. Cousins threw an interception on the primary play of the sport on a go supposed for rookie Justin Jefferson. Atlanta linebacker Deion Jones returned the ball to the Vikings’ 24-yard line, the place the Falcons jumped out to a 7-0 lead after orchestrating a five-play drive that went 29 yards and ended with QB Matt Ryan hitting Julio Jones for a 20-yard landing.
From that time, the Vikings by no means have been in a position to get better and actually check the beforehand winless Falcons.
“I assumed the primary one was the worst one, if you’ll,” Cousins mentioned of his three interceptions. “First play of the sport, and the protection was not complicated. It was only a zone drop, and I merely pressured the soccer into protection, tried to do an excessive amount of. That is a mistake I’ll have made in 12 months 1, however I am dissatisfied that I might do this now. The second, third down, noticed Cowl 2, felt them squeeze Adam [Thielen], doubled Adam, and wished to interchange the squeeze with throwing it to Justin, and the cloud nook jumped it and made a great play. The third one, was simply making an attempt to work the bender to [Chad] Beebe. My arm acquired hit, and clearly it went up within the air and was intercepted.”
Cousins completed the sport having accomplished 24 of 36 passes for 343 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions.
Because the Vikings head into their Week 7 bye with a 1-5 document, the worst begin in Minnesota since 2013, the chance for introspection and potential adjustments is on the minds of many throughout the franchise.
“I feel that is one thing we have to take a look at right here beginning tomorrow once we get again in and determine the place we’re at, the place we plan on going and sort of go from there,” Zimmer mentioned.
Jefferson, drafted twenty second total, reached one other profession milestone within the loss along with his third 100-yard receiving day (166 yards, 2 TDs). The final Vikings rookie to succeed in that feat was Randy Moss in 1998 (4). Jefferson can also be the second participant in NFL historical past with 500 or extra receiving yards via his first 5 profession video games (537).