Skip to main content

Need a fourth quarter comeback or a game-winning drive? Kirk Cousins is your man.

Cousins has come up clutch seven times this season when the Vikings were tied or trailing late in the fourth quarter or overtime. He's carried the team with back-to-back game-winning drives against the Lions and Panthers, and he might have three more game-tying or game-winning drives if it weren't for a series of a blunders that cost the Vikings against the Bengals, Cardinals and Browns. 

The only game this season that Cousins hasn't led the Vikings back from death was the Seattle game, where it wasn't necessary because he lit up Pete Carroll's defense for 323 yards and three touchdowns in a 30-17 win. 

But look the game-by-game situations where he's given the Vikings a chance to tie or win the game. Cousins is a combined 29-of-37 for 283 yards and a touchdown in seven opportunities to shed the stereotype that he's not a clutch QB. 

Bengals 4Q trailing 24-21 with 1:47 to play

Starting at their own 5-yard-line, Cousins led a nine-play, 60-yard drive that set up Greg Joseph for the game-tying 53-yard field goal. Kirk was 6-of-7 for 60 yards, including hitting K.J. Osborne for a key first down on a fourth-and-four. 

Bengals OT tied 24-24

Cousins was 3-for-3 for 20 yards and had the Vikings at the Cincinnati 38 when Dalvin Cook lost a fumble. The Bengals took advantage and won on a field goal. 

Cardinals 4Q trailing 34-33 with 2:09 to play

Cousins was 5-of-7 for 49 yards, leading the offense from their own 26 to the Arizona 19. The Vikings still had 44 seconds and a timeout to go for the kill, or at least get closer, but Mike Zimmer elected to run 40 seconds off the clock and then burn the final timeout, leading to a missed 37-yard field goal attempt by Joseph. 

Browns 4Q trailing 14-7 with 1:01 to play

Not the best example of "clutch" play as Cousins was just 3-for-7 passing with 28 yards, but the drive did take the Vikings from their own 28 to the Browns 26 with 3 seconds left on the clock. The final play of the game was a pass to Adam Thielen, who was held up in the end zone and pass interference wasn't called. Had interference been called, which is probably should've been, the Vikings would've had a chance to score and tie the game from the 1-yard-line. 

Lions 4Q trailing 17-16 with 37 seconds to play

After a disastrous scenario of Joseph missing a 49-yard attempt and Alexander Mattison losing a fumble, a 16-6 lead was gone and a loss seemed imminent. But Cousins took the Vikings from their own 18 and hit Thielen for gains of 21 and 19 yards to set up Joseph for the game-winning 54-yard field goal. Kirk was 3-for-3 with 46 yards on the drive. 

Panthers 4Q tied 28-28 with 42 seconds left

After the Vikings squandered another late lead, Cousins again marched the offense down the field only to again watch Joseph miss a game-winning field goal from 47 yards. But Kirk was awesome, hitting on 4-of-4 passes for 30 yards and scrambling for 16 yards. 

Panthers OT tied 28-28

Cousins went for the kill in overtime, hitting Osborne on a 27-yard touchdown strike to culminate a drive in which he went 5-of-6 for 50 yards. 

“I’m spent," Cousins said Sunday. "It’s an absolute grind, it’s an absolute grind every Sunday and it takes everything I’ve got. I’ve been on the other side of those losses, too, in my career over 10 years. It’s rewarding when you know how the other side feels too, to really enjoy it when you do make the play and win."

According to Pro-Football Reference, Cousins had three game-winning drives last season after producing only one in his first two seasons with Minnesota. He led nine game-winning drives during his six seasons in Washington, D.C.

Bottom line: The Vikings are 3-3 because of Kirk Cousins – and they very well could be 5-1 or 6-0 because of Kirk Cousins. The next challenge will be Cousins leading the Vikings through a post-bye gauntlet that has them facing the Cowboys (5-1), Chargers (4-2), Ravens (5-1) and Packers (5-1). 

Next Up

white Christmas

2 MN towns among most 'magical' winter locations in the country

The list was compiled by Trips Discover and published earlier this month.

Screen Shot 2022-11-26 at 8.27.12 AM

St. Olaf football player charged after fatal crash in Chicago

The 18-year-old is accused of speeding and going the wrong way when he crashed into a vehicle that may have been attempting to flee police.

Screen Shot 2022-11-26 at 7.41.18 AM

Woman 34 weeks pregnant injured by drunk driver in Cottage Grove

The 49-year-old suspected of DUI was booked into jail around 1:30 a.m. Saturday.


2 dead, 5 injured in Thanksgiving Day crash near Alexandria

The crash involved two people from Alexandria and five from Bloomington.

Screen Shot 2022-11-25 at 6.44.11 PM

Lengthy standoff in Prior Lake ends late Friday night

The suspect allegedly assaulted an officer outside Kwik Trip, fled and broke into a home.

snow - 12-10-21 - Joe Nelson - 5

Accumulating snow possible in Twin Cities next week

The storm system could arrive in the Tuesday-Wednesday timeframe.

Target store snow

With Black Friday barely underway, Target reveals Cyber Monday deals

Plans for the two-day sale were revealed Friday morning.

Screen Shot 2022-11-25 at 9.37.25 AM

Man waves replica assault weapon at drivers in downtown Minneapolis

The alarming incident was spotted by the new MPD chief, Brian O'Hara.

Screen Shot 2022-11-25 at 9.29.58 AM

Extremely drunk driver arrested in Chaska

The driver was more than four times the legal limit.

Screen Shot 2022-11-25 at 8.21.21 AM

Stillwater police looking for suspect who stole vehicle with 1-year-old inside

The suspect abandoned the vehicle with the child still inside just 5 minutes after the theft.

Screen Shot 2022-11-23 at 5.01.34 PM

Suspected Bloomington restaurant killer arrested in Oklahoma

The 47-year-old Texas man was arrested around 12:30 a.m. Thursday.


Kirk Cousins

Next Gen Stats on Kirk Cousins are eye opening

Who else is shocked that Kirk Cousins has more time to throw than any other QB?

Danielle Hunter

3 Vikings named to Pro Bowl, but not Kirk Cousins

A case could be made for Cousins to have made it over Drew Brees.

Kirk Cousins, Klint Kubiak

Kirk Cousins and Klint Kubiak are a problem on 2nd downs

The stats say Cousins and the Vikings are the least aggressive team in the NFL when faced with a second-and-7 or longer situation.

Kirk Cousins sick of average seasons: 'This is getting old'

Cousins wants to be better in the final two minutes of games.

Kirk Cousins

Kirk Cousins agrees to contract extension with Vikings

The QB is coming off a solid season, statistically, with the Vikings.

Kirk Cousins

Kirk Cousins explains his phone call with President Trump

Cousins was asked to call the White House after Sunday's win over the Giants.

Kirk Cousins

Kirk Cousins to Brett Favre: 'I like it here and I'd like to stay'

Cousins was a guest on Brett Favre's satellite radio show.

New York Post tirade rips on Kirk Cousins, Minnesota

The writer in the Big Apple is still mad about Cousins spurning the Jets.