Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins made two great passes on Sunday to knock the New Orleans Saints out of the playoffs, and perhaps threw a monkey off his back at the same time. In overtime, Cousins made a tremendous 43-yard pass to Adam Thielen to get the Vikings down to the goal line and then hit Kyle Rudolph on a third-down touchdown to lead the Vikings to a huge 26-20 wild-card playoff upset over the Saints.
The Vikings move on to face the San Francisco 49ers next week.
Cousins had been criticized often for not being able to win big games and for not playing well against the best competition. Cousins was also 0-9 in Monday Night Football games. The Washington Redskins declined to offer him a long-term contract, so he signed with the Vikings after the 2017 season. Few gave him a chance against Drew Brees and the rest of the Saints team in this big playoff game.
The Vikings gave up a 20-10 lead in the fourth quarter, allowing the New Orleans Saints to send the game to overtime.
They seemed to be on the ropes, but the oft-criticized Cousins saved the Vikings with his overtime performance.
“Kirk can’t win big games apparently,” Rudolph told Fox sarcastically after the game. “I think we proved that wrong today.”
“How heavy was this load you’ve been carrying?” a reporter asked him.
“My faith is important to me, it’s the foundation of my life, Cousins said. “Ultimately, that’s where I gain my peace and strength. Win or lose today, God’s still on the throne, and I take comfort in that.”
“Win or lose today, God’s still on the throne.”— Vikings QB Kirk Cousins after Minnesota’s OT win over New Orleans
Posted by Sports Spectrum on Sunday, January 5, 2020
It’s not the first time Cousins has spoken out about his faith.
“Football is very important to me and plays a huge role in my life,” said Cousins, when he was senior quarterback for the Michigan State football team. “I count it a privilege to play football for Michigan State; it is a dream come true. But as important as football is and as passionate as I am about it, it is not the source of my identity.
“Having a faith in Jesus Christ allows you to have an inner peace, a peace that passes all understanding, as the Bible says,” Cousins added. “At the end of the day, I have an inner joy, and if I keep honoring Him and having a relationship with Him, He’s going to have my back.
“The anchor of my life is Jesus Christ. My identity is based upon His love for me and in my personal relationship with Him. At the foundation of my life is His truth, as spelled out in the Bible. I am passionate about Jesus, the one who gave His life on a cross to pay for my sin. One of my greatest desires is to live a life in a way that honors Him.”
While running a football camp after joining the Vikings, Cousins stated “The foundation of my life is the Bible and the Gospel.”
Despite the big $84 million contract over three years that the Vikings gave him, you’d be hard pressed to identify the Cousins family as your typical multimillionaires.
That’s according to Dan Pompei, who profiled the new Vikings signal-caller for Bleacher Report.
Famous for driving an old van and occasionally taking up residence in his in-laws’ basement, Cousins is “still the same guy” from years ago, Vikings lineman Tom Compton told Pompei. In that regard, the big-money quarterback is still conservative with his cash, making sure that “everything he buys will have a purpose.” And that mentality comes right from the Christian faith that he’s so unashamedly embraced in recent years, as Pompei writes:
The Cousins are more interested in saving and giving than spending. They established a relationship with International Justice Mission in D.C., and they will maintain that. They’re now looking for local charities to partner with.
Cousins believes God put him in the Twin Cities for a reason.
“Out of their Christian conviction, they are very committed about what they do from a giving standpoint,” Don Cousins says. “And they are responsible from a savings standpoint.”
Cousins says his life expenses are dictated by “following Jesus.”