Written By: Colby Wonacott
Contributing Writer for Telegraph Local
You Like That…You Like that!?
If you asked people affiliated with the NFL to give you a one-word sentence describing Kirk Cousins. Most would say something similar to, ” plays great against bad teams, and poorly against good teams. ” So flash forward to today’s Wild Card game, when the underdog Minnesota Vikings were going into a hostile New Orleans home crowd. Where most people did not have any faith in the Vikings to beat the Saints, mainly due to Kirk Cousins.
Both the Saints and the Vikings were trading points with each other all game long. Vikings running back Dalvin Cook had a great day as usual. Cook gained 130 scrimmage yards while scoring 2 TDs according to ESPN. Taysum Hill had his sparks of magic when inserted into the game as a QB, WR, and RB. Hill threw 1 pass for 50 yards, caught 1 TD and rushed 50 yards.
Offensive Box Score
Stats from ESPN
Vikings Winning Overtime Drive Recap
Choosing to receive the ball 1st after the Vikings won the toss prior to the start of overtime. Not only was the game in the hands of Kirk Cousins, but everyone’s future perception of Cousins all came down to this overtime. Will Cousins throw a bad interception or will he lead his team to a victory on the road?
The down & distance was 2nd and 10 and still needing 56 yards to get into the endzone. Instead of playing it safe, Cousins decided to throw a rocket through the air to his pro-bowl receiver Adam Thielen. Thielen caught the beautifully thrown pass from Cousins for a total of 43 yards bringing the Vikings only 2 yards away from the endzone.
Cameron Jordan and the Saints defense held tough stopping two attempted run plays carried by Dalvin Cook. Now 3rd down and losing 2 yards, the Vikings coaching staff put the ball & the game in Cousins’ hands.
Cousins in shotgun formation took the snap looked to his left and saw Kyle Rudolph, his big 6’6 265-pound tight end matched up on a smaller Saints DB. Cousins threw the ball high in the air where Rudolph jumped high in the air catching the ball. Winning the game for the Vikings and his quarterback Kirk Cousins. Here is Kyle Rudulf talking about the win and Kirk Cousins
They brought all-out pressure and then Kirk made a great throw,” Rudolph said. “Like I said, I’m just so proud of our guys. I’m proud of Kirk, blocking out the noise and coming down here and playing huge all game.”
End of the Game Controversy
Ironically the Saints are in the middle of another end-of-game pass interference controversy. On the last play that won it for the Vikings. Rudulph as he was elevating he also pushed off the Saints player who was covering him. Rudulph clearly pushed but nothing egregious. Saints wanted a review of the play to see if they can get offensive pass interference. Instead the refs believed it was not enough to even validate a review of the play.
Saints: Saints have concluded there playoff run 3 years in a row in walk-off fashion. Extremely talented, the Saints I’d imagine will try again with the same group.
Vikings: Playing well, the Vikings now wait until the end of the Eagles & Seahawks game to see how they fall in the playoff bracket.