Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins played as well as he could in the team’s 31-24 playoff loss to the New York Giants on Sunday and took the loss pretty badly.
Cousins was 31 of 39 for 273 yards and two touchdowns. He also had a rushing touchdown.
Although he failed to score a touchdown in the fourth quarter and threw a very short first down score pass on the final drive, he led Minnesota to an NFC North title and moved them within a touchdown of a divisional. round appearance.
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«It hurts,» Cousins told reporters after the game. «I’m probably missing one, but this is probably the toughest loss I’ve had in my career. It hurts.»
Minnesota finished with 13 wins during the regular season. Cousins said he expected guys like Garrett Bradbury and Alexander Mattison to return for the 2023 season and beyond and that it was unfortunate that he couldn’t provide them with a long playoff run.
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«Thirteen wins is really, I haven’t really sniffed that before, so just the fact that the group, the Garretts and the Alexes that are free agents doesn’t guarantee that they’ll be back, I think it’s hard to put it down.» the field,” he explained. «You want them all back, and you just don’t know, and I think the unknown is always hard.»
Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell was asked about coaching Cousins and how he has developed in his system throughout the season.
«He’s grown tremendously since I worked with him in 2017. He’s a competitor. He’s tough. He’s incredibly durable,» O’Connell said. «He threw the ball at a very high level all season, he made game-winning plays for us all season when we needed them. I thought he competed every single week to put our offense in a position to be successful, and he was always our leader each and every week.
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«When things didn’t go our way, that guy was up front ready to get back to work. It was one of the reasons I think we didn’t lose two games in a row. We responded to adversity, and he’s a great leader for us. Way beyond being our quarterback and our leader on the offensive end, really to our entire football team.»