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Photo: Deflated Game Ball for Vikings losses
Vikings deflated game balls. Photo: David Erickson

Who says you can’t give out game balls after losses?

After each Vikings loss this season, I’ll give out game balls to the Vikings who most contributed to that loss. So, without further ado…

Mike Zimmer

Photo: Mike Zimmer
Mike Zimmer. Photo courtesy Minnesota Vikings

We all had concerns heading into the Packers game, right?

  • Would Garrett Bradbury be up to the task of handling Green Bay nose tackle Kenny Clark?
  • Would Stefon Diggs be at full speed?
  • Another “big stage” game; would Kirk Cousins rise to the occasion?

Yeah, there were concerns about depth at cornerback but you didn’t expect what we saw on Sunday, did you? Neither did I.

You didn’t expect the Packers would be up 20-0 44 seconds into the second quarter. You didn’t expect Aaron Rogers to dissect the Vikings defense so nonchalantly.

I thought I was watching the Miami Dolphins.

“We didn’t start out very well defensively, 21-point deficit to start the game,” Zimmer said.

Um, yeah.

But it wasn’t just that the Vikings didn’t start out well defensively, it’s that they didn’t make the necessary adjustments until three touchdowns were on the board.

And that’s on Mike Zimmer: He got out-coached. For that, he gets the first deflated game ball.

Kirk Cousins

Photo: Kirk Cousins in the huddle
Kirk Cousins in the huddle. Photo courtesy Minnesota Vikings.

Obviously.

I guess there’s a reason for Kirk Cousinsanxious smile. He often looks anxious in the pocket but he was making all of us anxious with his play against the Packers.

Cousins had some moments but then he also had some moments.

He overthrew Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs for what would’ve been big gains and overthrew Kyle Rudolph for what would’ve been a touchdown.

He fumbled but rookie tight end Irv Smith Jr. had his back with the recovery. But if at first you don’t succeed, fumble again! Which Cousins did on the very next play.

Cousins’ completion percentage was 43.8% and his quarterback rating was a paltry 52.9.

Contibuting to those embarassing stats were the two interceptions, the last of which was the worst. With the chance to go ahead late in the fourth quarter at Green Bay’s eight yard line on first down, Cousins threw to Stefon Diggs who was double covered in the corner of the end zone. Interception.

It was such a bad decision it is hard to understand how a veteran quarterback with as many starts as Cousin has had could not throw the ball away.

I wonder if Cousins took too much to heart all the talk taking more risks and letting his receivers, renowned for winning contested balls, go get the ball.

For this abysmal performance, Cousins earns a deflated game ball.

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