Week 9 Game Ball: Vikings @ Chiefs

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

Kirk Cousins

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

Kirk Cousins is 1-3 on the Game Ball front.

He’s earned one fully inflated game ball for an excellent performance against the Lions and he’s earned three deflated game balls from Minnesota Vikings Chat this year. One was for his poor performance during the loss to Green Bay which he capped off with a disastrous interception and another for the loss to the Bears.

He earned his third deflated game ball last Sunday if for no other reason than getting our hopes up with four competent performances in a row against the Giants, the Eagles, the Lions, and Washington only to revert to form against the Chiefs.

It didn’t help, of course, that guard Pat Elflein was awful again and center Garrett Bradbury was often manhandled. Star Tribune‘s Andrew Krammer breaks down the offensive line’s breaking down.

That, however, doesn’t excuse the fact that Cousins missed five easy completions by my count. I mean, his targets were wide open and he missed them.

Even on Ameer Abdullah‘s touchdown, Cousins nearly overthrew him.

Misfiring on that many easy completions is a sign of the jitters and that’s kinda always been the problem with Cousins, hasn’t it? Big game jitters? Tough opponent jitters?

Then there was the missed opportunity on the deep ball to Stefon Diggs that was overthrown; ganted, just a touch.

But still. A properly thrown ball and Diggs walks in with a touchdown.

That has been my major complaint about Cousins in Purple: His inaccuracy on deep balls, especially considering he was sold as being a great deep ball passer.

And then there was this beauty:

Photo: Kirk Cousins slides short of the first down against Kansas City
Kirk Cousins slides short of the first down against Kansas City