The Minnesota Vikings had a dreadful start to this NFL season. A brutal 1-4 record through five games sparked Kirk Cousins trade talk and speculation that this team would need to commit to a full rebuild instead of the so-called “competitive rebuild” that the Vikings appeared to be pursuing.
However, Cousins responded by righting the Vikings’ ship, igniting a three-game win streak while playing some of the best football of his career. That included a big win over the San Francisco 49ers, a game in which Cousins didn’t have superstar wide receiver Justin Jefferson. It was the kind of resiliency that heartened Vikings fans and would have sparked interest if Minnesota sports betting was legal.
With their record at 4-4, the Vikings now sit tied for the final playoff spot in the NFC without many truly threatening challengers nipping at their heels and a relatively easy schedule moving forward.
If that all sounds too good to be true, it’s because it is.
During Sunday’s 24-10 win over Green Bay, disaster struck. Cousins had to leave the game late with what was later confirmed to be a torn Achilles. His season is now over. There are no Minnesota sports betting apps, but nationally the team’s odds have fallen with the Cousins injury news.
The injury came at a devastating time for Minnesota and especially for Cousins, who was enroute to potential career best numbers in a contract season, He also was climbing the Vikings all-time passing list, on pace to pass Tommy Kramer for second in passing yardage.
Vikings Career Passing Leaders
Moving on Without Cousins
Kirk Cousins' numbers with the team to start this season have been spectacular, surpassing 300 yards passing on four occasions and tossing 18 touchdowns with just five interceptions. These numbers are even more impressive when you consider that Jefferson has been out for much of the season. Recently, we examined whether Cousins is a cost-valuable quarterback.
Cousins has helped Jordan Addison and KJ Osborn step up in Jefferson’s absence. Addison has become a touchdown machine with five in his past four games. When Jefferson returns, the Vikings will have one of the best, if not the best, 1-2-3 punches at the receiver position and Cousins was proving himself adept at spreading the ball around to all of them.
As for the Vikings playoff chances, the team was on a path to become just the sixth team ever to make the playoffs after an 0-3 start. The Vikings’ odds to win the Super Bowl reflected that, coming back down to +6600 after beating the 49ers. However, with the Cousins injury and no apparent savior waiting in the wings, their Super Bowl odds have cratered back to +15000 at DraftKings Sportsbook.
The Vikings next play the Atlanta Falcons, a game they surely would have been favored in with Cousins under center. Now, with unproven sixth-round pick Jaren Hall taking the snaps, Minnesota is a 4.5-point underdog in the game at DraftKings and is plus money to even make the playoffs. Hall will have to show something unexpected and will have to do so with Jefferson still on the sidelines for a couple of weeks.