For once, you can't blame this Vikings' prime-time loss on Kirk Cousins

The QB has a history of coming up small under the spotlight, but he wasn't the reason Minnesota coughed up a chance to beat Philadelphia

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Kirk Cousins played well against the Eagles.
Kirk Cousins played well against the Eagles.
Photo: AP

We might have to retire our opinions on Primetime Kirk.

The thought that Kirk Cousins shrinks when the nationally televised lights turn out might be outdated. His record is still not great in prime time, with the Minnesota Vikings losing to the Philadelphia Eagles, 34-28, on Thursday Night, but Cousins had a strong performance

The Vikings QB led a spirited second-half comeback by throwing three TDs on their final four drives. He was 18-of-27 with 244 yards passing and no interceptions after halftime. Unfortunately for the Vikings, they lost four fumbles — three in the first half.

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While Cousins did not throw any INTs on Thursday night, he did get strip-sacked Eagles’ territory on the Vikings’ first possession of the third quarter. That was a tough one, especially because the Vikings were only down one possession at that point. The Eagles quickly put the ball in the endzone and went up, 20-7.

However, the Vikings might have been up at halftime had the rest of Cousins’ teammates not put the ball on the ground so many times. The first fumble was a muffed punt in the first quarter. Then the game got really sloppy. Eagles QB Jalen Hurts threw an INT on Philly’s subsequent drive, and when the Vikings offense took the field, Alexander Mattison put the ball on the ground the very next play.

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The worst fumble though might have been Justin Jefferson’s. He caught a long pass from Cousins and as he was reaching for the pylon when he was stripped. The ball rolled out of the back of the end zone, resulting in a touchback and Eagles’ ball with less than a minute remaining in the second quarter.

Cousins’ poor prime-time performance was put on blast at this same time last season against the very same team. The Eagles drilled the Vikings, 24-7, in a Week 2 Monday Night Football matchup. He threw three INTs in that loss. His record in prime-time games for his career is now 11-20.

Many of you might have been in deep turkey sleep on the couch by the third Thanksgiving game last season, but the Vikings played the final game and defeated the New England Patriots, 33-26. Cousins went 30-for-37 with 299 yards, three TDs, and an INT that night.

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So maybe Cousins has stopped being bothered by the prime-time lights.

There are still plenty of reasons to question Cousins as a starting quarterback, but in a couple of more strong prime-time games at least we can be sure that the moon hitting the sky doesn’t cause his game to mummify.