The Minnesota Vikings bowed out in disappointing but perhaps unsurprising fashion in this year's NFL playoffs, losing 31-24 to the New York Giants on Wild Card weekend. The moment that will stick with everybody, and especially the Vikings, is Kirk Cousins checking down and failing to convert on fourth-and-eight with the game on the line. It all leaves a bitter taste in the mouth of the franchise after a successful season otherwise.
Colin Cowherd took some time on The Herd today to wonder if the after effects will ripple further than any of us could imagine. The Fox Sports host posits that the Vikings should be worried star receiver Justin Jefferson demanding a trade.
Jefferson was targeted nine times and hauled in seven passes for only 47 yards against the Giants. His 6.7 yards per reception was his third-lowest mark of the season. Crucially, Cousins did not look his way once during the fourth quarter.
Unfortunately for the Vikings, credence must be given to Cowherd's concern because we all watched an almost identical situation play out four years ago. Stefon Diggs was drafted by the Vikings, enjoyed a productive five years in Minnesota, and forced his way out after catching two passes in a playoff loss quarterbacked by Cousins. Diggs currently seems much happier in Buffalo.
Jefferson isn't going to demand a trade this offseason. But who knows what will happen if history repeats itself and the Vikings continue to falter when the games really matter because of Cousins' shortcomings.