Let's hop back in the wayback machine to two weeks ago when Kirk Cousins was Public Frustration No. 1 in Minnesota. The exasperation was not limited to fickle fans. It carried over to his own receiving corps, with both Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs making comments that could be construed as, at the very least, shade-adjacent. At that time, Cousins realized if he didn't flip the switch toward productivity, his time as Vikings starter could be in jeopardy.
Consider that switch flipped. Cousins lit a fire under his own rear end had has been en fuego ever since. Yesterday he threw for 333 yards and four touchdowns in a home rout of the Philadelphia Eagles. That's on the heels of a ruthlessly efficient outing against the New York Giants in which he completed 82 percent of his passes and was in total control.
Since the public airing of grievances, both Diggs and Thielen have hauled in three touchdown passes. And don't look now but the Vikings have righted their ship and are sailing in the direction of competing for NFC North supremacy. The division is a log-jam and a Lions win tonight could make it even tighter. Minnesota has two head to heads with Detroit remaining and the Green Bay and Chicago games are both at home.
Defense has always been Mike Zimmer's calling card and this campaign is no different. That unit ranks sixth in the NFL in points allowed/game and fifth in yardage. Only the Packers have been able to touch 21 points against them.
If Cousins is going to play above-average ball to complement a two-headed effective backfield (Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison split the task right down the middle Sunday), they're a tough out. Of course, therein lies the rub with Cousins. He is at times a world-beater at at others allows anyone in the world to beat him.
Perhaps these past two weeks have been an abherration. But three is a trend. And if he plays stellar against Detroit next Sunday, his team will likely be right in the thick of a playoff push. People in Minneapolis have to like that possibility.