The Minnesota Vikings haven't gotten much in their $84 million investment on quarterback Kirk Cousins, who has played way below expectations in the 2018 season.
After a dismal showing against the Seattle Seahawks on Monday night - a 21-7 road loss - Cousins and the Vikings fell to 6-6-1. That prompted head coach Mike Zimmer to fire offensive coordinator John DeFilippo and replace him with quarterbacks coach Kevin Stefanski.
Cousins knows he hasn't played well enough, and the 30-year-old pointed the finger at himself to explain why the offense hasn't performed at a reasonable level this season.
"Myself, I'd be the first one to say, if I had played at a higher level, we're probably not talking about the things we're talking about," Cousins said Wednesday, according to Chris Tomasson the Pioneer Press. "So I take ownership as well."
Cousins has put up good statistics, with a 70.6 completion percentage for 3,698 passing yards and 24 touchdowns against nine interceptions. However, Cousins simply hasn't led Minny to wins against any of the elite teams. They've lost in ugly fashion to playoff contenders like the Seahawks, New England Patriots and Chicago Bears.
Minnesota gave Cousins $84 million guaranteed to beat those teams. Simply beating up on mediocre teams and barely squeaking into the playoffs isn't acceptable for the Vikings. They reached the NFC Championship Game a year ago with career journeyman Case Keenum, and Cousins was brought in to take Minnesota a step further.
What This Means
Cousins and the Vikings are just 6-6-1 on the season now, just half a game up on the Carolina Panthers, Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles for the final wild card spot in the NFC.
They host the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, then visit the Motor City for a contest against the Detroit Lions. After that, the Vikings return home for a Week 17 contest against the NFC North-leading Bears.
Cousins hasn't earned much of the money yet. But if he can help Minnesota win these next three games to get into the playoffs, he'll have totally redeemed himself like Lloyd did from Dumb and Dumber.