5 things to watch for in the Vikings Week 3 game vs. the Raiders

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins /
3 of 6
(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins
(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins /

Can Cousins rebound against the Raiders?

As the main talking point of the loss to the Packers, quarterback Kirk Cousins is already feeling the pressure from fans after a terrible afternoon in Green Bay. Cousins had one of his classic “Bad Kirk” games against the Packers, completing 14-of-32 passes for 230 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions, including a pivotal one on a first-and-goal late in the fourth quarter.

While some of those stats were due to drops and poor play by his receivers, Cousins has done nothing to quiet those who question his lofty free-agent contract. Throwing out the 10-attempt performance against the Atlanta Falcons, Cousins needs to step up and there may be no better opponent to do that against this week than the Raiders.

In the first two weeks of the season, the Raiders have been able to stop the run, checking in as the league’s fifth-best run-stuffing unit. However, opponents have torched Oakland through the air for a league-high 685 yards and a 5-to-0 touchdown-to-interception ratio.

This suggests that the Vikings may have to switch over from their league-best rushing attack and open the door for more opportunities for Cousins and the passing game.

With no real rhyme or reason to Cousins’ “Bad Kirk” games, the Vikings will have to cross their fingers that he can torch one of the league’s worst secondaries. If he struggles to find a rhythm again, it could raise even bigger questions as the season goes along.