Why history says the Vikings will be a Super Bowl contender in 2021

(Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins
(Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) Kirk Cousins /

The great No. 8

The 2016 Vikings were led by a quarterback in a No. 8 jersey, Sam Bradford, after the horrific injury Teddy Bridgewater suffered during the preseason.

Fast forward four years and a quarterback who wears the No. 8 on his uniform was still in charge of Minnesota’s offense, only last year it was Kirk Cousins owning the Ocho instead of Bradford.

In 2016, Sammy Sleeves set the record for single-season completion percentage, which was later broken by New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees a year later.

While Cousins’ completion rate in 2020 was not in the historic 70 percent range, he did complete 67.9 percent of his passes for 4,265 yards and 35 touchdowns, out-performing Bradford who posted just 20 touchdown passes and 3,877 yards with a 71.6 completion percentage.

Bradford caught a lot of criticism for checking the ball down in 2016, earning the nickname “Sammy Short Sticks” as his throws were often short of the sticks during what seemed to be every third down attempt.

That being said, Bradford’s longest completion in 2016 and Cousins’ longest completion in 2020 was exactly 71-yards. Bradford was also sacked 37 times in 2016 and Cousins went down 39 times in 2020.