4 takeaways from the play of Kirk Cousins vs. the Bengals in Week 1

(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins
(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins /
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Kirk Cousins
(Photo by Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports) Kirk Cousins /

Cousins was not helped by his offensive line

Simply put, it was a comedy of errors from the Vikings in the first half that played a critical role in their eventual demise. The number of penalties conceded was nothing short of astonishing and it left Kirk Cousins with a mountain to climb to get his team back into contention.

In fairness to the quarterback, he almost pulled it off with the help of running back Dalvin Cook. There was little to suggest this was a possibility at one stage, even though they did fall at the final hurdle in overtime.

Communication and understanding the snap count is everything as far as the protection is concerned. This is a relatively new-look group that lost some vital time with the signal-caller during training camp, so it wasn’t surprising to see cohesion simply wasn’t there.

However, to this extent, it was absolutely jaw-dropping.

A total of 12 penalties were accepted by the Bengals, with a few more declined for good measure. Not only this, but Cousins was also sacked three times and was flustered under pressure early on.

Not exactly the best of starts. But the Vikings can take credit for the fact Cousins kept them competitive right until a crucial fumble at the death.

Mike Zimmer won’t stand for this again. So the offensive line could be in for some grueling work in the coming days.