5 nightmare scenarios for the Minnesota Vikings in 2022

(Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports) Harrison Smith
(Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports) Harrison Smith /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports) Kirk Cousins /

Kirk Cousins regresses

It was clear from very early on that the Vikings were going to move forward with Kirk Cousins as their starting quarterback. An offseason extension now has the signal-caller under contract until 2024, which comes with yet more fully guaranteed cash and also represents the best scenario for Kevin O’Connell to make an instant splash as head coach.

Cousins is a polarizing figure that perhaps gets more criticism than he deserves. Statistically speaking, he remains one of the top quarterbacks in the league, even if this comes with an unfair stigma that the player cannot get it done in crunch situations.

The Vikings have enough talent around Cousins for the player to thrive in 2022. He also has a potential bookend tackle tandem in Brian O’Neill and Christian Darrisaw that can provide additional time to go through his progressions.

All these gifted playmakers will be relying on Cousins to get them the football efficiently. If the former Michigan State standout regresses, then it’s hard to put into words just how much this is going to hinder Minnesota’s chances of a playoff return.

Although it might not seem like it, Cousins is fighting for his long-term future this season. Any inconsistent production could see the Vikings look towards an exceptional 2023 draft class for a better solution, so there is plenty at stake for the veteran when competitive games commence.