4 Minnesota Vikings on the hot seat during 2022 playoffs

(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins
(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports) Kirk Cousins /

Kirk Cousins – QB

When it all comes down to it, the Vikings’ hopes of staking a Super Bowl claim rest on the shoulders of Kirk Cousins. The veteran quarterback’s had his share of unfair criticism in recent years, but he’s put together another impressive statistical campaign and come through in some clutch moments to further enhance his influence.

There is always going to be the same stigma surrounding Cousins. He’s a quarterback that will only get you so far, according to most, with his inability to perform well enough in primetime games as something else that’s come to the fore in 2022.

Cousins can quash these doubts once and for all during the upcoming playoffs. Losing Brian O’Neill makes things more difficult, but the signal-caller has a ton of quality weapons around him and an offensive guru leading the charge in Kevin O’Connell, which has to help when the rubber hits the road.

If Cousins fluffs his lines, the Vikings won’t make it past the wildcard card round. However, if the one-time Michigan State star reaches or exceeds the level required, then Minnesota might just have a shot after all.

Obviously, Cousins cannot do it all. The offensive line must protect, Dalvin Cook must set the tone, and the defense has to limit the opposition whenever possible.

Should all these factors live up to their end of the bargain, Cousins can thrive. But with one year remaining on his deal before becoming a free agent in 2024, he can ill afford more postseason failings when push comes to shove.

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