This week across the SB Nation network of football sites, we’re celebrating. . .if that’s the right word. . .”Revenge Week.” I’m not sure how much “revenge” we’re seeking as fans of the Minnesota Vikings, but we’ll effort to cobble together posts to that end for this week’s theme.
Fans seem to be big on “revenge games,” and this year the most prominent member of the Vikings. . .or, at least, the one with the biggest spotlight on him. . .will get his opportunity at one of them. The Vikings’ lone turn on Thursday night football this year will come in Week 8, and will feature Kirk Cousins and the Vikings hosting his former team, the Washington Redskins.
At first, I thought that this could end up being a “double revenge” game, as Washington acquired former Vikings’ quarterback Case Keenum during the offseason, and it’s possible that he could still be the starter when these two teams meet at the season’s midpoint. However, Washington also used their first-round selection on Ohio State product Dwayne Haskins, and the front office and fans will no doubt be hoping that Haskins has taken over the starting job by Week 8, if not much sooner.
(Yes, I know that Adrian Peterson plays for Washington now, too, but he had his shot at a “revenge game” in 2017 and didn’t do a hell of a lot. So, he doesn’t count.)
But, we’ll focus on Cousins for now, and if recent history has shown us anything, it’s that Vikings’ quarterbacks have fared relatively well in “revenge games,” particularly those that have happened in Minnesota.
Keenum got his own revenge game in 2017, when the Vikings hosted the Los Angeles Rams at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Rams got off to a fast start in that one, marching down the field on their opening possession to take a 7-0 lead. Those were the only points they would score, however, as Keenum led the Vikings to a 24-7 win. Keenum had a solid game in that one, completing 27-of-38 passes for 280 yards and a 65-yard touchdown pass to Adam Thielen in the fourth quarter to ice the game. (The Vikings’ other two touchdowns came courtesy of Latavius Murray runs.)
Of course, there was no bigger “revenge game” than Week 4 of the 2009 season on Monday Night Football. That night at the Metrodome, the Brett Favre-led Vikings played host to the Green Bay Packers, and Favre was up to the challenge. He didn’t throw for a ton of yardage. . .he completed 24-of-32 passes for 271 yards. . .but he did connect on three touchdown passes. The first went to Visanthe Shiancoe, the second to Sidney Rice, and the third to Bernard Berrian. The Vikings eventually built up a 30-14 lead before the Packers got some meaningless late points to make the final score 30-23.
Kirk Cousins doesn’t strike me as the kind of guy that would get hyped up for a “revenge game.” Certainly not the way that Favre was in 2009, to be sure. Still, if there’s a revenge game on the schedule for the Vikings in 2019, it appears that’s going to be the one. Will Cousins be able to fend off his former team?