At halftime of Saturday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins had completed six of his twelve pass attempts for just 43 yards and an ugly pick-six, helping to put his team on the wrong side of a 33-0 halftime deficit.
What happened next is, quite frankly, the single greatest half of football a Minnesota Vikings quarterback has ever put together.
Cousins went 28-of-42 in the second half for 417 yards and four touchdowns (and, yes, another interception) in helping the Vikings to the greatest comeback in the history of the sport, overcoming that 33-point halftime deficit to take down the Colts by a final score of 39-36 in overtime.
The 460 yards that Cousins threw for yesterday afternoon is the second-highest single-game total in Vikings history, and the most a Vikings’ quarterback has ever thrown for in a victory. The only higher total came back in November of 1986, when Tommy Kramer threw for 490 yards in a 34-28 overtime loss to Washington. Cousins’ 417 second-half yards by themselves would have been a Top 15 single-game performance in team history.
According to NFL’s official research department, the last time a team overcame a deficit of 24+ points to win a regular season game was back in Week 7 of 2015. The winning quarterback in that game?
That was the game that gave us the now famous “You Like That” celebration, as Cousins led Washington from a 24-0 deficit midway through the second quarter to win 31-30.
What Kirk Cousins did in the second half on Saturday might be the most dominant half of football we’ve ever seen from a Minnesota Vikings player. The only other one that comes to mind off of the top of my head is Adrian Peterson in the second half against the Chargers in the game where he set the single-game rushing record back in 2007.
For as much as he’s been maligned by Vikings fans for the majority of his tenure, Kirk Cousins has been getting the job done this season. He now has seven. . .yes, seven. . .fourth-quarter comebacks this season, which was something that a lot of people swore up and down that he was incapable of doing. Yes, he doesn’t have the numbers that he’s had over the past couple of seasons, but that just lays to rest the whole narrative about him being a stat padder or putting up big numbers in garbage time.
Cousins is the best quarterback this team has had in a very, very long time. Now that he’s helped to engineer the single-biggest comeback in the history of the National Football League, maybe people will finally start to recognize that.