The opening Episode of Netflix’s new series Quarterback, hotly anticipated not only by fans of the teams with a representative involved in the series but by fans of all 32 NFL teams, begins on a cold winter night somewhere in greater Minneapolis.
Kirk Cousins is shown reading to his son about the importance of why Quarterbacks must be protected by the NFL’s many rules, intercut with the Vikings QB taking a bone-crunching hit.
This brief scene sets the tone for the entire series, shot during the 2022 NFL Season.
The mini-series, while focusing on Cousins, Pat Mahomes, and Marcus Mariota, is also a look into the wider realm of Quarterbacking in the NFL.
It is also an honest, down-to-earth view of the personal lives. For the sake of brevity, this piece will be focusing on the first 3 episodes of the series, with a subsequent article following. As proper Vikings homers, we will also be focusing exclusively on Cousins.
The first Cousins scene in the show proper is an except from Vikings training camp, going over the intricacies of signal calling and transitioning into a history of his career.
Cousins, then questioned by a radio host, then sums up his story of himself being overlooked constantly. Right from the jump, you can tell how candid and genuine Cousins was in front of Netflix’s cameras.
While many have criticisms, it is abundantly clear from the jump that you can’t fault the character of the man.
The first game of the series is the week 1 matchup against Green Bay, and the appropriate sideline and post-game content is shown.
The exploration into cousin’s “Dad style” is a great laugh, however it is telling by the quick “all my decisions go into football, so I hand those decisions off to Julie (his wife)” statement reveals a bit more into the mental balance that Cousins maintains between being a van-driving goober and his desire to perform and win.
Another remarkable scene shows Cousins’ relationship with the Vikings team Psychologist, Dr. Brownell Mack. This scene is really fascinating because it shows the insane resources that the team has not only for Cousins, but also every other player and personnel.
The Lions game brings the audience into the first (of many) game winning drives of the 2022 season, something that will be a common occurrence in the series.
The episode ends by exploring the mentality of all of the involved quarterbacks, the principal theme of the entire series.
We next see Kirk more than halfway through the next episode, beginning with a tour of his memorabilia room. It’s a great look into what got Cousins to the present day. A fascinating fact that is revealed is that Cousins was coached by NFL legend Mike Singletary in youth football.
Coming back to Cousins as a goober, his high school vocal talents are also explored, providing a good heap of self-humor.
We pick up the on-field action in Week 9 @ Washington, keeping with the episode’s theme of ‘Homecoming’ we then get a brief tour of the RGIII/Kirk Cousins debacle that led to a TON of QB controversy in Washington.
We then get an exploration of the ‘YOU LIKE THAT’ game, and how it shaped his career.
The game sequences in Washington sum up the line that an unnamed analyst delivers as a voiceover - “He’s a very competitive dude. And he doesn't necessarily show it, but it’s there.” Head Coach Kevin O’Connell attests to the competitiveness, as does the resolution to the episode for Cousins.
Opening Episode 3, we see how Kirk approaches his recovery procedure, eloquently summing up the episode and that “the challenge is, can you come back and do it six days from now, and do it again, and again, and again for an entire season?”
The opening forebodes a recovery session before the infamous (famous? I still don't know what to call it) Bills game. “Forget the Dad jokes, Kirk Cousins is is tough,” on analyst says. “I will be great, It just comes down to how much I will get hit,” Cousins says to a trainer.
This is a great episode in that we all get to see the physical ailments that Quarterbacks receive during play. We all know that the NFL is the closest thing to legal assault, but seeing is actually believing in this case.
We then get the play-by-play of the Bills game, in all its glory for Vikings fans. It is perhaps my favorite sequence of the entire series, just as it was my favorite game of last season.
It is truly fascinating hearing the reaction of Cousins to how the game transpired with the benefit of him having time to reflect on it. I’ll leave it to Cousins, his wife, Kevin O’Connell, and the show to explain.
Unfortunately, Netflix must have not secured the rights to the cell phone videos taken on the plane later that day, because that would have been gold (literally).
Check back soon for a review of episodes 4-7.