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Former Minnesota Vikings player believes team can ‘thrive, win a Super Bowl’ with Kirk Cousins

Andrew Buller-Russ

As one of the last franchises standing who have not won a Super Bowl, the Minnesota Vikings should really only have one goal on their mind. It’s not just to remain competitive, it’s to take home the trophy. They thought they took a major step forward in the 2017 offseason by bringing Kirk Cousins aboard, hoping he could be the missing piece to their championship puzzle.

Alas, after four seasons in the North Star State, we’ve seen the Vikings were more than just one part away from hoisting the Lombardi Trophy, but they also may not be far away from making another postseason push. At least not in the eyes of one former member of the team.

Related: Love the Vikings? Get involved in the discussion on the Purple Pain forums

Ben Leber believes Minnesota Vikings can win a Super Bowl

NFL: Super Bowl LVI-Los Angeles Rams Championship Parade
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings are nobody’s pick to win the Super Bowl in 2023, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Did anyone pick the Cincinnati Bengals to reach the final stage a year ago? Exactly.

In fact, one former Vikings player and current member of the team’s sideline radio broadcast crew Ben Leber is a big believer in the new regime and feels Captain Kirk can do enough to help the team win a Super Bowl. He recently appeared on the Zach Gelb radio show and had several interesting things to say, including a fiery bit about former Vikings coach Mike Zimmer.

Kirk can win this team a Super Bowl. I think he’s gonna finally thrive, really thrive, in a system and a coach that actually respects him. I mean, It’s not like I’m not breaking news here that Mike Zimmer did not like Kirk Cousins. And I think that showed in the way that Kirk behaved and the way that he carried himself. The team was never given to him, or he was never allowed to earn the trust of the team, because the head coach I think just didn’t like him.”

Ben Leber on the Minnesota Vikings

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Leber didn’t expand on when or if the Vikings are equipped to win a Super Bowl this year, but his comments indicate it’s possible right away. He cited the defensive letdowns as a major reason why the team didn’t meet expectations the past few years, which seems to check out based on the tape.

“That was a top-10 offense last year, with a very green, first-time offensive coordinator [Klint Kubiak]. Where was their defense ranked last year? Thirty-first. The year before that, I think they were ranked 27th. So people can rail on Kirk and rail on this offense and say we can’t win with him or we can’t win with this offense. I say that’s total BS. We couldn’t win with the crap defense that we’ve had the last two years. We couldn’t stop the run, at all. Ever. And then in key moments of the games . . . we couldn’t stop any two-minute offense. So, to me, the biggest liability of this team has been defense. All this team has to do is play good team defense, finish in the mid-teens at the end of the season, and they’re playoff bound and they can make some noise.”

After other NFL personalities such as Colin Cowherd have been similarly positive about the Vikings and their chances to compete in 2022, Leber’s not alone in thinking a bounceback year could come to fruition. NFL oddsmakers don’t agree. The Vikings currently face +4500 betting odds, ranking 19th in the NFL among teams with the best odds to win the next Super Bowl.

Related: Overpaid or underrated: 2022 outlook for Vikings QB Kirk Cousins