Breaking down Kirk Cousins’ ugly three-interception performance and what went wrong with Justin Jefferson

Vikings QB Kirk Cousins was a shell of himself in Week 2 against the Eagles, throwing three interceptions.

Heading into Monday night’s prime-time game on the road against the Philadelphia Eagles, quarterback Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings were coming off an exceptional 23-7 win over Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. An ideal start for all things Vikings, to say the least.

Cousins was turnover-free and clicked on all cylinders with all-world wide receiver Justin Jefferson, who brought great joy to fantasy football teams across the globe after hauling in nine catches for 184 yards and two touchdowns.

However, in Week 2 the Eagles’ defense and Darius Slay happened. As a direct result, Justin Jefferson suffered greatly while Cousins threw three picks. According to Next Gen Stats, whenever Slay — who nabbed two of the three interceptions — was the closest defender on targets to Jefferson, the Vikings’ polarizing QB was a paltry 1-of-5 for seven yards and two interceptions. It was part of a broader stat line that didn’t paint Cousins in the best of lights during a 24-7 loss to Philadelphia

  • Kirk Cousins stats (Week 2): 27-of-46 passing, 221 yards, 1 TD, 3 INT

That’s never going to get it done unless all of your other weapons are clicking. But after such a glaringly soft showing, it’s difficult to pluck a single thing from Minnesota’s offense that resembled anything close to what we saw in Week 1.

Related: Kirk Cousins and NFL’s top QBs of 2022

Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson looked like a completely different duo in Week 2

kirk cousins minnesota vikings
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Now some might say Jefferson didn’t finish his route that led to the first interception and others might say he didn’t do a good enough job in switching gears and playing defender on the second pick. But that’s neither here nor there. The blame falls across the board, including star running back Dalvin Cook who was nonexistent.

Nonetheless, Kirk Cousins will be the one getting the majority of the heat along with the accompanying mockery that many have come to know and embrace.

The bottom line is there’s no reasonable excuse for putting up just seven points when your defense comes up with an interception and your special teams unit comes up with a huge blocked field goal that briefly looked like a major shift in momentum as the Vikings were set up deep in Eagles’ territory.

The Minnesota Vikings will need to regroup quickly and thoroughly on a short week with their surging division rival Detroit Lions coming to town for Week 3.

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