Philadelphia Eagles: Choke Artist Kirk Cousins lands Philly a playoff berth

(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)
(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) /

All the Minnesota Vikings had to do to keep the Philadelphia Eagles out of the playoffs was beat the Bears. Fortunately, their quarterback is Kirk Cousins.

Even though he’s no longer in the NFC East, Kirk Cousins is the gift that keeps on giving.

While Philadelphia Eagles fans certainly have fond memories of the former Washington Redskins quarterback dropping the ball over and over again in clutch situations, in Week 17, he may have pulled off the biggest blunder of his career.

In an absolutely pivotal win-and-get-in Week 17 scenario, Cousins and his Minnesota Vikings squad had one very simple goal: defeat the Chicago Bears and secure the sixth seed in the playoffs.

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The scene was set: the Bears were on the road, with the NFC North all locked up, and virtually no chance of getting a wildcard bye thanks to the Los Angeles Rams‘ upheaval of the San Francisco 49ers.

However, Mike Zimmer‘s squad had Kirk Cousins as their quarterback, and that my friends, made all of the difference.

Playing against a Bears squad relying a little heavier on their reserves than usual, Cousins couldn’t get anything going in the first half in front of his home crowd, entering halftime down 10 points.

But for all intents and purposes, the game was over.

Sure, the Vikings rallied back, pulling it within three by the end of the third quarter, but fans in Minnesota then had to sit in awe as the Bears dropped 11 unanswered points to close out the game 24-10.

Just like that, the Vikings, a team that made it to the NFC Championship game last season behind the arm of undrafted free agent Case Keenum, were eliminated from playoff contention, succeeding the sixth seed to the Philadelphia Eagles in what feels just like deja vu.

Just like 11 months prior, the Eagles have once again taken an opportunity that was right in the Vikings’ grasps, and took it for themselves, only this time, Minnesota actually won the head-to-head matchup by a score of 23-21.

Oh, the irony.

So what’s next for the Vikings? Are they going to stick with Cousins, once viewed as the missing piece to a championship puzzle, under center, or will they attempt to clear the deck and reload with something new; whether that be at head coach, coordinators, or even quarterback?

That’s the best part.

Because Cousins signed a three-year, $84 million fully guaranteed contract when the season began, the Vikings are effectively stuck with the ineffective crunchtime quarterback for the foreseeable future, hogging up a sizeable chunk of the team’s salary cap.

This marks the second franchise that’s made the unfortunate realization that Kirk Cousins just isn’t a good quarterback, only this time the decision will hurt for a whole lot longer than a one-year franchise tag.

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Needless to say, with the Philadelphia Eagles now on their way to the postseason to defend their championship title as underdogs once more, it must be cold in Minnesota after such a tough loss.