Kirk Cousins named one of 2023’s most underrated players

Kirk Cousins is starting to get more recognition among national media

Ross Tucker of the 33rd Team labeled Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk COusins as one of the top ten most underrated players heading into the 2023 season.

Cousins has never been the flashiest of quarterbacks. Even his persona on Netflix’s “Quarterback” series showcased a family man that does his job to the best of his ability, comes home and repeats the cycle. With that lack of flash comes a sense of boredom with the narrative around Cousins.

“I know, I know. Kirk Cousins is not Patrick Mahomes but guess what, who is?

In a society where some think you are either elite or you stink, Cousins has been incredibly consistent. During the past eight years since he became the starter in Washington, Cousins hasn’t missed a single game with an injury and has provided top-15 quarterback play.

Do you know how many franchises would sign up right now to get top-10 or top-15 quarterback play every week for the next eight years?”

That consistency will be Cousins’ calling card as his contract expires at the end of the 2023 season.

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1 bold prediction for each Vikings draft pick

Not every draft pick will find immediate playing time, but if they do, @TheKevinFielder offers one hot take on their performance as a rookie.

Although the Minnesota Vikings did not have a lot of draft picks, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah was active during the three-day event.

The Vikings wasted no time finding a partner-in-crime for Justin Jefferson, selecting USC wide receiver Jordan Addison in the first round.

Then, the Vikings began upgrading their secondary with the selections of Addison’s college teammate Mekhi Blackmon and LSU safety Jay Ward.

In total, the Vikings selected six rookies over the three days. While all of those rookies won’t get immediate playing time, there is at least a pathway for each to get onto the field.

Examining each rookie’s immediate impacts will be challenging, but it’s worth examining their ceilings as rookies through bold predictions and hot takes.

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Private memorial set for former Vikings head coach Bud Grant

The family of the late Bud Grant has announced that they will be holding a private memorial service for the former Minnesota #Vikings coach

The family of the late Bud Grant has announced that they will be holding a private memorial service for the former Minnesota Vikings coach, who passed away on March 11th at the age of 95. The family has also revealed that there will be a public celebration of Grant’s life at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, although a date for the event has not yet been set.

Grant is widely regarded as one of the greatest coaches in NFL history, having led the Vikings to four Super Bowl appearances and 11 division championships during his tenure from 1967-1983. He is also a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, inducted in 1994.

In lieu of flowers, the Grant family has requested that memorials be made to either the Minnesota Vikings Foundation or the DAV (Disabled American Veterans) Foundation. Both organizations align with Grant’s passion for supporting veterans and their families.

Kirk Cousins: “If I had taken a sack instead, the optics probably look better”

On the latest episode of Bussin With The Boys, Kirk Cousins opens up about multiple topics, including grills

One thing that you don’t often get with Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins is him being open and speaking with cander. Oftentimes, he will speak like a politician and come off as somewhat robotic.

The latest interview Cousins did was with Barstool Sports’ Bussin With The Boys podcast and he was incredibly open and even self depricating. The biggest takeaway from that interview was talking about the fateful fourth and eight from the wild card game against the New York Giants.

“If I had taken a sack, the optics probably look better (than checking down).”

He’s probably right here. Checking down has been an issue for Cousins and something that he has been criticized for during his entire Vikings tenure. What was significant coming from that discussion is the one throw that Cousins would have wanted back. It wasn’t the fourth-down throw, but the one right before.

On that third and eight play, Cousins had K.J. Osborn open but threw it a bit behind which allowed the cornerback to attack the football.

Cousins goes in-depth with Will Compton and Taylor Lewan on other topics. You can check out the full interview here, including Cousins talking about nearly getting a grill.

Vikings’ 2022 season in review: assessing the play of Kirk Cousins

Though Cousins’ job is secure heading into the 2023, the #Vikings shouldn’t discount the idea of an investment at the quarterback position

The Minnesota Vikings are something of an enigma heading into the 2023 season, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. After holding one of the NFL’s best records for the better part of the 2022 season, they floundered in the playoffs, losing to the upstart New York Giants due in no small part to the play of Kirk Cousins, who went cold in the fourth quarter.

Cousins has proven to be a rock-solid regular season signal caller in Minneapolis but is known to be a bit inconsistent when the lights shine the brightest. In a league where playoff wins and Super Bowl championships, mean more than anything else, the Vikings’ quarterback hasn’t yet shown that he can get the job done in January or February.

Ahead of the 2023 season, Minnesota will have some crucial decisions to make about their future at the position, despite the fact that Cousins is functionally un-cuttable on his fully guaranteed contract.

Here is a look at the state of the Vikings’ quarterback position ahead of free agency.

ESPN says the Vikings need a postseason breakthrough

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler views the Vikings higher than other national analysts

The Minnesota Vikings’ season ended in the NFC wild-card round after a loss to the New York Giants. While the loss hurt and left many around the TCO Performance Center stunned, there were still a lot of positives to take away from the 2022 season. Looking ahead to the 2023 season though, there is still a lot to be done if the Vikings expect to find themselves back in the postseason.

On Tuesday, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler released his rankings of NFL teams, from contenders to rebuilds. Fowler explains how the Vikings wound up in the “Need a Postseason Breakthrough” category,

Improving the secondary is a key task for Minnesota, which must replace cornerback Patrick Peterson and plan for life without 34-year-old safety Harrison Smith. Getting back injured rookies — safety Lewis Cine and corner Andrew Booth Jr. — will be crucial. The Vikings allowed 66.1% of passes to be completed, 24th in the NFL.

New defensive coordinator Brian Flores has plenty of firepower up front with Za’Darius Smith, Danielle Hunter and Dalvin Tomlinson. And the offense has its core in place but must shake out the future of running back Dalvin Cook, who has a $14.1 million cap hit vs. $6.2 million in dead money. He just rushed for more than 1,000 yards for a fourth straight season.”

Fowler lays out what many fans already knew heading into the 2023 off-season. The defense needs to improve, and the Vikings need to somehow find a way to create cap space. There is definitely hope for the Vikings next season, as their offense was one of the best in the NFL. If the new defensive coordinator can get the defense to play average football, this team has a chance to make a little noise in the playoffs next season.

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The 33rd Team believes Patrick Peterson is the Vikings biggest decision this offseason

The 33rd Team believes Peterson is their biggest decision this offseason

Depending on who you ask, opinions may vary on who the Minnesota Vikings should prioritize when it comes to their impending free agents. On Tuesday, Ari Meriov of The 33rd Team wrote that cornerback Patrick Peterson should be atop the Vikings’ list as a player to retain this offseason.

“Peterson, who will turn 33 this offseason, is the oldest starting cornerback in the NFL. None of that mattered as he started all 17 games this past season and had five interceptions (tied for fifth in the NFL) and 15 passes defended (tied for sixth). He held QBs to a sub-70.0 passer rating on targets in his coverage. Peterson is also an admired leader in the locker room and recently said on his podcast that he would love to be back in Minnesota for a third year.”

Peterson did have a solid year for the Vikings this past season and could be an important leader for the Vikings next offseason in what’s bound to be a young cornerback room. The Vikings currently only have Akayleb Evans, Cam Dantzler, and Andrew Booth Jr. under contract for next season.

Meriov also mentioned that defensive lineman Dalvin Tomlinson could be another player to prioritize. Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and the Vikings will have a lot of decisions to make here in the coming weeks, as free agency kicks off on March 15th.

U.S. Bank Stadium ranked one of the ugliest buildings in the world

In a recent survey, U.S Bank Stadium ranks as one of the ugliest buildings in the world

Minnesota Vikings fans love to marvel at the beauty of U.S. Bank Stadium and embrace how wonderful the space is, especially when it comes to watching their favorite team. The rest of the world, however, disagrees. In a recent survey, U.S. Bank Stadium ranked as the 12th ugliest building in the entire world and the seventh ugliest in the US.

A U.S. Bank Stadium spokesperson had the following to say about this ranking:

“The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority and ASM Global are proud of U.S. Bank Stadium’s iconic design and the incredible sports and entertainment environment that this state-of-the-art facility provides for our community and our guests”

U.S. Bank Stadium opened its doors in 2016 and was lauded by most fans for its sleek and unique design. In its short time open, U.S. Bank Stadium has hosted many big events such as Super Bowl 52, NCAA basketball’s Final Four and countless big-name concerts.

FOX announces broadcast crew for Vikings vs. Giants Wild Card matchup

The Vikings get the A-team announce crew on Sunday

The Minnesota Vikings and New York Giants are set to play Sunday in this weekend’s NFL Wild Card game at 3:30 p.m. central time.

These two teams recently faced off in Week 16, where the Vikings beat the Giants 27-24 on a 61-yard field goal by kicker Greg Joseph. It was announced on Tuesday that Fox has the broadcast crew of Kevin Burkhardt, Greg Olsen, Erin Andrews and Tom Rinaldi calling the game. This crew called the Vikings and Green Bay Packers matchup in Week 1, where the Vikings won 23-7.

The Vikings are 8-1 at home this season, with their only loss coming in Week 11 against the Dallas Cowboys when they lost 40-3. The Vikings will have an opportunity this weekend against the Giants to utilize their home-field advantage, one that’s been questioned by Giants offensive lineman Nick Gates. The hope for the Vikings is that they can win the game this weekend without a 61-yard field goal.

Also, with a little luck in the rest of this weekend’s games, they could win and potentially host the divisional round with a San Francisco loss.

Looking ahead to Steelers’ 2022 regular season

After an off-season rife with transition and speculation, the Pittsburgh Steelers are looking to do what many are saying they can’t – field a competitive football team.

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After an off-season rife with transition and speculation, the Pittsburgh Steelers are looking to do what many are saying they can’t – field a competitive football team. There are still plenty of question marks looming large as the regular season approaches, but it’s becoming increasingly difficult to say this season won’t, at the very least, be wildly entertaining.

The topic that has been most discussed by analysts and media on both the local and national levels is undoubtedly who will get the nod as the man under center come week one. All signs pointed to Mitch Trubisky before the team opened their preseason against Seattle on August 13th, when Kenny Pickett’s presence was met with cheers and chants and he went 13/15 for 95 yards and 2 touchdowns. The relatively clear waters became a little murky with Pickett’s stellar preseason performance, and now it’s anyone’s guess who Coach Tomlin will call on to begin the season – and it’s why the head coach has been so cryptic about making the decision. His avoidance of the topic won’t keep people from asking, but the answer isn’t going to be revealed until they’re certain and ready.

Per Good Morning Football, the quarterbacks share almost identical stats. Sure, it’s preseason. And sure, Pickett played primarily against 2nd and 3rd string guys. But his poise, composure, and confidence made the case for him as starter out of the gate that much stronger. Honestly, though, we won’t know until we know. And the debate is getting a little tiresome. People will continue to argue over which man is more worthy of the starting position, but why is the general conversation centered around disagreement when neither guy would be a bad choice? Trubisky has years of experience in the league to rely on, Pickett has the “it” factor. Either of these guys will be an upgrade over Ben Roethlisberger in his final season.

Especially when the play of the offensive line can be summed up in one word – abysmal. Between the penalties and the missed assignments, the thing that will matter most for whoever is dropping back in the pocket is that they’re mobile. Both Trubisky and Pickett have proven that they can scramble and get away from pressure, avoiding sacks and throwing on the run. Regardless of who is behind the line, they’ll have to find a way to utilize their speed and smarts to survive. They’ve both shown they’re more than capable of that.

And they’ll have plenty of weapons at their disposal. With the announcement of their initial 53-man roster, the Steelers retained 7 wide-receivers – George Pickens and Calvin Austin III being the most notable new arrivals. Pickens made a splash in camp and the preseason and should prove to be a valuable asset, not just in the passing game:

But with his ability to block for the run game, too:

On paper and in practice (through 3 preseason games), this offense is an improved one from last year. All they need to do is control more of the clock – and maybe score a touchdown or two more. With the addition of Jaylen Warren to the backfield to support Najee Harris and Benny Snell, people can reasonably hope to see more production and points out of this squad.

The defense is set to come back as one of the best in the league. The biggest problem for that unit last season wasn’t lack of ability, it was being on the field way too much. They spent the majority of the second half of every game being worn down and winded because the offense couldn’t maintain possession. Whether or not the offense can do what needs to be done, the potential is there. Tyson Alualu is back from injury, and a late trade for Malik Reed as a much-needed depth piece behind TJ Watt and Alex Highsmith. One major concern heading into week one is how they’ll respond if Devin Bush looks the way he’s looked since returning from an ACL injury sustained in 2020. They need him to play to his potential…or they need to sit him. This may be the season we finally see some difficult and necessary decisions made surrounding the fourth year linebacker.

More than likely, this team isn’t Super Bowl bound. They may not make the playoffs either, given how competitive the AFC is. But what I anticipate is another winning season for Coach Tomlin, and one full of twists and turns, thrilling storylines, and close games. After all, would it even be football season in Pittsburgh without a handful of games that cause people to lose their minds?

The Steelers open their 2022 campaign in Cincinnati against the Bengals on September 11th at 1:00.

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