Welcome back to the Kirk Cousins Experience.
Good games are often followed by bad ones, though the praise for the positive tends to pale in comparison to the scorn for the negative.
Big moments are treated as opportunities, but they often lead to meltdowns.
And in the end, the wins and losses tend to even out — literally. After Monday's loss to the Eagles, Cousins is back to .500 as a starter over the course of 122 NFL games: 60-60-2, including 1-1 this year. He's never won more than 10 games in a regular season, and he's never lost more than nine.
With Cousins now in his eighth season as a full-time starter and fifth with the Vikings, the vast majority of football viewers are aware of all these narratives. And they unleashed some rather pointed critiques of Cousins in the wake of his three-interception mega-dud of a game that contributed significantly to Monday's 24-7 loss.
All three interceptions came in the second half and on plays that started inside the Eagles' 30 yard line, a particularly cruel confluence of facts that I talked about on Tuesday's Daily Delivery podcast.
The Vikings had a chance to position themselves as an early NFC contender and gain league-wide credibility, but instead the big-picture national reaction tended to focus on the struggles of Cousins.
There was this from Fox Sports Radio host Doug Gottlieb:
It's simple, straight to the point. Maybe a little reductive, but at this point can you honestly say it's wrong?
Others like ESPN's Mina Kimes used the data to make the point:
There were plenty of other numbers like that. Cousins' Pro Football Focus grade for the game was 53.3. On the broadcast, a graphic showed that early in the fourth quarter Cousins was 0-for-4 with two interceptions on passes that traveled more than 10 yards in the air. Much of that came when Cousins was under pressure, a turnaround from his strong play in that area in Week 1.
The BetMGM feed was particularly cruel, comparing Cousins' play in primetime to any Iowa football game. Please, he has a family!
Maybe some enterprising fan will pay a celebrity with a Vikings connection to make a Cameo video that sounds like it is about Kirk Cousins.
There are countless other examples, but let's leave with this one from NFL analyst Brian Baldinger:
The numbers don't lie.
But just remember: The narrative will change again if Cousins is sharp next week against Detroit.