Justin Jefferson: ‘All the Kirk criticism has to stop!’

Justin Jefferson: ‘All the Kirk criticism has to stop!’

Jefferson didn’t seem to like a harsh criticism of Kirk Cousins on ESPN.

A round of criticism of Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins on ESPN’s “First Take” this week has caught the attention of superstar wide receiver Justin Jefferson, who isn’t interested in hearing it. 

“All of the Kirk criticism has to stop!!” Jefferson tweeted. “I understand y’all hate the dad swag but come on his numbers are right with y’all’s MVP candidates.”

He was responding to a segment featuring Channing Crowder, Fred Taylor and Ryan Clark. The trio of former NFL players host “The Pivot” podcast, and it was a clip of Crowder saying: “I’ve seen some weaknesses out of the Vikings and it’s on Kirk Cousins’ shoulders” that irked Jefferson. 

Cousins has led Minnesota to eight fourth-quarter comebacks, which ties the NFL record, and he’s been under center for all 12 Vikings victories, 11 of which were decided by 7 or fewer points. Four of the fourth-quarter comebacks were from 10 points down. 

Is Cousins an MVP candidate? By the numbers, it’s tough to put him up against Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts, but his 27 touchdown passes rank fourth in the NFL and is tied first with Geno Smith in the NFC. 

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But it’s the fourth quarters where MVP Kirk comes to life. Check out his quarter-by-quarter passing stats this season. 

  • 1Q: 87-of-126 for 833 yards, 6 TD, 3 INT, 93.1 rating
  • 2Q: 113-of-173 for 1,166 yards, 7 TD, 2 INT, 93.3 rating
  • 3Q: 70-of-112 for 711 yards, 2 TD, 3 INT, 75.4 rating
  • 4Q: 110-of-168 for 1,283 yards, 12 TD, 3 INT, 104.8 rating

In the fourth quarter with the score within 7 points, Cousins is 61-of-88 for 609 yards, 8 touchdowns and 1 interception. That’s good for a 114.3 passer rating. That’s as clutch as it gets. 

Related: There’s a swell of support for Justin Jefferson to be MVP

Related: Brian Murphy: You know it’s different when the kicker is thriving

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