Theismann: Tremendous Pressure On Cousins

Make no bones about it, Joe Theismann said. It's Super Bowl or bust for Minnesota.

Reiter Than You
August 15, 2018 - 8:37 am

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Last year, the Minnesota Vikings went 13-3, won the NFC North, and advanced to the NFC Championship, where they lost to the eventual Super Bowl champions in Philadelphia.

And then they let quarterback Case Keenum walk in free agency before inking Kirk Cousins to a three-year, $84 million contract.

So, how much pressure is on Cousins in 2018?

“I think there’s a tremendous amount of pressure on him this year,” former NFL MVP and Super Bowl champion Joe Theismann said on Reiter Than You. “They bought him in to take the to the Super Bowl. Make no bones about it: that’s the pressure on him. And he’s handled pressure. He was franchised twice and basically put faith in himself twice, and it worked out very well for him. I think with the weapons around him, the players that Minnesota has on the offensive side of the ball, I expect him to have a sensational year. I really do. I think he’s smart, he knows what he needs to do, he’ll protect the football – he does a good job there. 

“The big thing about Kirk was this: he couldn’t win, he couldn't deliver, in the moment when he had to,” Theismann continued. “That was the whole thing. When it came down to a game where he had to make a play, it just didn’t work out for him – for various reasons. I think he’s played a lot of football, he understands what he needs to do, and I think he’s destined for a terrific year. I think Alex (Smith) is going to be the same way.”

The Chiefs traded Smith to Washington this offseason. Smith, 34, threw a career-high 26 touchdowns last year and has thrown eight or fewer interceptions in seven straight seasons.

Washington hopes to improve on last year’s win total.

“They were 7-9 and they lost most of their offensive line, they lost their star tight end, they lost their running back – they played with five safeties next to D.J. Swearinger,” Theismann said. “They were 7-9. I’d have to say that was an incredible year under the circumstances. They should be a much healthier football team. I think they’re going to be a deeper football team. I think this team has to look at nine or 10 wins against some very difficult opponents. They get Atlanta, they get New Orleans, they get Carolina – they get the NFC South. They get Jacksonville, you got to play in your own division – you have six games in your own division. 

“So it’s not going to be an easy road by any stretch of the imagination,” Theismann continued. “But I think if this team can manage 10 wins, I think it would be considered a success – and make the playoffs. That’s the goal – to get into the dance.”