Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins earned his first-ever playoff victory Sunday afternoon, which for now silences his critics who have long claimed he can’t win a big game.
Shortly after throwing the game-winning touchdown in overtime to defeat the New Orleans Saints in their own stadium, Cousins was interviewed on the field by Fox Sports’ Chris Myers about the thrilling upset victory.
The win came as Cousins has faced immense pressure from the media after signing a three-year, $84 million contract with the Vikings in 2018. Missing the playoffs in his first year as a Viking only fed a prevailing narrative that he can’t win the big game.
During the interview, Myers asked Cousins how heavy the load has been that he had been carrying.
“I know you are deep in your own faith,” Myers said. “I know you try to handle it like a professional but you can’t block all the outside noise.”
Cousins responded by saying that no matter what happens on the football field, he takes comfort in God’s sovereignty.
“Ultimately, it is about the team. I am just trying to do my part for this team, help us win,” he said. “The quarterback carries weight but that comes with the job. Like you said, my faith is important to me. It is the foundation of my life.
“And ultimately, that is where I gain my peace and strength. Win or lose today, God is still on the throne. And I take comfort in that.”
After the game, tight end Kyle Rudolph, who caught the game-winning touchdown from Cousins, poked fun at the narrative in his post-game interview with Myers.
“I am just glad Kirk can’t win big games, apparently,” Rudolph said. “I think we proved that one wrong today.”
Coming into the game, the Saints, led by fellow Christian Drew Brees, were 7.5-point home favorites over the Vikings.
“The Saints are the real deal,” Cousins said after the game. “This is a really tough environment. I would put it right up there with any time I’ve ever played. It was a team win.”
Cousins, whose father is the pastor of Discovery Church in Orlando, Florida, is one of the more vocal players in the NFL when it comes to sharing his Christian faith.
When he was with the Washington Redskins and questions mounted season after season about whether he would sign a long-term deal with the franchise, Cousins said in 2016 while speaking at Willow Creek Community Church in Illinois that he and his wife were consulting with the Lord about his future in the NFL.
“We're going to keep trusting Him and that's not going to change,” he said at the time.
In 2017, Cousins said that his faith was the “driving” force behind his decision to turn down a $53 million contract extension with the Redskins.
"First of all, what rarely ever gets reported is that ultimately this decision is not about anything more importantly than my faith," Cousins said during a radio interview at the time. "Do I feel like the Lord is leading me to make this decision or that decision and where does He give me peace?"