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QB Kirk Cousins: Vikings ‘shot us in the foot’ with four turnovers against Eagles

QB Kirk Cousins: Vikings ‘shot us in the foot’ with four turnovers against Eagles

Brandon Powell started the game with a fumbled punt. Alexander Mattison coughed up the ball one play after Minnesota had an interception. Justin Jefferson fumbled outside the end zone late in the second quarter as the Vikings tried to take a lead. Cousins ​​then gave the ball away on the second snap of the third quarter on a sack, allowing the Eagles to take a 20-7 lead.

Jefferson’s turnover was particularly painful, as the fumble outside the end zone gave Philadelphia the ball. Instead of taking the lead at halftime, Minnesota ended up trailing by six points and eventually fell to 27-7 before things calmed down.

“I’m putting in a lot of effort,” Jefferson said of the turnover. “Turning the ball over in the end zone like that when we need points and we’re driving and having that momentum. I was telling my teammates that’s on me and it won’t happen again.”

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With two fumbles in Week 1, the six fumbles lost by the Vikings in the first two games are the most since the 2003 St. Louis Rams, who lost seven.

The 2023 Vikings are the 34th team since 2000 to have more than seven turnovers in their first two games, according to NFL Research. Of the previous 33, only seven made the playoffs. Minnesota is the first team since the 2019 Dolphins with more than seven turnovers in the first two games.

“The turnover battle is lost four to one, with three of them being fumbles, or all four of them being fumbles,” coach Kevin O’Connell said. “Seven to one in turnovers given up in two games and we’ve lost by a combined nine points to two playoff teams a year ago. Clearly, I have to coach better from the standpoint of something we talk about every day. “Ball security is a very, very important focus in our football philosophy, but clearly, I need to do a better job and our staff. “We have to come back and continue to find ways to re-emphasize how important it is when you have football in your hands playing for the Minnesota Vikings.”

O’Connell is sure to emphasize that despite the appalling turnover statistics, Minnesota lost its first two games by a combined nine points. After going 11-0 in one-score games last year, the Vikings are 0-2 to open 2023.

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Cousins ​​and Jefferson have put up monster stats through two weeks, which is particularly encouraging given the offensive line injuries they faced on Thursday. But to get back on track in the win column, Minnesota needs to protect the ball going forward, starting with next week’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers.

“Having your scoring differential be almost the same as your turnover margin is not something you want to preach as a positive, but I know the locker room is confident,” O’Connell said. “I know you understand what you’re emphasizing with them. So my expectation is that if we make ball security the living, breathing way we talk and walk about everything in our building, it will improve. And that’s my hope and that’s “It’s up to me and our coaching staff to emphasize it, minute by minute, hour by hour, how we practice and eventually start seeing it show up on Sundays.”



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