Kirk Cousins outguns Russell Wilson as Vikings win first game of season

·2-min read

The Minnesota Vikings beat the Seattle Seahawks to win their first game of the 2021 NFL season on Sunday, and they did it in a fairly rare way: with Kirk Cousins outplaying Russell Wilson.

The 1-2 Vikings beat the Seahawks, 30-17, in their home opener to earn their first victory of the season. Seattle fell to 1-2 after winning their season opener.

Cousins' strong start to the season continued in Week 3 with three touchdown passes, running his 2021 total to eight touchdowns and no interceptions. He finished the game 30 of 38 passing for 323 yards and now has run his turnover-less streak to five games, dating back to the end of last season.

Cousins is now completing 73.9% of his passes through three games. His career best was 70.1% back in 2018.

That he and the Vikings were so impressive without Dalvin Cook, who missed the game with an ankle injury, is notable. Cook's replacement, Alexander Mattison, also was a huge part of the victory, rushing 26 times for 112 yards and catching six passes for 59 yards.

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins has thrown eight TDs with zero interceptions this season. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins has thrown eight TDs with zero interceptions this season. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

But this one certainly was big for (and because of) Cousins, too. Even while playing well in the team's two close losses to start the season, Cousins always seems to face added pressure because of his past inconsistencies.

Kirk Cousins finally beats Russell Wilson again

Cousins also managed to slay another demon in outplaying Wilson. Their rivalry has gone back to their Big Ten days, although it's been pretty one-sided. Cousins and Michigan State beat Wisconsin in the regular season in Wilson's one year with the Badgers, but Wilson got the last laugh that year by beating Cousins and the Spartans in the Big Ten title game that season.

Coming into Sunday, Cousins had faced Wilson and the Seahawks a total of six times (five as a starter) in the NFL. Wilson and Seattle came away the winner in five of those games, including the past three meetings.

Wilson had a solid statistical game, completing 20 of 28 passes for 259 yards and a touchdown. But his scrambling ability was neutralized by Mike Zimmer's defense, and the Seahawks couldn't put the Vikings away after taking a 17-7 lead early in the second quarter.

The Vikings scored the final 23 unanswered points.

This is the fourth time the Seahawks have opened a season with a 1-2 record under head coach Pete Carroll. They've made the playoffs two of the first three times that has happened and finished with a 9-7 mark the other time.

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