Kevin O’Connell Unshaken by Vikings 0-3 Start; Kirk Cousins Living Week to Week

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Minnesota Vikings
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Only six teams in NFL history have rebounded from an 0-3 start to make the playoffs but do not tell that to Minnesota Vikings head coach, Kevin O’Connell, after his squad fell victim to such winless fates on Sunday vs the Los Angeles Chargers.

Related: Should Minnesota Vikings Focus on Future After Falling to 0-3 vs Chargers

Kevin O’Connell’s confidence unshaken after 0-3 start

O’Connell displayed an extreme amount of confidence, throughout his 10-minute postgame interview. And when tee’d up perfectly by KSTP (Ch. 5) veteran sports anchor, Joe Schmit, who asked the 38-year-old head coach if he felt like the Vikings had “the right guys in the locker room” for such a historic turnaround.

KOC used the question to reference a 3-game losing streak he experienced as an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Rams during a 2021 season that eventually ended in a Super Bowl parade.

The smooth talking head coach then flowed seamlessly from his misleading, non-relevant reference about a mid-season slump, and right into a repeated (emphatic) announcement regarding the belief he still has in his current squad.

“I believe in this team, I believe in the makeup of this team, I believe in our leadership, I believe in our coaches and we are going to continue to work. That is not a concern of mine, with the guys in there”.

“Our backs are against the wall now. We have to find a way to get our first win this week and go on the road to do it. Then see if we can start stacking them from there and working our way out. We’ve got a lot of football left.”

Speaking of walls, I may need one to run through, after listening to that pep talk. Moments later, in his own press conference, Kirk Cousins mostly mimicked his head coach’s outlook on what has been, and what is yet to be of the 2023-24 Minnesota Vikings season.

0-3 start changes nothing for Kirk Cousins

He nearly took the words right out of PJ Fleck’s mouth when he told reporters that he really looks at each week like they are their own season or stage, “much like the Tour de France”. He and the team will learn what they can from their week 3 loss, then flush it and move on: “We have a lot of opportunities ahead of us.”

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But what else are Kevin O’Connell and Kirk Cousins supposed to say? “We suck, the season is probably dead.” That isn’t going to happen. Of course, they still believe in their team. If they didn’t we’d have bigger problems.

Minnesota Vikings’ backs against the wall

Still, there’s no doubt everyone in that locker room has had their confidence severely shaken over the past three weeks. KOC was right about one thing, in the clip above. The Minnesota Vikings’ backs are up against the wall now. There’s no doubt about that.

One more loss and he won’t have to worry about convincing the outside world that his Vikings still have a shot. He’ll have his hands plenty full with convincing those in the locker room and within the walls at TCO Performance Center.

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Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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