Spring 2021 Magazine

Case Keenum, Kirk Cousins star in Broncos, Vikings Week 1 wins

The 2018 NFL season kicked off with a bang on Sunday, and a pair of quarterbacks with ties to the Minnesota Vikings were among the stars of opening weekend.

Kirk Cousins made his debut as the Vikings’ new starter, and he led Minnesota to a 24-16 win over the San Francisco 49ers, completing 20 of 36 passes for 244 yards, two touchdowns and a 95.1 passer rating. Finding Stefon Diggs and Kyle Rudolph for scores, Cousins opened Sunday with efficiency and at one point had the Vikings up by 18.

Meanwhile, out in Denver, Cousins’ Vikings predecessor, Case Keenum, made his first start for the Broncos and had an inspiring performance of his own. Unlike Cousins’ day, Keenum’s was not turnover-free, as the 2017 Minnesota hero tossed three interceptions against the Seattle Seahawks. But No. 4 also finished with 329 passing yards and three touchdowns, the last of which capped a seven-play fourth-quarter scoring drive to seal Denver’s 27-24 win over Seattle.

Cousins and Keenum may have had different afternoons, but they come from the same team in more ways than one. Both their squads are now 1-0 after one week of the 2018 campaign, but off the field, they also share a strong Christian faith. The former made it clear in his transition from the Washington Redskins to the Vikings this offseason that “the foundation of my life is the Bible and the Gospel,” and Keenum reiterated his own beliefs just before the start of the season with the release of a memoir, “Playing For More.”

Keenum and the Broncos return on Sept. 16 against the Oakland Raiders, while Cousins and the Vikings are set for an afternoon battle with Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers that same afternoon.

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