Fall 2021 SS Magazine

20 NFL players to watch in 2020: Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins

Through Sept. 13, the first Sunday of the 2020 NFL season,
Sports Spectrum is highlighting one Christ-following player each day for 20 days.

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins had to wait eight seasons for his first playoff win, but enters 2020 with a chance to advance in the postseason for the second year in a row. His touchdown pass to tight end Kyle Rudolph lifted the Vikings to a 26-20 overtime win on the road against the Saints in the wild-card round last season.

Cousins — who signed a two-year extension in March to keep him in Minnesota through 2022 — led the Vikings to a 10-5 record in his 15 starts and posted a career-best 107.4 passer rating in 2019. The 32-year-old also made the Pro Bowl for the second time in his career.

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Cousins has been outspoken about his faith throughout his career, and put that on display after the victory over the Saints, telling FOX’s Chris Myers, “Win or lose today, God is still on the throne.”

“The ultimate foundation of my life is to be a fully devoted follower of Jesus,” he said on the Sports Spectrum Podcast in 2018. “And that means so much more than just checking a box and saying you’re a Christian.”

Last year, Cousins shared his testimony as part of Sports Spectrum’s Football Sunday film.

“I want to see lives changed for the Kingdom and I want as many people as possible to come to know the hope of the Gospel,” Cousins said, “but also not only to come to know Jesus through the Gospel but then to make Him Lord of their life and to see what I’ve seen in terms of decades of the Lord’s hand guiding a life … That’s what I want my life to be about.”

In February, he spoke at the annual Super Bowl Breakfast, talking about the importance of decision making. During the speech, Cousins referred to the Bible as the “playbook of life” and built his message on verses such as Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23, John 14:6, Acts 4:12, Romans 10:9 and Romans 10:13. The breakfast ended with Cousins praying for anyone who wanted to accept Christ.

“I had made a decision, a good decision, many years ago as a young man to build my life on this book, the truth of God’s Word, and to allow Him to direct the course of my life, wherever it may go, good or bad. And to trust and obey Him, to make Jesus my master,” he said during the speech. “And as a result, I believe I’ve lived, played football and led my family with an unexplainable peace in the midst of whatever life throws at me.”

Cousins and the Vikings begin 2020 in search of their third playoff appearance in four seasons and first NFC North divisional title since 2017. They open the season at home against the Green Bay Packers on Sept. 13.

Whatever happens on the football field, Cousins keeps everything in perspective through his faith in Christ. Serving the Lord is his top priority.

“God is so much bigger than pleasing a boss or pleasing a teacher or winning a group of friends,” he said. “God is so much bigger than that. He can lead you to the right people. He can create the right environment, the right situation, the right college opportunity. You don’t have to bend over to the ways of the world. You can work and strive to please the Lord and then He will make things work out for you in turn.”

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