Episode 3 of Netflix’s “Quarterback” includes a quote from Kirk Cousins that challenges the fan perspective of playing professional sports: “Some days, you think this must be the worst job in the world.”
This is probably hard to believe at first for NFL fans that have grown up idolizing athletes and dreaming of playing professional sports, but then episode 3 dives into its thematic driver – the physicality and toughness required to play NFL quarterback. The episode explores Cousins, Mahomes and Mariota’s weekly schedule to showcase not only how they take hits on Sundays, but how they recover and prepare their body to do it week after week.
For Vikings fans, episode 3 also dives into the background of one of the biggest moments of the season.
Here are my three biggest takeaways from watching episode 3 of Netflix’s “Quarterback.” If you haven’t gotten to episode 3 yet, see here for recaps of episode 1 and episode 2 from my colleague John Lane.
How Does Kirk Stay on the Field?
This was something we at Vikings Central were eager to see ahead of the show’s release. Afterall, Cousins has been one of the most durable QBs in the NFL in his career and has never missed a start for the Vikings due to injury. So, what’s his secret?
Well, “Quarterback” reveals that Cousins’ recovery focus is quelling inflammation, so he doesn’t have achy joints throughout the week. This strategy begins on Mondays with full body ice baths, a habit he began in college – and sometimes used Lake Michigan for. However, the main recovery technique we see is a full body sports chiropractic appointment that Cousins does every Friday before games. Cousins says it’s a habit that he learned from Santana Moss back in his Washington days and that’s when realized the importance of body recovery work. These chiropractic appointments emphasize the release of tension and the improvement of mobility ahead of games. According to Dr. Ann Stark, one of Cousins’ chiropractors, improving mobility and flexibility help the body absorb impact and reduce the likelihood of joint injuries.
The Bills Game Shows Kirk’s Mettle
Despite all the work he does throughout the week to recover and prevent injury, Cousins was still quite banged up by mid-season and was dealing with injured ribs ahead of the Vikings trip to Buffalo. For Vikings fans, this revelation comes as quite a surprise as the injury was kept under wraps during the season.
This injury was exacerbated in the game after taking a big hit from Von Miller, leading Cousins to say that even talking was painful throughout the majority of the game. One of the main takeaways from Episode 3 was that the Bills game was a perfect example of Kirk’s mettle. He continued to go out on the field and persevere through his pain.
The episode also showed a telling sentence that displayed Cousins’ leadership qualities. At one point, he gasps on the sideline: “I’m tired of getting hit.” As an armchair quarterback, it’s easy to see why. The interior of the Vikings offensive line was a turnstile in pass protection for much of the season, yet this off-hand one liner is the closest comment we’ve gotten to Cousins throwing his offensive line under the bus.
While the first half of episode 3 displayed the work Cousins puts in to get on the field, the Bill game revealed the toughness and mental strength he has to stay on it.
We Need More “Screw It” from Kirk
The Bills game is largely known for the creation of “Kirko Chains,” yet one of my biggest takeaways is that we need more of a different Kirk Cousins’ personality. In the post-game confessional, Cousins quips that once the Vikings were down by 17, he thought to himself “screw it.” In order for the Vikings to be a contender in 2023, they need more of “screw it” Kirk.
“Screw it” Kirk was 12 for 21 for 155 yards passing and 15 yards rushing after the Vikings were down by 17 points. However, even more importantly, “Screw it” Kirk was the Cousins that threw it deep, took necessary risks and led his team on two key scoring drives against one of the best pass rushes in the NFL.
While Kirko Chains is more popular and more meme-able, “Screw it Kirk” is who the Vikings need to see more of.
Stay posted for more “Quarterback” recaps this week!
Feature image courtesy of For The Win