Kirk Cousins
After another bad performance against the Falcons, Kirk Cousins acknowledges that Minnesota might bench him. Will the Vikings really bench him? (Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports)

When you lose to the Atlanta Falcons, you have real issues. That’s where the Vikings find themselves after an embarrassing 40-23 loss. Minnesota dropped to 1-5 on the season and need to rattle off a bunch of wins to salvage the season. Is Kirk Cousins on the hot seat?

Cousins was awful in the loss throwing three first-half interceptions, which sealed the game for Atlanta. Cousins acknowledged that he needs to play better, or Minnesota might bench him.

“The reality is if the pace I’m on in terms of the interceptions, if that were to continue, I won’t finish the season,” Cousins said. “I won’t — you know what I mean? There’s a little bit of, you got to improve. Whether it’s them telling me, ‘Hey, we gotta improve,’ or them pulling me; we got to get better. That’s what the rest of the season will be about for me, is trying to protect the football as best I can. Because when you turn the ball over, it really hurts your chances to win. I know that. I just need to improve as we look ahead to the rest of the season.”

Two quick things here. It’s unlikely Cousins gets benched. The backup is Sean Mannion. There’s no urgency to get that guy on the field. Furthermore, Minnesota just gave Cousins a two-year extension worth $66 million the offseason. God knows why, but that’s the reality.

It’s not like this was a debate, but without Dalvin Cook, this offense is lifeless. Cook’s importance to the offense is undeniable, and all that guy does is put the team on his back. The Vikings need Cook back and fast.