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NFL World Reacts To Teammate's Kirk Cousins Message

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins celebrates the win over New Orleans.

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JANUARY 05: Kirk Cousins #8 of the Minnesota Vikings reacts to a play during the first half against the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Wild Card Playoff game at Mercedes Benz Superdome on January 05, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

Justin Jefferson thinks the Kirk Cousins hate has gone too far.

During Tuesday's episode of First Take, former linebacker Channing Crowder said the Minnesota Vikings' weaknesses are "on Kirk Cousins’ shoulders." Jefferson responded to a clip from the ESPN segment by defending his quarterback.

"All of the Kirk criticism has to stop!! I understand y’all hate the dad swag, but come on, his numbers are right with y’all’s MVP candidates," Jefferson wrote.

Even if some fans think Jefferson should take more credit for elevating his quarterback, many others believe Cousins deserves more respect.

Cousins has accrued the NFL's fifth-most passing yards (4,117) with more passing touchdowns (27) than every signal-caller besides Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow, and Josh Allen. He was recently named to his third Pro Bowl in the last four years.

But with a lower quarterback rating (93.3) than Ryan Tannehill and the same yards per pass attempt average (7.0) as Derek Car, Cousins isn't quite in the MVP conversation.

Jefferson also plays a huge role in his teammate's success. The 23-year-old is building his own MVP case with a league-high 1,756 receiving yards this season. He's 208 yards from matching Calvin Johnson's single-season record with two games remaining.

Cousins may not get properly respected because of his teams' lack of playoff success, but he's also benefited from a stellar supporting cast.

Either way, it's unfair to consider Cousins the Vikings' biggest liability when the defense has allowed the second-most yards this season. However, the veteran quarterback could determine how far they go in the postseason.