Welcome to the best NFL offseason series you'll ever read -- that is, if you're like me, and you want nothing more than the blissful lie that your team will be good in 2019. How Your Team Won Super Bowl 54 will take you through each NFL franchise with one goal in mind: convincing you that there's at least one universe in which Your Team wins it all. I'm Doctor Strange, you're Tony Stark, the Avengers are Your Team, Thanos is...Bill Belichick? I've lost the metaphor.
One thing's for sure:
You'll die in the end. Your Team is going to win Super Bowl 54.
How Kirk Cousins became Keith Brothers (or some other way more impressive name that sounds like an NFL quarterback that could win a win-and-in game in Week 17 of the regular season)
I've known Kirk Cousins for a while now, as an Eagles fan. I knew who he was when he won the job in 2014 for turning the ball over only slightly less than Robert Griffin III, and I knew who he was in 2015, when his push across the final pole of the season gave the Redskins a short-lived, pie-in-the-sky playoff berth.
Worth noting: a better indicator of who Kirk Cousins is in 2015 may be this play, which you should watch quarterly, to never forget that it happened.
Or this moment, in which Cousins, at the height of his badassery...told other people what they liked, like an incoherent 3-year old setting up tea time for her stuffed animals.
And since 2016, Cousins has been just that: a pie in the sky. Proof that development is not linear, or even consistent -- that a player can become better than you thought, and then plateau when you think you've tagged his upward trajectory.
Now, the Vikings paid for what Kirk Cousins is -- I don't think they believed themselves to be getting much more than what he was in 2018. The team made it to the NFC Championship Game with Case Keenum, and fooled themselves into believing opportunistic defense could carry them year to year.
To make Kirk Cousins into something new, a whole rebrand is necessary. Nobody can win a championship with a cousin, some adjacent and ancillary connection that more often serves as nothing more than a compulsory wedding invitation. You need to be at the very least a brother, ideally a father. Can you imagine? Kirk Fathers. The puns are endless.
Also Kirk is bad. Make it Keith, Kurt, or Kyle. Not Kirby.
Concurrent with the rebrand -- the new name -- comes a new image. We gotta delete things like this...
...and generally try to look less like Owen Wilson.
And finally, we need a few new habits. For example, we could start winning games against actual good teams! If you roll a dice, you have a better chance of getting a one (16.6%, or 1/6) than Kirk Cousins has of beating a team over .500 (4-24, or 1/7, at 14.2%) -- which is apocalyptically poor, by the way. This team had legit Super Bowl hype coming into last season and Kirk Cousins has never (?) beat a team with double-digit wins?!
But Kurt Fathers? He's 0-0! 50% chance, with a bonus couple points for not sounding like a character in a child's fiction book.
Another new habit: not teaching Adam Thielen how to run routes! Or rather, waiting patiently until you have the classes' attention before you start detailing your argument like a broken Boston Dynamics robot.
This, by the way, is a picture-perfect reenactment of me (Cousins) trying to convince Kyle (Thielen) a Pac-12 player is good.
As I've now finished ripping through all the things I would change about Kirk Cousins -- of course, focusing on the things that matter for #QBWinz and thereby Super Bowl Winz -- I've realized the one good thing about Kirk Cousins, the milquetoast mule to whom Minnesotans have hitched their Super Bowl dreams: he gave us so many memes.
And we like that.
How The Vikings Won Super Bowl 54
Rebranded KC opens the season with convincing wins over the Falcons, Packers, and Bears to sprint out to a big lead in the NFC North. A lackluster middle of the season puts KC and Zimmer in hot water, bottoming out with a 45-rush attempt game against the Chiefs (Vikings lose 37-6), which Zimmer later describes as a "solid physical effort. Reminded me of cows rutting."
KC ends the season with five straight wins (four against winning teams), locking the playoffs up by actually beating the Bears in Week 17 this time. In his postgame pressor, KC credits "switching to a beef-based diet, intentionally tanking his credit score, and being less friendly" as the main reason he's now able to act like a doggone NFL QB for four quarters against a living, breathing defense.
KC beats 7 winning-record teams in a row, finishing with those nasty Chiefs in Super Bowl 54. Dalvin Cook rushes for 210 yards because I really liked him coming out of Florida State, Rick Spielman's wife takes credit for Garrett Bradbury's tremendous rookie season with Minnesota, and Stefon Diggs gives me another "in my big bag" GIF to use when I'm excited on Twitter.
How many universes does this happen in?
7 out of 38.
How does it all go wrong?
I don't trust Kevin Stefanski because I'm unsure how his last name is pronounced.