EAGAN, Minn. – Kirk Cousins will return to Washington for the first time Sunday since signing with the Vikings as a free agent in 2018.
The 2012 fourth-round pick will enter the game with a streak of 37 consecutive games with at least one touchdown pass, which is the seventh-longest in NFL history and one shy of tying Tony Romo for sixth.
The streak that matters more to Cousins, however, is the fact the Vikings have won five games in a row to open 6-1 for the first time since 2009.
Cousins' next TD pass will move him past Daunte Culpepper (135) for the third most by a Vikings quarterback.
Last week, he became the 31st NFL player to reach 3,000 career completions and tied Derek Carr for third-fastest to hit the mark (132 career games).
By the way, Thielen's next catch will be his 500th.
Washington is being led by former Vikings QB Taylor Heinicke, who entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2015. An off-field injury prevented Heinicke from being an option to replace Teddy Bridgewater in 2016 and is one of the dominoes that changed the QB trajectory for these two teams and others across the NFL for several years.
Since replacing injured Carson Wentz, Heinicke has won both of his starts, helping Washington improve to 4-4 as the Commanders have tried to climb from an early hole in a highly competitive NFC East.
Here are all the ways to catch the action, a synopsis of the series history and a key topic addressed this week by Vikings Offensive Coordinator Wes Phillips, Defensive Coordinator Ed Donatell and Special Teams Coordinator Matt Daniels.
FOX (KMSP in the Twin Cities)
Kickoff: Noon (CT)
Play-by-Play: Chris Myers
Analyst: Mark Schlereth
Sideline reporters: Kristina Pink
Fans in the yellow areas on the map below from 506sports.com will be able to watch the game on their iOS mobile devices with the Vikings app or Vikings mobile site (Safari browser only).
Radio: KFAN (100.3-FM), KTLK (1130-AM) and the five-state Vikings Radio Network
Radio Pregame Show: Hosted by Mike Mussman (10 a.m.)
Play-by-Play: Paul Allen
Analyst: Pete Bercich
Sideline reporter: Ben Leber
New this year: People in Minnesota will be able to listen to the Vikings Radio Network broadcast through the iHeartRadio app on their smart devices.
SPANISH RADIO BROADCAST
New for the 2022 season, the Vikings will air a Spanish broadcast of all games.
You can hear the Vikings on Tico Sports at WREY "El Rey" 94.9-FM and 630-AM in the Twin Cities and on Tico-Sports.com, elrey949fm.com and vikings.com. Additionally, the stream will be available as part of NFL+.
Play-by-Play: Gabriel Rios
Color commentary: Isaias Zendejas
Minnesota: SiriusXM 146 or 391 and the SXM App
Washington: SiriusXM 132 or 232 and the SXM App
VIKINGS MOBILE APP
Keep the Vikings nearby wherever you go with the Minnesota Vikings mobile app. A source for news and exclusive features, the app also will stream video broadcasts of games for people in the market/broadcast area of each game.
Click here for the full bevy of options that include over-the-air, cable, satellite, over-the-top and streaming methods.
NFL+ AND NFL+ PREMIUM
Start your free trial of NFL+ today to watch Vikings preseason games live or on-demand.
NFL+ and NFL+ Premium provide all the action when you are on the go. It is available in the NFL app and at NFL.com/plus.
NFL+ is available for $4.99/month or $39.99/year and offers the following:
· Live out-of-market preseason games across devices
· Live local and prime-time regular-season and postseason games on your phone or tablet
· Live game audio (home, away & national calls) for every game of the season
· NFL library programming on-demand, ad-free
NFL+ Premium is available for $9.99/month or $79.99/year and offers all of the NFL+ features and the following:
· Full-game replays across devices (ad-free)
· Condensed game replays across devices (ad-free)
· Coaches film (ad-free)
Minnesota is 14-13 all-time in 27 games against Washington (includes 2-3 in NFC Playoff games).
Look back at photos over the course of time featuring games between the Vikings and Commanders.
Phillips on the addition of TE T.J. Hockenson:
Phillips coached Washington's tight ends from 2014-18, helping Jordan Reed catch at least 50 passes in four of five seasons (Reed missed 10 games in 2017).
He and the Vikings just added tight end T.J. Hockenson this week in a trade with Detroit. Hockenson caught 60-plus passes in each of the past two seasons and totaled 26 receptions for 395 yards and three scores in seven games this season with Detroit and has excelled as a "complete" tight end.
The Vikings were pleased to add Hockenson in a deal for future draft picks, and he explained his excitement about the opportunity here.
"He's another piece that's a talented player on the field that the defense has to account for. If they don't account for him, then he can make you pay," Phillips said. "I mean, he's a guy that's caught over 60 balls a couple times in his career – in his short career, really. He's proven already that he's a threat. You get a proven player – you give up a pick or two, but you get a guy who's established in this league, and you know what he can do. It's a good add for us."
Donatell on facing Heinicke:
Heinicke has started 18 regular-season games (one with Carolina in 2018; 15 last season and two this season for Washington).
The success he's had in 2022 has bumped him up to 9-9, and he enters the game having completed 43 of 64 passes for 480 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions (passer rating of 91.9) in wins over Green Bay and Indianapolis.
Donatell was with Denver in 2021 when Heinicke completed 24 of 39 passes for 270 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions in a 17-10 Broncos win.
"He's a quality player; he plays with great confidence. Numerous times, he's given his team a spark," Donatell said. "You can look on tape and see they believe in him. They trust him. He's had two quality wins right in here, and this is a big game. They're looking to match their stuff against ours and likewise. Looking forward to it."
Daniels on Kris Boyd receiving a game ball for his play on special teams against Arizona:
Monday during the opening statement of his press conference, Vikings Head Coach Kevin O'Connell made it a point to mention he had awarded a game ball to Kris Boyd for his play against Arizona.
"Watching the tape, he continues to impact the game at a very, very high level and make game-changing plays for us on the special teams front," O'Connell said.
Daniels was asked more about Boyd's contributions, which may not be the easiest to see if watching from home.
"Yeah, I think honestly for KB it's an attitude he brings to the special teams unit. He is a bully on the field, if we're being quite honest," Daniels said. "He's a bully in between the lines and has a certain way of mentally playing with the opponent, with the returner, their cover guys. He just has a way of how he goes about it, his attitude.
"Between him, [Josh] Metellus, C.J. [Ham], those guys really make the unit go," Daniels added. "They're the ones that provide the energy, the attitude, the big bully mindset that we created and built for ourselves. … You talk about premiere special teams players, he requires two people if you want to stop him. If he gets 1-on-1, I expect him to win the matchup 100 out of 100 times."