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Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated
Daniel Chavkin

Frank Reich Salutes Kirk Cousins for Vikings’ Record Comeback

The Vikingscomeback against the Colts on Saturday broke the record for the largest comeback in a single game, and the connection between Minnesota’s thriller and the previous record holder runs deep.

Before Saturday’s game, the largest comeback was made by the Bills, who came back from down 35–3 to defeat the Houston Oilers in the 1993 AFC Wild Card game. The Bills quarterback for that game was Frank Reich, and Reich has used the knowledge from that game to coach others ever since. 

After the Vikings rallied from down 33 to win, Reich texted quarterback Kirk Cousins to congratulate him.

“Frank texted me to say, ‘Kirk, for 30 years, that moment has given me an opportunity to share many things about football and life, tell people about my faith, and now the torch has been passed to you,’” Cousins said, via NBC Sports’ Peter King. “So it was a powerful text. I already had a great deal of respect for Frank but after that text, it went through the roof. I took what he said seriously.”

Reich has been widely regarded as the comeback quarterback, something he very clearly took seriously. Even when he got into coaching, he was still the player who led “The Comeback.”

“Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to encourage lots of people because of that game—some with football lessons, some with lessons of spirituality,” Reich told King. “Maybe Kirk will be like me—maybe he’ll have 30 years of being able to use this as inspiration the way I was able to.”

What makes this connection so strange is that the Colts were the team on the losing end of this comeback over the weekend. The same Colts that fired Reich as the team’s head coach midseason in favor of Jeff Saturday.

The former coach acknowledged that it was weird watching the game unfold, knowing how much he was associated with everything going on.

“It’s just a weird dynamic,” he told King. “And it was weird to see the record go away. It’s strange—I thought I was going to be clinging to the record, and it’s sort of an honor to have the record. But I am happy it’s Kirk.”

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