Kirk Cousins' stats during the previous NFL season read as follows; 4,265 yards, 68% completion percentage, 35 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. These are impressive stats but they do not match the eye test. If you watched the Minnesota Vikings play last season, you experienced one of the most frustrating QB seasons in recent memory.
The harsh truth about Kirk Cousins:
The Minnesota Vikings and Kirk Cousins lost their opening game to the Green Bay Packers in embarrassing fashion. The score at the end of the 3rd quarter was 29 - 10 and this game summed up Kirk Cousins completely as he was 19 for 25 (76%), threw for 259 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. One must ask how can your QB be so excellent and yet you are completely out of the game? No position in the NFL has a higher say over the proceedings of a game than the quarterback. It is here, where Kirk Cousins suffers, that he does not seem capable of bending games to his will.
The game was eye-opening because the gentleman wearing the No.12 on the other team is maybe the greatest-ever at influencing games. Aaron Rodgers ended the 1st quarter down 7 - 3, and in the very next quarter, Green Bay dropped 19 points. There was a safety on Kirk Cousins to open the quarter, Green Bay made a field goal and Rodgers threw two touchdowns to will his offense to life and the half ended 22 to 10. If Cousins was an elite quarterback, this was the moment to prove it, and Cousins was home to boot. Unfortunately, the Minnesota Vikings scored 0 3rd quarter points as the game got away from them while in the 4th quarter in pure garbage time Kirk Cousins threw his only two touchdowns of the game and collected empty meaningless stats which add up to his impressive but meaningless passing stats.
So, what is up with Kirk Cousins?
Coach Mike Zimmer should’ve suspended those fully-guaranteed checks after such an abysmal performance at home. It was so frustrating that this is how the majority of Viking games went; Kirk Cousins being terrible for long stretches before ultimately cleaning up his stat line in garbage time.
Let’s compare him with Rodgers again to see the difference between a false image and an actual HOF QB. Cousins threw for 35 touchdowns last season, but 25 of his 35 TDs (71% of his TDs) came in the 2nd half, Rodgers in comparison threw for 48 touchdowns but 34 of those 48 (71% as well) came in the first half as well.
That’s the difference between a QB who can impose his will on proceedings and one who is a passenger. This is fine majority of QB’s are passengers only an elite few can takeover games by themselves but the problem is Cousins is being paid like he is one of those QB’s when he is clearly not. The Vikings have invested in Cousins to be a franchise QB and last season was the confirmation that they made a horrible mistake. Russell Wilson has had a bad o-line for numerous years but he always overcame it, Brady had no weapons during his last season at New England but they still won 12 games, Big Ben’s arm is completely shot but he still commands more fear than Kirk Cousins and that’s just absurd.
End of 3rd Quarter scores of all Minnesota Viking games:
Vikings 10 - 29 Packers.
Colts 18 - 3 Vikings.
Vikings 24 - 25 Titans.
Vikings 24 - 16 Texans.
Seahawks 21 - 19 Vikings.
Vikings 7 - 30 Falcons.
Packers 14 - 28 Vikings.
Vikings 27 - 10 Lions.
Bears 13 - 13 Vikings.
Vikings 14 - 16 Cowboys.
Vikings 10 - 21 Panthers.
Vikings 19 - 16 Jaguars.
Buccaneers 23 - 14 Vikings.
Vikings 20 - 27 Bears.
Saints 31 - 27 Vikings.
Lions 29 - 31 Vikings.
Two clear patterns emerge: First, Mike Zimmer's defense was disappointing and second the Vikings were usually down big or real close going into the 4th quarter. To be fair to Kirk Cousins, playing QB in the NFL is one of the most difficult jobs in the world. A QB must read, process and react all in about 2 to 5 seconds but Cousins must be held accountable for his disappointing play. Going into 4th quarters tied or slightly down places the game solely in your QB’s hand and Kirk Cousins has let Vikings fans down too many times for them to place any trust in him.
Kirk Cousins' stats suggest a trend
If you look at Kirk Cousins' stat line it shows an elite QB but the eye test shows a very different story. Kirk Cousins cannot inflict his will on games and thus cannot elevate what’s around him. Most fans would rather go 1 - 15 and draft a QB capable of influencing games than continue on with just an above-average QB who is a passenger. The Vikings have tied themselves to mediocrity and only have themselves to blame.