Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins has always been a conundrum. In the past he’s been a quarterback who can put up big numbers against bad teams, but has struggled when he faces good defenses. It’s not that he couldn’t lead his team to big wins, but it felt like he came up short more often than not in those situations.
Over the past three weeks, Cousins has quietly put together one of the best three-game stretches in NFL history.
Kirk Cousins over his past three games: 68-of-90 (75.6%), 976 yards, 10 TD, 1 INT.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) October 21, 2019
He’s the only QB in NFL history with three straight games of at least 300 passing yards and a QB rating of 130.0 or better.
Those three games have come against the Detroit Lions, Philadelphia Eagles, and New York Giants. The week before that, he faced the Chicago Bears and threw for 233 yards and no scores while losing one fumble in a Vikings loss.
Of the past three opponents, the Eagles and Giants have poor pass defenses. On the other hand, the Lions pass defense is a little bit underrated. It’s not a top unit in the league, but it had put together a solid effort through Week 6. Then, Cousins shredded the unit the Lions to the tune of 337 yards and four touchdowns in a 42-30 win.
Kirk Cousins is not a bad quarterback, but I honestly have no idea if he’s actually a good quarterback. His odds to take home NFL MVP have quietly climbed at DraftKings Sportsbook, and now sit at +4000. He’s a long ways off from the top group, and seems unlikely to catch a group that includes Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, Lamar Jackson, DeShaun Watson, and even Patrick Mahomes if he returns in the next few weeks.
Cousins benefits from a strong defense and a great run game. It helps to have that kind of support, but it still requires execution. Cousins is making plays when needed and the Vikings are winning. They are 5-2 and one game back of the Green Bay Packers in the NFC North.
Minnesota lost at Lambeau in Week 2, in a game that saw Cousins throw two interceptions including a back-breaker on first and goal in the fourth quarter. Aaron Rodgers threw for 209 yards and two touchdowns. Nothing spectacular, but he got the job done. The two teams square off in Week 16 on Monday Night Football, and that could be a monstrous one. The Vikings also travel to face Seattle in Week 13, so that is another game that could show us just what to make of Cousins.
The Vikings are a good football team and Kirk Cousins has been doing some really good things for them. But just how good is he?