Everyone needs to calm down on the Kirk Cousins hate.
After a disappointing loss to the New Orleans Saints, I saw several articles about Kirk Cousins being a
bust for the Minnesota Vikings. He hasn’t lived up to the hype. He hasn’t taken the team to the next
level. He isn’t worth the money he is being paid.
To that, I say: Let’s calm down on Kirk Cousins.
Let’s put some facts together. Through eight games Cousins has thrown for over 2500 yards. He is on
pace to match (or surpass) his best passing yards season (2016 – 4900 yards). He has thrown 16
touchdowns to 4 interceptions, on pace to match (or surpass) his best TD throwing season (2015 – 29).
He currently has a passer rating of 102.5, with a completion rate of over 70 percent (NFL.com). These
stats aren’t Aaron Rogers or Tom Brady stats, but they aren’t bad stats either.
These are good stats for a quarterback that has a struggling offense. Dalvin Cook being injured has not
helped (though Latavious Murray is holding his own). The offensive line is just, well, offensive (they’ve
given up 23 sacks so far on the season). Adam Thielen and Stephon Diggs are producing, but when
you’re rushing attack is minimal and your o-line is awful, it becomes difficult to utilize your receiving
weapons. Even with the abysmal o-line Cousins has still connected with Thielen, giving him a breakout
year (74 receptions, 925 yards, 6 touchdowns).
The loss to the Saints was a difficult pill to swallow. Break down that game, however, and the hate
becomes unfounded. The Saints are now 6-1 (having only lost to the Buccaneers opening week), and are
top 10 in points, yards, and passing yards. The Vikings had injuries abound, including Xavier Rhodes,
Andrew Sendejo, and Anthony Barr on defense. Thielen gave up a fumble on a go-ahead drive in the
second quarter (his first of the year), and an unfortunate throw to Diggs (who had stopped mid-route)
caused an interception. Unfortunate mistakes.
Does it make the loss any easier to take? Of course not. We all want our teams to win every game. But
I’m not ready to jump ship on Cousins just yet. And trust me, there have been many quarterbacks over
the past 20 years that I’ve been ready to jump ship on. Cousins is not one of them. He has been doing
everything we hoped he would when he put on the purple and yellow.
So let’s just ease up on the Cousins hate.