Can the Vikings succeed with Kirk Cousins at QB

The NFL’s 2012 QB draft class was headlined by Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin, Russell Wilson, and Kirk Cousins. 2012 was a very good QB class, that had several guys that many thought could takeover a game anytime at all. At one point, Cousins was looked at, as a pretty good QB coming out of Michigan State with 3316 YDs and 25 TD passes – as his tools were all there, as he has shown over his 7 seasons in the NFL.
The 6-3 QB took the league by surprise during his 2015 season, when he was given the keys to the car – becoming an instant eye opener and exciting guy to watch, with a 70% completion rate, while throwing 29 TD passes – Cousins looked like he would be around for quite a while in Washington.
But, it wasn’t to be.
Cousins has had a history of not winning on a consistent basis with a poor 26-30-1 record in his 6 years in Washington. The Skins gave up on Kirk after the 2017 season, after his 3rd straight 4000+ YD passing season – but, Cousins was not out of NFL chances. As the Minnesota Vikings decided to land him for 84 million….guaranteed.
Kirk Cousins has been criticized for his rancid play during the season, with just 3 TD passes and just 183 YPG. Seemingly with a fear to push the ball down the field, has been a problem this season, with just 27 first down throws this season. Cousins is placing his imprint on the Vikings, in an unimpressive way. Cousins has not responded this season after his good inaugural Vikings season in 2018 – to the tune of just an 18th ranked offense in the NFL. Cousins is currently on pace for under 3000 yards over 16 games, which easily would be the lowest for his up and down career as a starter.
Minnesota has had some rough patches in their early games this season, and if we are going to be honest, Cousins has not fought his way through with great showings – and their weakest level of play has been their reeking passing game. A team that had gone from 13-3 and looking at a “soon to be” Super Bowl push in 2017 toppling down to a middling struggling team in 2019.
The Vikings have 2 top notch WR options, with Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, throw in TE, Kyle Rudolph, and the rookie TE Irv Smith Jr. – their passing game should be something to be coveted by the majority of teams. In 16 games last year, Thielen had 113 catches for 1373 YDs and 9 TDs on 153 targets. This year, he has bumbled along on 13 catches, on 22 targets, and under 45 YPG. If you project that over a full season – Thielen could be looking at just 52 catches for about 700 yards, He has not benefitted from Kirk this year – and has just not gotten the opportunity to explode, like the NFL knows he can do. Kirk’s deep passing has not been good, hitting 20+ yard throws with dominance and mastery has not been his strength – and if we are being honest, he has not been as good as advertised for the Vikes. Lacking calmness in the pocket to find his guys on the field, is reflective of how poor Cousins has been.
There’s no doubt that even with a slightly better game-plan – would dramatically improve this Minnesota Vikings team and make them a winner. Zimmer wants to push the team to be a run first team with Dalvin Cook pounding the rock – but the whole point is to be able to pull the D in and then have a QB who can rip it for 300 and lead his team if the running game is ineffective. Seattle has been successful with a similar game plan – and Russell Wilson is still putting up 281 YPG and a league leading 12 TDs. The Vikings can succeed with Kirk Cousins leading their team, right now – but their passing game has to get way better. It has been nothing less than a huge disappointment for Vikings fans. If Minnesota plans on getting better, they need to get their heads straight, and get work done with their passing attack and sometimes hopeless looking offense that has had a problem putting up points vs the better teams this season.
Kirk Cousins is one of their biggest problems on the field – and for what they paid for him – they should be expecting a much better return – he was hired to be their franchise QB not an 84 million dollar game manager

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