Kirk Cousins will improve drastically in the second quarter of the season

Minnesota Vikings v Houston Texans

The Minnesota Vikings are 1-3 through the first quarter of the regular season sitting in third place in the NFC North. Although there have only been four games thus far, Vikings fans are already looking at quarterbacks in the 2021 draft class. 

Kirk Cousins and his contract have been the biggest topic of discussion since his arrival in 2018. His lackluster performances through the first couple weeks of the season have stirred up debates on whether or not the Vikings should tank for Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields. This is similar to how his season started in 2019, but he then went on to have a bounce back month in October. 

[Insert corny quote about how Kirk Cousins will wake up when September ends.]

Through the first four games of 2019 Cousins was completing around 65 percent of his passes for 735 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. Through the first quarter of his 2020 season he’s completing 62 percent of his passes for 883 yards, six touchdowns and six interceptions. 

The numbers are fairly similar and it took a bad performance in Chicago last year to turn the ship around for Cousins. Through the next four games in 2019 he completed 78 percent of his passes for 1,262 yards, 10 touchdowns and one interception. 

Of course, this doesn’t mean that Cousins is guaranteed to have a bounce back October in 2020, but he has an extremely good chance of doing so. Both Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen are playing at an elite level and Dalvin Cook is coming off back to back career rushing weeks. This offense has already scored over 30 points in 75 percent of their games thus far and it’s likely the unit will only get better with more experience. 

If someone were to go back and look at the teams the Vikings played when Cousins got back on track in October last season, they would see that they played the Lions and three teams from the NFC East. These teams were not good by any means in terms of defensive statistics and that is the case for the next two games for the Vikings in 2020. 

The Vikings play Seattle and Atlanta over the next two weeks. These teams both rank at the bottom of the league in terms of passing yards allowed per game. The Seahawks rank dead last allowing 401 passing yards per game and the Falcons are right in front of them allowing 341.5 passing yards per game. 

It couldn’t have been drawn up any better for Cousins and the Vikings offense. Gary Kubiak talked about how they need to continue to spread the ball around more frequently in a recent press conference and how they need to get Irv Smith Jr. more involved. If the Vikings can get their tight ends involved more this unit could rise to be one of the top offenses in the NFL for the remainder of the season. 

The bad news is that the Vikings defense is having one of its worst years in the Mike Zimmer era. Zimmer’s defense ranks in the bottom half of the league in almost every statistical category and the injury bug has hit the defense much harder than the offense. 

There is a lot to be excited for on the defensive side of the ball, but it might not be until 2021 until this unit gets back to its normal self. 

It’s fair to expect offensive fireworks over the next two weeks for the Vikings and their opponents. Although they have traditionally wanted to establish the run and play good defense, these next two games are perfect opportunities to let Cousins air the ball out to the rising stars on this offense. 

Cousins isn’t going to get the full support from the fan base unless he brings a Lombardi Trophy back to Minnesota. However, Vikings fans should realize that he’s the best option right now and it’s unlikely that the team has a draft pick in the top five next year. 

If the Vikings did land a top-five pick, it would make sense to draft one of the top two quarterbacks. However, forcing a quarterback in the middle of the first round could turn into another Christian Ponder experience. Cousins has been the best quarterback in Minnesota over the last decade and Vikings fans won’t realize how good they have it until he’s gone.

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content