Cousins completed 20 of 35 passes for 244 yards, with two touchdowns and no interceptions, as the Vikings beat the 49ers 24-16.
Garoppolo was a disappointing 15-for-33 for 261 yards, with one touchdown and three interceptions.
One game doesn’t even come close to determining whether the Vikings were wise to back up the Brinks truck for Cousins, nor does it mean that the 49ers shouldn’t have paid the relatively unproven Garoppolo. But on this day, Cousins was the better quarterback on the field.
Garoppolo, who went 2-0 as a starter in New England two years ago and then went 5-0 as a starter in San Francisco last year, had never experienced an NFL loss. Now he has, and he’ll need to play better to get back in the win column.