Kirk Cousins: Throwing 10 passes is great as long as we win

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The Vikings brought in Gary Kubiak to help reconstruct their offense after falling short of the postseason in 2018 and the first look at the 2019 edition was both successful and unusual.

It was successful because the Vikings scored 14 points in the first quarter and built a 28-0 lead through the first three quarters of a 28-12 victory over the Falcons. It was unusual for an NFL game in 2019 because quarterback Kirk Cousins only threw 10 passes en route to the victory.

The Vikings had short fields to set up their first two touchdowns and they relied heavily on the running game the rest of the way, which was an easy decision to stick to as Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison each made big plays in the victory. Cousins was 8-of-10 for 98 yards and a touchdown while also running for a one-yard score.

“Throwing 10 times is really unique. Probably haven’t had a game with that few attempts since Pop Warner,” Cousins said. “I think I threw 10 times or more in most high school games, too. It’s what the game called for. I have no problem with being conservative. As long as we win the football game, that’s all that matters to me. We found a way to get the win, so the approach was a great approach.”

Tight end Kyle Rudolph joked that the Vikings are “going to set the game back about a hundred years” to commemorate the NFL’s 100th anniversary season. It’s unlikely to be a regular plan this season, but it was undoubtedly a welcome development for a team that ranked 30th in rushing yards per game last season.

30 responses to “Kirk Cousins: Throwing 10 passes is great as long as we win

  1. A defense that regressed plus a poor running game was the Vikings down fall last year not QB thogh he did have his issues he still played well enough that the team should have at least made the playoffs. It looks like both issues were resolved. Should be a good season.

  2. World Class team victory yesterday against a very good Atlanta team. Time to show GB they still don’t have a good defense, despite their delusions after shutting down the weak Bears Offense…

  3. As a huge Viking fan, I am not confident in Cousins at all. If we have to rely on his arm to win a game, it’s 50/50 if we win. He overthrows a receiver on one play, under throws him on the next, holds onto the ball to long the next and usually takes a huge loss sack, or loses a fumble. For what he gets paid, he should be on the level of the elite QB’s in this league, not the middle of the pack.

    We have a great defense, and a great running game, but they can’t always put it on their shoulders. Cousins has to step up huge this year.

    Skol

  4. I’m sure the Packer defense is going to work hard to take away the run game next weekend. Cousins is going to need to earn his money then. Rodgers too for that matter. Can’t wait.

  5. I remember ponder passing for 98 yards, but it took him 26 attempts. And everybody thought Kirk was the king of garbage time to pad his stats.
    SKOL

  6. This game turned into the fifth preseason game in the second half. I would have preferred more passing so the offense could keep the ball longer, but the strategy made sense because this was the first game of the season. Now the Packers have very little to look at on film with respect to the passing game. It looked to me like they decided to go as bland as possible in the fourth quarter and that might pay off next week. The Packers will sell out to stop the run like they did against the Bears but this time they won’t be playing against Mitch Ponder.

  7. Cousins will be just fine. People forget how well he played the first half of the year last year. The addition of a good running game will certainly help him.

    Because the ground game took off from the get-go, we didn’t really get a chance to see the pass game at all anyways. While a win is a win, I’m still not happy with the “sit back and play conservative” attitude the Vikings portray. Keep the pedal on the gas and don’t let teams creep back in garbage time. Not sure pounding the ball up the middle three consecutive plays (see 2nd half) is going to win games against good teams.

    I think we still need to prove ourselves. Next week will be a big test..

  8. It’s been almost 1000 days since a Pack win against the Vikings, after week 1 there is no evidence to suggest the streak will be broken Sunday. Vikings 28, Pack 17.

  9. The Packers will sell out to stop the run like they did against the Bears but this time they won’t be playing against Mitch Ponder.
    —–
    That’s what I’m expecting to see as well. Luckily this time around we actually have a competent secondary and an actual pass rush.

  10. Well Kirk, only 10 passing plays usually leads to not throwing picks and not fumbling.
    But you did fumble twice. Luckily, the Vikings retained possession.

    Given the short field the Vikings had, I’m not very optimistic about playing in GB on Sunday. And that flap jacket around his tummy/waist makes him look pregnant and slow.
    I don’t see that look on any other QB in the league.

    I’m venting here….Cousins is WAYYYY overrated.
    Hopefully, limiting Cousins will give the team more wins. The Vikings should have just kept Keenum about half the price.

  11. Rob

    I think you nailed it.

    We were so vanilla in the second half that it did seem like a preseason game.

    With Cook averaging 5.4 and Mattison averaging 5.3 YPC on their combined 30 carries – Cousins didn’t need to throw the ball very much. Even Abdullah averaged 4 YPC…

    But when Kirk did throw the ball, he averaged 9.8 yards every time he threw the ball. That’s 6th best for any starting QB in the NFL this season and his completion percentage is 3rd best.

    Thielen, Diggs, Cook and Beebe caught every pass thrown to them. Rudolph was the only one who did not catch a pass thrown towards him – and that was just 1 pass.

    Great offensive efficiency.

    If the Packers choose to attempt to stop the Vikings running game, Cousins just might pick them up apart with the passing game.

  12. pkrlvr says:

    Luckily this time around we actually have a competent secondary and an actual pass rush.
    ###

    That “competent secondary” gave up 228 yards to Mitch Trubisky last week in a game that the Bears failed to gain even 50 yards on the ground.

    When you put 8 in the box to stop Cook, that leaves only 3 players to stop our receivers.

  13. ARod(in his collarbone) says:
    September 9, 2019 at 10:29 am

    For what he gets paid, he should be on the level of the elite QB’s in this league, not the middle of the pack.
    ____________

    He’s paid about the same as Matthew Stafford and Jimmy Garoppolo. Why don’t you wait to see how he does next week before ripping him?

  14. Let’s do the math:

    Cousins is paid $27.5M this year. That comes to $1,718,750 per game. He made 10 pass attempts, which equates to $171,875 per pass.

    Of course, that’s pretax…

  15. This appears to be the first time in his career that Cousins is supported by a decent running game and a stout defense. We’ll see next week if the pass protection is adequate. If it is, the Vikes are headed to the playoffs.

  16. That “competent secondary” gave up 228 yards to Mitch Trubisky last week in a game that the Bears failed to gain even 50 yards on the ground.
    —-
    Not sure I see your point. 228 yards is a lot to you? On 45+ attempts? Seems pretty good to me. Especially considering we shut them down on the ground as well. Important thing is we kept them out of the end zone though. Yardage is pretty irrelevant.

  17. “But when Kirk did throw the ball, he averaged 9.8 yards every time he threw the ball. That’s 6th best for any starting QB in the NFL this season and his completion percentage is 3rd best.”

    +++++

    Dude. You are like 15 games from finishing a “full regulation season”, your QB threw just 10 passes. Maybe you should look up small sample size.

  18. Not too many losing QB’s throw the ball 10 times Kirk. Good win for the Vikings against the Falcons yesterday.

  19. As long as you score more than the other guy when the final whistle blows, who cares. I’m a Vikings fan and would love to see Kirk light it up every week, but as long they get a W I’m not too concerned with how many passes/completions he gets.

    That being said, dude took a few pretty brutal shots and had 2 fumbles; with all that money he really needs to find a cure for his fumblitis.

  20. Truscrubski had guys open he couldn’t get the ball to against the packers in week 1. Pretty sure that is not good defense but lucky it was Mitch passing. And Rodgers threw for 203 & a TD which is about what he does against Zimmer’s defense.

  21. Anybody complaining or saying bad things is just clowning. Vikes with the blocked punt and INT early, so they did exactly what you should do up 21-0. Ask the Redskins if it’s easy to hold a lead when you bench a HOF RB.

  22. I thought the game planning was brilliant. every teams defense is coached for a pass first offense. No other team has an offense like this, the zone blocking running game scheme is about like running a screen pass on neatly every play. Teams will game plan for this and Minnesota will run it for as long as it works. Expect a heavy dose of the run until other teams break the 5 YPC average. It was like watching games from the 60’s again!

  23. The only part about this that bothered me was the fact that, for a total of 11 called pass plays, Cousins got hit from the blindside twice, fumbling the second and nearly fumbling the first time. That in itself should be of concern to the coaching staff. Not trying to rain on an otherwise good day for the offense, but if your blindside blockers can’t do better than that, it’s time to look for new ones.

  24. Alan Light says:
    September 9, 2019 at 10:17 am
    World Class team victory yesterday against a very good Atlanta team. Time to show GB they still don’t have a good defense, despite their delusions after shutting down the weak Bears Offense…

    ________

    I bleed purple but you need to calm down. Atlanta played like a FCS team yesterday and because of that we learned next to nothing about the Vikes. We learned Dalvin is healthy and Mattison was a steal (or at least good pick).

    Bottom line on yesterdays game: Minnesota came ready to play and capitalized on Atlanta’s mistakes. Atlanta did not come ready to play and embarrassed themselves.

  25. What the Vikings showed yesterday is that they have the formula to finish out games and hold onto the lead. They did not have that formula last year. There will be games this year where we’re leading by 3 or even 1 point and we’ll have the strategy and confidence to grind the clock down.

  26. Last two years packers are 4-7-1 against division opponents and it’s been almost 1000 days since packers beat Vikings. Not sure why so many packers fans are puffing their chests out. Going to be a tough game and will be decided by 3 points.

  27. been a viking fan since 1969,
    what i am worried about is if you look at the preseason game vs cards and the game vs falcons, the oline cannot protect the QB,

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