Kirk Cousins makes very specific history (but still history)

Getty Images

Three weeks ago, the biggest question regarding Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins related to how the team would escape a fully-guaranteed contract that runs through the 2020 season. Today, the biggest question is whether Cousins can keep the best stretch of his career going.

On Sunday, Cousins became the first quarterback in league history to throw for 300 or more yards and to generate a passer rating of at least 135 in three straight games. No other quarterback ever has accomplished that. Not Peyton Manning, not Tom Brady, not Brett Favre, not John Elway, not Drew Brees, not Kyle Boller. (Just making sure you’re paying attention.)

Cousins also has thrown for four touchdown passes in consecutive games. He has 976 passing yards and 10 touchdown passes in the three outing since the Bears put the clamps on the Minnesota offense and Cousins looked as bad as he ever has. The criticism became intense, and Cousins responded.

He admitted after the Week Five win over the Giants that he plays better when “ticked off,” when he has an edge. The challenge now becomes keeping that edge even as the accolades pile up.

A microcosm of the mindset emerged late in Sunday’s win over the Lions. With Detroit down 35-24 and driving, having plenty of time to score, to get the ball back, and to score again, Cousins was pacing the sidelines, focused and determined and aware that a stellar effort that should have sealed the victory may still require him to tap that reservoir of ticked-offedness and deliver a big throw in a big spot.

That’s been his biggest weakness, throughout his career. Big games, big spots, big moments, Cousins fails to deliver.

On Sunday, with the Vikings facing second and six and everyone expecting the Vikings to run the ball, the Vikings trusted Cousins to fake the handoff and throw not a short, safe pass for another first down but to launch a lower-percentage deep ball that found receiver Stefon Diggs for the dagger.

That’s not a play Kurt Cousins makes. On Sunday, it was definitely a play that Kirk Cousins made.

Now, in three days, he gets a chance to exorcise his prime-time demons against the team whose president gave him that “Kurt” moniker. And if Cousins can take his game under the lights and dismantle Washington the way he should, he’ll take another step toward changing a narrative that had been tattooed on his neck.

64 responses to “Kirk Cousins makes very specific history (but still history)

  1. I remember seeing Christian Ponder laugh and smile after throwing an interception in a preseason game. You can’t act that way and survive in the NFL.

    I’m glad Kirk is getting angry.

  2. Kirk Cousins will forever be defined as a QB by his prime time performances. This year the Vikings play Dallas, Seattle and Green Bay under the lights, with no doubt major playoff implications on offer. Good or bad, his legacy will be set there. Stellar noon games against fatally flawed opponents are not where his narrative will be changed.

  3. “Three weeks ago, the biggest question regarding Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins related to how the team would escape a fully-guaranteed contract that runs through the 2020 season”
    *********

    This was YOUR biggest question. Everyone else understands that when they decided to sign Cousins it was a 3-year plan. The Cousins project will last 3 Seasons, no matter how many times you write a Story about his poor performances. This is a 3 year marriage that the Vikings aren’t trying to get out of.

  4. The Giants have a weak team so Cousins had lots of opportunities.
    The Eagles have no CBs and Cousins was constantly throwing deep and the Eagles couldn’t stop that.

    Cosins is Ok, he’s not bad, but he’s not a top 10 QB.

  5. I remember when people wanted to get rid of Cousins…

    …and…

    … sign A.J. McCarron.

    How’s A.J. doing now?!?

  6. I’m glad I didn’t freak out after the loss to the bears. The football world collectively emotionally overreacted to a road game in September as if it defined who this team is. Cousins is a good nfl quarterback. He reminds me of Drew Bledsoe with great stats and a mediocre winning record. I’m looking forward to seeing how this season plays out.

  7. snowlock2013 says:
    October 21, 2019 at 11:03 am
    Kirk Cousins will forever be defined as a QB by his prime time performances. This year the Vikings play Dallas, Seattle and Green Bay under the lights, with no doubt major playoff implications on offer. Good or bad, his legacy will be set there.

    ******************************************************************************************

    And after he clears that hurdle, someone somewhere will find something else he can’t do.

  8. “Not Peyton Manning, not Tom Brady, not Brett Favre, not John Elway, not Drew Brees, not Kyle Boller.”

    Those are some damn good QB’s on that list (well, except for Boller). I’m sure Aaron Rodgers just fired his agent because he wasn’t included in that list. (insufferable diva that he is)

  9. Cousins has an o-line that is doing ok, not great, but ok. He has a running back that is top tier and wide receivers that are very solid. His tight ends are looking good. His team’s defense is considered very good.
    All in all the only big question mark is the quarterback. We’ll see how he does in spotlight games against quality defenses. If Cousins stays solid it will be interesting, and maybe a good year to be a Vikings fan.

  10. We’ve known all along that he’s capable of really good play. The problem is doing it consistently week in and week out. You’re allowed a couple clunkers a season. You’re not allowed to be good only half the time, especially when you’re paid like a top tier QB. Lets see how long Kirk can keep this going, and whether he can keep it going without his go-to WR for a game or two more.

  11. chillyball says: “I remember seeing Christian Ponder laugh and smile after throwing an interception in a preseason game. You can’t act that way and survive in the NFL.”
    —————–

    Brett Favre lasted 20 years in the NFL playing loose and having fun on the field. Even coaches constantly tell QBs to forget the last interception and just play, otherwise they’ll mentally lock up and compound the mistakes.

    Everybody has their own way of dealing with adversity. The way they “act” is completely meaningless to on-field performance. Ponder wasn’t a very good QB regardless of him laughing or turning into a raging lunatic.

  12. jimmyjohns01 says:
    October 21, 2019 at 11:23 am
    Tell me again…what’s Cousins’ record against losing teams vs. those with winning records?

    Who really cares? He still needs to prove himself no doubt but those historical records have no bearing on what happens in the future…its fine…i mean before the Detroit game it was this is where Kirk falters…before the Philly game it was…he hasn’t had to face this defensive front before…and he tore them up like he’s suppose to. He had a bad decision in Green Bay and the entire offense sucked in Chicago…much of that Chicago game was play calling as well…at that point the Vikings insisted on running no matter what…they changed after that game. We will see.

  13. snowlock2013 says:
    October 21, 2019 at 11:03 am
    Kirk Cousins will forever be defined as a QB by his prime time performances. This year the Vikings play Dallas, Seattle and Green Bay under the lights, with no doubt major playoff implications on offer. Good or bad, his legacy will be set there. Stellar noon games against fatally flawed opponents are not where his narrative will be changed
    ——
    Absolutely correct !

  14. screamingyellowzonkers says:
    October 21, 2019 at 10:58 am
    And if you look at passer rating for 2019, (yes packer fans, the stat you love to use for Aaron), guess who is on top ?

    Oh crap. I just jinxed Cousins for Thursday night

    —————————————————————————————
    And so your point is? Are you saying you wouldn’t trade Cousins for Rodgers in the drop of a hat? You might be the only one.

  15. Ok, you can give Cousins his props but lets be real, the turn around came when Diggs pitched a fit and Cousins apologized. And let’s not overlook the play to Diggs yesterday – that was the dagger. So give Diggs his props too, eh?

  16. After the Bears game I was mad at the coaches for not putting them in a position to succeed. Straight 7 step drops against the Bears D? Terrible. Now, the OC has Cousins on the move. Play calling unpredictable. And the Offense is rolling. Still a long ways to go, but it’s looking good.

  17. Quietly, the Vikings have done an ice job securing the interior of their offensive line. Edge pressure isn’t nearly as difficult if he can step into an actual pocket, something younger Vikings fans probably don’t even know can exist…

    The Vikings actually handled A-gap blitzes yesterday and Kirk looked good. When you pay a guy 28 million, you’d hope he’d be able to create on his own more, but with a semblance of a clean pocket, he looks worth the money for now. His accuracy and decision making are fantastic when he isn’t running for his life.

  18. How is it Packer fans proclaim the Lions are a bad team, but they needed several bad calls by officials for their team to beat the Lions? The Packers next 6 weeks of mostly on the road should be fun.

  19. Vikings have had an easy schedule, with losses to 2 of the 3 teams you could classify as not bad…the meat of their schedule is coming up and that’s where the L’s will come from. It’s funny to hear them puff their chest… I mean you can’t help what schedule you have, and you have to win the games in front of you, but lets not pretend they are anywhere near a serious playoff contender. There’s 3 losses in the next 5 game on deck….so you have time to get the excuses ready 8-8, maybe 9-7 outside looking in on the playoffs

  20. What STINKS is that the Vikings have to win out and the Packers have to lose out in the division for the Vikings to have the tie-breaker. I doubt that can happen, especially since the Packers appear to have the best QB, WRs, and RB in the division. Not to mention they’re even better than when they beat us before.

  21. I’m a life long Vikings fan and openly critical of the Cousins signing and his performance. But, to be fair, you have to give credit when it’s earned and he’s done well the last three weeks. Really well. People point to the competition, but it’s still NFL competition and we’ve seen great quarterbacks lay eggs against superior teams. Will this hold up? I doubt it, but he’s earned the tip of the cap.

  22. I find it laughable and even comical that if A A Ron would have done this against the same three teams Packas Rubes would find a way to justify it because its the Packas and Aaron Rodgers. bad teams yes, but you still have to make the throws right? I have a bet whit a Packas fan here at work between Cousins and Rodgers and as of this morning, you;d be surprised

    Rodgers
    2019 yards
    13 Tds (passing only)
    2 INTs
    64.8 Comp %
    103.7 Rating

    Cousins
    1711 Yards
    13 Tds
    3 INTs
    69.8 Comp %
    114.3

    So, Cousins is not as mediocre recently as one would like to think. It help that his OC Stefanski is calling aggressively and putting Cousins in a position to succeed and not fail. With Thielen out I dont’ see a drop in production because Bisi Johnson is just as good. Cousins also has the benefit of a very solid running game in Mattison and Cook. And we all know teams that run the ball well and play great defense good deep into the tournament.

  23. D Basa says:
    October 21, 2019 at 12:16 pm

    Quite an accomplishment for the 4th best QB in the NFC North.
    PAY THE MAN!
    ————————————————-

    You must be talking about MR Biscuit, who looked totally lost yesterday! LMAO

  24. dmca12 says:
    October 21, 2019 at 11:44 am
    screamingyellowzonkers says:
    October 21, 2019 at 10:58 am
    And if you look at passer rating for 2019, (yes packer fans, the stat you love to use for Aaron), guess who is on top ?

    Oh crap. I just jinxed Cousins for Thursday night

    —————————————————————————————
    And so your point is? Are you saying you wouldn’t trade Cousins for Rodgers in the drop of a hat? You might be the only one.
    ———–
    Well, my point is not that hard.
    Cousins will get ZERO praise from the media and packer fans for his league leading passer rating. Packer fans and the media will gush over how great Rodgers is without even looking at the facts/stats for 2019.

    As to your trade quote, it’s a total hypothetical that will never happen. But there is no doubt I would trade Cousins for Rodgers.

  25. Since the Chicago debacle, the schedule has set up nicely to give Cousins the opportunity to prove himself in progressively more difficult situations.

    First, they beat a bad team (NYG) on the road.

    Then, they beat a good team (PHI, at least at the time) at home.

    Then, they beat a good team (DET) on the road.

    Now, they have a prime time game at home against a bad team (WAS).

    After that, they have a noon game on the road against what should have been a very good team (KC), but without Mahomes they probably won’t be that good.

    Then on the road in prime time against a good team (DAL).

    If he continues to do well these next three weeks, I think we may have something here.

  26. I will admit, this doesn’t mean anything until he beats a lot of teams that are winning teams and can make the big dance.

  27. Just to be clear,
    The Vikings could go 2-1 having to beat GB.
    The Packers could go 0-3.
    Both teams would be 3-3 in the division.

    Teams would be tied for the head to head and the division.
    The next tie breaker is winning percentage among commons games.

    So you are incorrect Carl Panzram

  28. i think i’ll wet my pants.

    maybe…juuuuust maybe cousins will continue to play like this and not revert back…but i’m not counting on it.

  29. Bob. Just Bob. says:
    October 21, 2019 at 11:45 am

    Ok, you can give Cousins his props but lets be real, the turn around came when Diggs pitched a fit and Cousins apologized. And let’s not overlook the play to Diggs yesterday – that was the dagger. So give Diggs his props too, eh?
    ____________

    I have a hard time praising Diggs too much because he has been very inconsistent this season. Fumbled against the Packers and got a big penalty after a touchdown. Fumbled in a big spot against the Bears. Skipped practice twice that week. Had a great game against the Eagles but also had two drops, one of which turned into an interception. Dropped a touchdown yesterday and had another fumble that we recovered.

    With all the complaining he did earlier in the season, I expect him to catch the ball when it hits him in the hands and not fumble it after he does catch it.

  30. In addition….
    The Packers could win 1 more division game and finish 4-2.
    The vikings could win 3 more division games and finish 4-2.
    The Vikings could win the division tie-breaker based on the common games tie breaker.

    So what’s clear is Carl Panzram is some fake packer troll.

  31. Look up Cousins record in 1:00 starts vs all other time starts. It is rediculous.
    like 90% Wins at 1:00 and sub 30% in all others.
    He has OCD (he keeps a damn spreadsheet telling himself when to eat, sleep, depart for practice etc…. and that kills him when his routine is broken.

  32. joeychittwood says:
    October 21, 2019 at 12:49 pm

    Look up Cousins record in 1:00 starts vs all other time starts. It is rediculous.
    like 90% Wins at 1:00 and sub 30% in all others.
    __________

    If those percentages were accurate, he would have a Tom Brady-like winning percentage.

  33. You can take noon starts, night starts, prime time, qb starting record, and all that stuff. It’s garbage. What matters is quality offensive line play. For the ground game and passing. Period. It is what makes or breaks an offense. It may not be fun to write about. Or for people to read and troll about, but it is the essence of offensive football.

  34. The biggest stat to really watch on Cousins is how well the opposing team generates sacks/pressure. His two losses are against teams that got after him.

    When he is getting beat up and knocked around, and still delivers is when I’m a believer.

  35. As a Redskins fan, I hope Kirk keeps his momentum going against us on Thursday. He deserves the W more than we do.

  36. Cousins so far has been a decent/good quarterback, but never great. However, the last few weeks have been a nice hot streak for him and the team. It is as if it took the offense 4 weeks or so to figure out how they tick best.

    If he can show that he can continue this throughout 2019, and win a playoff game or two, he will have earned a spot in the “elite” category. Until then, this is simply a good QB on a great streak.

  37. schmokes says:
    October 21, 2019 at 11:53 am
    Breaking news: Kirk Cousins plays well against bad teams.

    We’ve known this for years. That’s what got him the contract in the first place.

    ————————

    I don’t know about that. He played pretty poorly against the Bears.

  38. He is playing well, but I will NOT trust him, cuz that’s usually when he lets you down. Stats and records, but Ws matter more, if he keeps the Vikings getting them, good for him, but part of his big issues is consistancy, and while I never believe any team should be taken likely a team that’s got only win which came over the Phins should be pretty manageable.

  39. I respect Cousins – would not bash him. And for those who bash Rodgers, he has passed for 350 touchdowns. It’s probable that, taking out Brett Favre, all the QBs in Viking’s history together do not have 350 TDs. So Kirk taking the total franchise over 350 is more history he can make.

  40. In all honesty, I really don’t care about Cousin’s history against good teams or bad. I care how he plays now, not how he played then.

  41. @feisty

    Kirk was paid $24 mil last year and won 8 games, or $3 mil per win.

    Aaron was paid $80 mil in the first year of his new deal last year and won 6 games, or $13 mil per win

    Which QB has a ridiculous contract?

  42. andrwken says:
    October 21, 2019 at 1:22 pm

    The biggest stat to really watch on Cousins is how well the opposing team generates sacks/pressure. His two losses are against teams that got after him.

    When he is getting beat up and knocked around, and still delivers is when I’m a believer.

    ——————————————————-

    That’s with any QB in the league and not just Cousins – thats the defenses job,,,,smdh

  43. KC was brought/BOUGHT into the Vike program to do one thing. Win the Super Bowl. Do that and I drink KC Koolaid to the day I die. Until then, the stats are meaningless.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!