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5 Kirk Cousins Storylines Before Week 5

Wow, that wasn’t pretty. Even the most optimistic Vikings fans were at a loss after losing to the Bears on Sunday. It was only the fourth game of the season, yet the angry mobs are already coming for quarterback Kirk Cousins. Everyone has an opinion on Minnesota’s quarterback situation, so let’s have a look at some of the hottest takes:

Note: I don’t necessarily agree or disagree with these storylines. Frankly, I feel bad for Cousins and don’t like the uncertainty surrounding my beloved team. Read on, and see what you think.

“Kirk Cousins is the problem!”

As of late, and looking back to last season, Kirk Cousins has not played up to his $84 million contract. There’s no denying that. Every time he gets a chance to prove his haters wrong, Cousins crumbles in big games and reaffirms the narrative. Against the Bears, his fumbling demons were out in full force, and his vision was M.I.A. as he never saw Diggs or Thielen open downfield. Kirk’s supporters will argue that he had no time to find them due to a porous offensive line, which leads us to the next headline:

“The offensive line is the problem!”

The Minnesota Vikings have had a bad offensive line for at least the last five years. The line seems like it’ll improve every year, but it just never happens. Injuries, retirements, and even a coaching death have derailed their progress. This year, GM Rick Spielman finally invested a first-round pick in center Garrett Bradburry, but the move hasn’t made a huge difference. That said, the front five don’t deserve all of the blame…

Kirk Cousins holds onto the ball longer than any other quarterback in the league (average of 3.06 seconds from snap to throw). If you don’t get the ball out of your hands for that long, you can’t expect any offensive line to hold off defenders like Khalil Mack. When it comes to run blocking, the line has looked pretty good through the first three games, but they couldn’t open any holes in the Bears depleted defense on Sunday.

“Trade Kirk Cousins!”

This headline is nothing but clickbait. For those of you who don’t know, there is a no trade clause in Cousins’ contract, meaning he can’t be traded without agreeing to it. I’m sure he’s not enjoying Minnesota’s fan base right now, but it’s extremely unlikely that he’d agree to be traded to an even more uncertain situation.

“Bench Kirk Cousins!”

Who would have thought this would be on the table when the Vikings signed Cousins in 2017? Certainly not me. I was always on the Teddy Bridgewater or Case Keenum train, but I didn’t think Cousins would struggle to the point that this was a remote possibility. Realistically, I can’t see it happening. I have little reason to believe Sean Mannion would perform better under center. However, if Spielman’s seat gets hot enough in the coming weeks, he might consider an even bolder move:

“We need a new quarterback!”

It sounds crazy, but bringing in competition for Cousins would certainly shake things up. With the state of the Vikings salary cap, it would have to be a cheap veteran, or someone looking for a second chance. Oh yes, we’re talking about a Colin Kaepernik or Sam Bradford signing. I think of this as a DEFCON 2 kind of move, and I haven’t picked a stance on it yet. It would indeed light a fire in the locker room, but I’m not sure if that’s what the team needs or if it aligns with the Vikings values. This would be a move that either ends an era or saves a season, so let’s hope it doesn’t come to this.

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3 Comments

  1. It’s time to blame the coaching. Play calling vs.Bears sucked. Maybe Zimmer and Cousins should leave together?

  2. Zimmer not problem…..stefanski…period…play calling….no shots deep…defense played their butts off…in both losses..getting puzzling….diggs now too…argggggh

  3. 84 million reasons to blame Kirk. People can’t separate the money from the player. In the end Zimmer is the head coach and the buck stops with him. If you watched Kirk in DC for three years, he was never this lost.

    If there is anyone that needs to be blamed it is Zimmer. Zimmer brought in a QB who is better suited in throwing the ball all over the field. Who did just that until the Zimmer and the last OC got into a philosophical battle on the type of offense the head coach want for his team. Zimmer won and now you are seeing he results. Kirks play since that time has been on the downhill.

    Vikings fans are viewing this in the abstract. In Washington Kirk never had an issue with holding on the ball too long. The entire offense was predicated on medium routes with the ball coming out quickly. No running game and poor offensive line play. Kirk was able to get everybody involved and targeted everyone mostly every game. For reference look the Rams and Niners offense and he type of offense they run. There running plays are not from the 80’s.

    Watching the offense, it is clear as night and day the route tree is not suited for poor line play that the Vikings are getting. QB’s no matter how good can’t be sucessfull getting hit and sacked 40% of the snaps in a game.

    It is like putting a square peg in a round hole. It naturally requires a QB to hold the ball longer. It is a direct result of a run first offense as implenmented. Successful QB paly requires the head Coach and the QB to have the same philosophy. It is never going to work.

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