Michael Irvin Was Right about Kirk Cousins

Thinks Dalvin Cook
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Before the 2022 NFL season, former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin went on a limb and suggested that Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins would win the NFL MVP award in 2022. His premise was simple: Kevin O’Connell’s offense would put him in a position to work wonders. So far, he’s not wrong.

Let’s get this out of the way. Kirk Cousins is not going to win the MVP. He’s not the frontrunner, and jumping the competition would take a miracle. That said, he’s also not so far from consideration that Michael Irvin’s take was silly.

Michael Irvin Was Right about Kirk Cousins

Jalen Hurts has to be viewed as the favorite. His Philadelphia Eagles are and have been, arguably, the best team in the NFL since Week 1. He’s been amazing as a passer, and what he’s done with his legs is truly extraordinary as well. Even with an injury that could keep him out the final three weeks of the regular season, there’s no real reason to believe someone could surpass him.

Michael Irvin Was
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If there is someone to do it, it has to be Kansas City Chiefs superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes has again been otherworldly, leading the league in touchdowns and taking a Chiefs team to the top despite losing his top wide receiver over the offseason. Andy Reid developed Mahomes so well that it looks like a question of when and not if he takes down most career records.

From there, you could even argue that Kirk Cousins’ teammate Justin Jefferson should be considered for the MVP. It’s a quarterback award that excludes him from the jump, but he’s tracking toward a season we have never seen. He could certainly break Calvin Johnson’s single-season receiving yards record, and he may wind up being the first receiver in history to surpass 2,000 yards in a season.

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But what about Cousins, and why is he not as far off as you may think?

The Vikings signal-caller is on pace to throw for more yards in a season than he has since 2016. With three games left, he should finish somewhere around the 4,500-yard mark, and the possibility of being 14-3 in doing so remains. Another 9 touchdowns to vault over his 33 from last year seems unlikely, but he’ll post a healthy number there and should have a moderate number of interceptions.

Looking at the competition, Cousins is in no way going to catch Mahomes by yardage or touchdowns. He has, however, nibbled at Hurts and has plenty more going for him there. The Eagles quarterback has also thrown for fewer touchdowns, but the caveat is that it comes with otherworldly production from his legs. Again, both of the top two quarterbacks in the league make Cousins’ numbers look pedestrian. It’s why he won’t be considered for the award.

Cousins in Comeback
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Numbers aside, you have to note what Cousins has done to get Minnesota where they are. He’s found a new level with Jefferson and done so while learning a new offensive gameplan under O’Connell. He’s led the Vikings to an 11-3 record that includes an NFL-best seven 4th quarter comebacks, and he may have won two of the best games in NFL history.

Sometimes the competition is just better, and with both Hurts and Mahomes, it is. That doesn’t take away from Irvin’s suggestion having merit, and Cousins has made him look good all season for making it.

Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.