Will NFL Pundits Admit They Were Wrong about Kirk Cousins?

Will NFL Pundits Admit They Were Wrong about Kirk Cousins?
Kirk Cousins

Will the NFL’s media elite admit they messed up regarding Kirk Cousins?

Coming into this 2022 season, Cousins was getting ridiculous disrespect. It didn’t matter where you looked: ESPN, NFL Network, or Twitter. All of them were treating Cousins like a mid-tier quarterback.

Will NFL Pundits Admit
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports.

But that has been the case almost every season in recent memory, constant disrespect for the Minnesota Vikings QB. But never in history have those ‘experts’ been so wrong. And never in history have the players they compared to Cousins, or often put above him, been so putrid. Some of the QBs considered at or above Cousins’ level coming into this year? Mac Jones, Matt Ryan, Derek Carr, and Russell Wilson.

Will NFL Pundits Admit They Were Wrong about Kirk Cousins?

Most offseason QB rankings had all those players ranked around, if not above, Cousins. And boy, were they wrong. Not only were they wrong, but they were also catastrophically wrong.

Let’s go through the list and look at where each of those QBs was ranked in the offseason and what has happened since.

Mac Jones

The hype for Mac Jones was ridiculous coming into the year, highlighted by his top 60 placement in the NFL’s top 100 players list, a list where Cousins finished 96th

Of course, Jones was coming off a spectacular rookie season and was a major factor in the New England Patriots making the playoffs, but even considering that information, his hype was questionable.

Well, how has he fared this season? Not well. He was actually benched briefly for 7th-round rookie Bailey Zappe and has been average at best for a middling New England team. In contrast, Cousins has been instrumental in the Minnesota Vikings rolling to a 12-3 record. In fact, Cousins has tied the NFL record with eight game-winning drives. Which, by the way, is three more game-winning drives than Mac Jones has wins this season.

Matt Ryan

QBs after Week 15
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Matt Ryan was the guy whose hype made absolutely no sense.

If this was 2020? Sure, but for Matt Ryan, the ship has sailed. That was clear coming into the season, but for some analysts not clear enough it seemed. NBC Sports had him at 12th in their Week 1 QB rankings. Cousins was 14th. AthlonSports had him at 14th with Cousins 15th, and Marc Sessler of NFL Network had him at 16th, just three spots behind Cousins.

Well, how did those rankings turn out? Not well. Matt Ryan has been one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL this season and has now been benched twice. At his best, he has looked old, but at his worst, he has looked downright putrid.

Ryan should never have been compared to Cousins at this stage in their respective careers, and this season has shown why.

Derek Carr

Carr was actually a QB that made some sense ranking near Cousins. He possesses a lot of talent and can make many of the same throws Cousins can. Pair that with decent mobility, and Carr is definitely a decent QB.

But even given that Carr is quite good, his rankings compared to Cousins were borderline ridiculous. The Ringer had Carr at 15 and Cousins at 16, Sessler had him a spot higher, NBC had him a spot higher, and Athlon sports had him six spots higher. All in all, Carr was a consensus better QB than Cousins coming into 2022.

Fast forward 16 weeks, and Cousins and the Vikings have locked up their division and are jockeying for seeding, whereas Carr has just been benched, with the Raiders massively underperforming expectations.

Russell Wilson

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Adding Wilson to this list may be a little unfair. Wilson has been a borderline Hall of Fame quarterback for most of his career, so it was reasonable for him to be ranked higher than Cousins, even with some inconsistent play that was excused due to a thumb injury last season.

Wilson was ranked at a minimum a few spots higher than Cousins, and usually a lot more than that, at every place that made a QB ranking list. But unfortunately for the Broncos, especially Nathaniel Hackett, those rankings were high on Wilson. Much too high.

In an unexpected twist, Russell Wilson has been one of the worst quarterbacks in the league this season, and as of this week, his play just got first-year head coach Nathaniel Hackett fired.

Unfortunately for the Broncos, the issues look less due to offensive play design woes and more because their QB has wholly lacked the ability to run an offense, and they are tied to that QB for the foreseeable future.

Will They Own up to Mistakes?

So, will all these national pundits admit they were wrong regarding Cousins and the players they compared him with? Nope. In fact, if anything, we will see that disrespect renewed this coming offseason, but with new names put in place as Cousins’ equals.