Kirk Cousins Discourse Ravages Social Media Again
While we were busy dissecting every decision Kwesi Adofo-Mensah made during the draft, the schedule, and the start of OTAs, some interesting things happened.
One of those is a tweet from a parody account called NFC North News.
The tweet included a fake quote from Aaron Rodgers about Kirk Cousins. In the quote, it claims that Rodgers and Cousins spend time with each other in the offseason. Furthermore, it says that Aaron Rodgers and Kirk Cousins would both be the best quarterbacks in franchise history if they played for the Bears or Lions.
Here is the tweet for reference:
Of course, none of what this tweet says is based on reality. However, even if it were real, it wouldn’t be completely untrue. Rodgers would undoubtedly be the best quarterback in the history of either franchise. Cousins would probably be the best quarterback in the Bears’ history and a close second to Matthew Stafford for the Lions.
Regardless of this tweet being fake, it caused a debate to ravage Twitter. This inevitably led to some astonishing terrible takes about Cousins. Including this one:
Let’s break down this atrocious Tweet.
Cousins Is an Excellent Deep Ball Passer
First and foremost, regardless of your opinion of Cousins, you must admit that he throws a great deep ball. Every single metric proves this time and time again. Heck, even Mike Zimmer, who had misgivings about Cousins, admitted this repeatedly.
Thankfully, fellow Vikings Territory writer Janik Eckardt was there to set him straight with the facts.
As can be seen in Eckhardt’s tweet, Cousins is essentially perfect when throwing 10-20 yards downfield towards the sideline. Anything over 20 yards downfield, his passer rating is well above league average. So much so that you could categorize it as “elite.”
Cousins is one of the best deep-ball throwers in the league. This should not be a surprise to anyone. If you deny this fact, you have a bias towards disliking him.
It is important to recognize the good things that a player does just as much as you do the bad stuff. This is how you identify how to design an offense. Make the player do more frequently what they already do at an elite level.
Vikings’ Offensive Line Has Been Atrocious
The other big mistake in the tweet is that Cousins has had a good offensive line. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Vikings have had a below-average offensive line since Cousins took over as the quarterback.
- 2018 – 29th in PFF ranking
- 2019 – 19th in PFF ranking
- 2020 – 23rd in PFF ranking
- 2021 – 23rd in PFF ranking
And specifically the pass-protection grades:
- 2018 – 27th in PFF ranking
- 2019 – 27th in PFF ranking
- 2020 – 29th in PFF ranking
- 2021 – 27th in PFF ranking
Some will blame this on Cousins’ contract being so large that the Vikings couldn’t invest in the offensive line. Sure, you could make that argument. I might even be inclined to agree with you.
However, you can blame Spielman for investing too much money into the defense as well. Cousins is an excellent quarterback when he is protected. Why would one not invest significant capital into improving the offensive line? Or why would one focus so much on good run-blocking guys when improved pass protection is needed?
I cannot answer the question as to why Spielman did what he did. All we know is that the Vikings have certainly not had a good offensive line since Cousins has been here.
Hopefully, the new regime can fix this. If they can, watch out. Cousins and this skills position group can and will light up the scoreboard.
Mitch Massman is a life-long Vikings fan. His first heartbreak was the 1998 NFC championship game. His full-time job is as an economic development professional in rural Minnesota. He fantasizes about the Vikings winning a Super Bowl one day, but until then he will write about the Vikings. Follow him on Twitter @skol_vikings3