Kirk Cousins Nominates His MVP Candidate
The season of the 2023 Minnesota Vikings will be remembered for their QB carousel, and unlike in the past when they just didn’t have anyone competent on the roster, they couldn’t do anything about it this time. Starter Kirk Cousins got hurt in his sixth and possibly final season with the organization. A torn Achilles tendon changed everything for Kevin O’Connell’s team.
Kirk Cousins Nominates His MVP Candidate
Before his injury, Cousins slowly entered the MVP conversation as the team had started to click, beating the scary 49ers, followed by a win at Lambeau Field, both without Justin Jefferson on the field. Through eight games, the passer tabulated 2,331 yards, 18 touchdowns, and five interceptions. In a year in which no quarterback is putting up huge numbers, he might have had a chance if his Vikings continued to win games.
Since his injury, it has become obvious how vital Cousins is for the Vikings, as his passing attack is supposed to be the strong suit, the franchise’s identity. Perhaps his best trait has always been his reliability, as he has never missed any time because of an injury. That has changed in 2023, leaving the Vikings with Nick Mullens, Jaren Hall, and trade acquisition Joshua Dobbs. All three have started at least once. The results have been mixed.
But since Cousins can’t win MVP, someone else has to win it. ESPN’s Adam Schefter asked the passer about Brock Purdy, and his answer shows his respect for the sophomore.
I think Brock has a great chance to win league MVP. I think that he’s running the system at a very high level. I told him after we played him, I just said, hey, I played in this system many years ago, it has evolved a lot, but you’re only in your second year and what you did in your first year and your second year is incredible, especially on so few reps as a young player in OTAs and training camp in your rookie year. I said it’s really impressive.
I think he’s only going to get better so Kyle (Shanahan), I know he’s been in my corner my whole career, but I also think he’s very much in Brock’s corner now and knows that he got a great player in Brock and I think that’s gonna suit him pretty well.Kirk Cousins
Purdy is the betting favorite to win the league MVP trophy this year, although not everyone is sold on the young passer. He has played extremely well and, to quote Cousins is running the system at a very high level.
However, that is why folks don’t believe in him, the system. Kyle Shanahan is one of the elite offensive minds in the NFL and has a history of getting the most out of his QBs with incredible play designs. Purdy is also playing on a stacked team that features Christian McCaffrey in the backfield and Trent Williams at left tackle, and the arsenal in the passing game includes George Kittle, Deebo Samuel, and Brandon Aiyuk. At least three of those guys have a good shot at making the Hall of Fame at some point.
All those things are true, but Purdy is still doing everything that Shanahan has been asking of him, throwing for 3,795 yards, 29 touchdowns, and seven INTs. He also leads the NFL in EPA/Play by a considerable margin. Purdy has the counting statistics, the team record, and the analytical numbers to back up his MVP bid.
However, after Sunday’s victory over the Cardinals, Purdy was asked who he thinks is the MVP of his own team, and he emphatically voted for McCaffrey. Without a real front-runner for MVP, it opens the door for a non-quarterback to win the award for the first time since 2012, when Adrian Peterson carried his team into the postseason.
Tyreek Hill and McCaffrey are the most notable skill position players, with Dak Prescott, Lamar Jackson, and Purdy as the top guys under center. The 49ers quarterback has played at an exceptionally high level throughout his NFL career and hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down. While neither his teammates nor Shanahan’s football mind should be disregarded, it might be time to give Purdy some credit.
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Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt