2 NFL QBs Strangely Named ‘Emo Kirk’ and ‘Evil Kirk’

Jan 15, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) warms up before a wild card game against the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

We’re in the dead period of the NFL offseason. There’s no draft to prepare for, no free agency around the corner, and training camps and preseason haven’t started yet. For that reason, it is a wonderful time for some media folks to put together quarterback lists, although we haven’t seen anyone play a game of football since the Super Bowl in February. Kirk Cousins is traditionally never appreciated much in those rankings.

2 NFL QBs Strangely Named ‘Emo Kirk’ and ‘Evil Kirk’

2 NFL QBs Strangely Named 'Emo Kirk' and 'Evil Kirk'
Nov 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) warms up before the game against the New England Patriots at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Just a week ago, there was real outrage about ex-NFL receiver Keyshawn Johnson not ranking Justin Jefferson as one of his top five WRs in the league. The superstar has statistics and accolades that prove how excellent he is.

Another player with fantastic numbers is Cousins but those statistics are always held against him for some reason.

He has never been a media darling and that is unlikely to change unless he is going on a deep playoff run with Hall of Fame-worthy play. Will Brinson released his QB rankings on CBS Sports. He didn’t really rank them, he put them in tiers.

Of course, Cousins wasn’t included in the first tier “The Big 3” which included Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, and Joe Burrow. He also missed out on the second one “Could Join Them Next Year” with Justin Herbert, Jalen Hurts, Lamar Jackson, and Trevor Lawrence. All four guys have shown phenomenal potential and could in theory become members of that elite group.

Jan 1, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) throws the ball during the third quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

In the meantime, we have seen Cousins perform at a high level for years but none of it ever suggested top-three potential. It could be argued that he should be ranked higher than Lawrence because he has done it for years or Jackson because Cousins has arguably outplayed him in the last two years (in part because of injuries) but the two have a higher ceiling and unlike Cousins fit the name of the tier.

Tier three is “Intrigue With Question Marks” with mind-boggling players because some of them had horrendous 2022 seasons. It included Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford, Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Fields, Daniel Jones, Deshaun Watson, and Russell Wilson.

Stafford has always been a more boom-or-bust version of Cousins, Wilson has struggled mightily after his hot start to the 2020 season, Watson has played a total of six games in the least two seasons, and Justin Fields, well, despite his athleticism, has never played at a high level in his professional career.

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Sep 9, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) talks with San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) following the game at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings passer made the fourth tier with the fitting name “You Can Win With Them.” He is joined by Jared Goff, Dak Prescott, Geno Smith, Ryan Tannehill, Derek Carr, and Jimmy Garoppolo.

Brinson described the group: “The best way to describe these guys? They can get you to the playoffs if everything about them breaks in their favor but you cannot envision a scenario where they take you on a deep playoff run or win you a Super Bowl without a really stout defense/run game combo or the stars simply aligning.”

Cousins has shown the ability to carry a team but, unlike a guy like Mahomes, he hasn’t done it consistently for a full season or a playoff run. However, he offers more of that ability than most other players on the list. The odd part of the article was not a ranking, it was Brinson’s explanations when he compared a trio of QBs. “Cousins, Carr and Jimmy G are all alternate timeline versions of one another — Jimmy G is evil Kirk and Carr is the emo version you get somewhere in the middle of the two.”

Evil Kirk and Emo Kirk is a strange way to describe quarterbacks. That was the full explanation of Cousins in that tier.

Carr was benched last year and made a scapegoat for the Raiders’ struggles. He has certainly not played his best football but was not the only reason for the disappointing season. After his release, he signed with the Saints. Garoppolo executed Kyle Shanahan’s offense at a high level – sometimes. While that may be somewhat unfair, he is viewed as the guy who missed Emmanuel Sanders on a wonderfully drawn-up deep throw and couldn’t lead a stacked team in 2021 to the Super Bowl.

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Oct 9, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) and quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) warm up before the game against the Chicago Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Cousins has been the superior player for years and deserves more than just having that acknowledged by some strange names for the other guys. He needs one more season of usual Cousins production to rank inside of the top 20 all time in passing yards and touchdowns and is coming off a season with a record eight game-winning drives (for which the whole team should be credited). His clutch plays has quietly been phenomenal in the last couple of seasons.

The passer has put up 37,140 passing yards, 252 passing touchdowns, and only 105 interceptions in his career as one of the most consistent players in the league.

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