Vikings QB Kirk Cousins Named a Top-50 Player Heading into the 2023 Season

Kirk Cousins Will Be a Main Feature in a Netflix Docu-Series
Nov 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) celebrates the win after the game against the New England Patriots at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL has progressively been releasing their Players’ Top-100 list prior to the 2023 season, ranking the top 100 players as voted on by their fellow NFL peers.

On Monday, Nos. 50-41 were released, and Vikings QB Kirk Cousins was named among this group, coming in at No. 42 heading into the 2023 season. Take a look at the full list here.

Cousins, who will turn 35 years old in a few weeks, earned his highest ranking of his career this year. It is the seventh time in his career that he has made the list, but this year is the first time he has broken the top-50. Here is a look at each of his rankings since 2016 when he made his first appearanace:

  • 2016: No. 85
  • 2017: No. 70
  • 2018: No. 94
  • 2019: No. 78
  • 2020: No. 58
  • 2021: Not ranked
  • 2022: No. 99
  • 2023: No. 42
Should the Vikings Give Kirk Cousins an Extension?
Jan 15, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) passes the ball against the New York Giants during the first quarter of a wild card game at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings QB is also the highest ranked quarterback within the NFC North division in 2023. He comes in ahead of Lions QB Jared Goff (No. 66), Bears QB Justin Fields (No. 85), and Packers QB Jordan Love (not ranked).

Over the years, Cousins has been one of the more hotly-debated quarterbacks in the NFL. He often puts up spectacular numbers statistically (eight consecutive seasons of 3500+ passing yards and 25+ TD passes), but the team success hasn’t always come with the numbers. Teams have only made the playoffs three times under his watch, and only once has he made it past the Wild Card round.

Dec 5, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) yells out before the snap during the first quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports.

Minnesota may have lost in the Wild Card to the New York Giants during 2022, but it was hardly any fault of Cousins’. Of course, everyone will remember that 4th down pass to T.J. Hockenson that ended the game. However, prior to that point, Cousins was the reason Minnesota kept that game close.

The Vikings QB threw for 273 yards and a pair of touchdowns, completing 31-of-39 passes along the way. Meanwhile, Minnesota’s defense allowed the Giants to rack up 431 total yards along with 28 first downs, keeping Cousins and the Vikings offense off the field for nearly 34 minutes of game time.

Vikings QB Kirk Cousins
Sep 30, 2022; Thundridge, United Kingdom; Minnesota Vikings quarterbacks David Blough (2), Kirk Cousins (8) and Nick Mullens (12) during practice at Hanbury Manor. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Prior to the Wild Card loss, Cousins was a main reason why the Vikings had enough team success to even make the playoffs in the first place. He led eight 4th quarter comebacks during the regular season, often coming through in the clutchest of moments. In all, the Vikings QB finished the season fourth in the NFL for passing yards (4547 yards) and tied for fifth in TD passes (29).

If the Vikings hope to repeat the same success in 2023, they will need Cousins to continue his statistical success while also being clutch in key moments once again. Hopefully, his defense will be able to give him more support as well.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.