It took me a while to figure out how I wanted to approach a Kirk Cousins topic, but I think I’ve finally settled on it. Cousins might be the greatest garbage-time quarterback of all-time. That is, when his coach lets him throw when the game doesn’t matter.
Despite now having about as mediocre a career record as it gets, now standing at 44-44-2 after his week two…performance(?) Cousins constantly gets passes because he puts up a good completion percentage, and a decent touchdown/interception ratio every year. Just in case anyone forgot, this man also has half as many playoff wins as Blake Bortles and Rex Grossman.
I’m not going to blame it all on his defense either. Since becoming a full-time starter in 2015, his teams have finished among the bottom-10 in points allowed just once. They’ve been in the top 10 twice. Give Derek Carr a top 10 defense one year, and I guarantee he’d be in the playoffs.
But, here we are, and this Sunday against the Colts is just another reminder that Kirk Cousins did in fact rob the Vikings not just once in the past three years, but twice. And we can’t even do anything about it because they agreed to it.
The Bad, the Worse, the Ugliest
If you have suppressed this memory from your brain, let me remind you, Kirk Cousins is due nearly $100 million from 2020 to 2022. And his statline on Sunday against a Colts team that got bullied in the fourth quarter by Gardner Minshew (who makes about 35 times less money than Cousins this year) was this: 11-for-26 passing, 113 yards, zero touchdowns, three interceptions, 9.2 QBR.
You might be wondering just how bad Cousins was on Sunday. Well, this is the entire list of players since 2010 with games of less than 150 yards on 25 or more attempts, zero touchdowns, three interceptions, with a completion rate of less than 50% (via Pro-Football-Reference):
And now, Kirk Cousins
This hasn’t been just a one game thing, either. He looked bad last week, too. Don’t let the box score fool you with the pretty 76% and two touchdowns. Cousins was 6-for-10 for 66 yards and a pick entering the fourth quarter against the Packers, and then filled the box score with 193 yards and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
But, like I hinted at the beginning of the article, Cousins can only be the garbage-time GOAT when his coach lets him. He attempted just five passes in the fourth quarter, compared to 15 in week one. I think Mike Zimmer was just sick of watching Cousins throw the ball this week, so he finally let Dalvin Cook run the ball. Probably should have made that decision a little sooner.
If you need further proof of Cousins’ stat-padding, here are his stats per quarter via nfl.com. If Cousins could play in garbage time for the entire season, the Vikings might win the Super Bowl.
The Vikings need to improve in a lot of areas to turn this season around, obviously. But, the most glaring is their “star” quarterback’s play. He needs to either play better early, or the coach needs to just put the ball in Dalvin Cook’s hands more often.