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Editor’s Note: This article is (hopefully) the conclusion of a season-long series on the play of Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins and the fans reaction to his season, which I’ve humorously titled the ‘STOP BEING MEAN TO COUSINS YOU GUYS’ pentalogy, rather… hepatology.

You can read the other entries here:

Gary Kubiak: The QB Whisperer and his Influence on this Explosive Vikings Offense

Was Denver Cousins’ Best Game? Does it Matter?

From “YOU LIKE THAT” to it just doesn’t happen like that; Cousins has Proven he was the Right Choice for the Vikings 

Is Cousins the MVP? Does it Matter? 

Has Cousins Earned an Extension? 

In Retrospect, Was Cousins’ Contract a Bargain? 

Okay. I admit that the frequency and quantity (and I’d like to say quality) of my Kirk Cousins related articles may make it seem like I have a bias. I was one of the first people in Vikings media to call for the team to sign him, after all. However, I did say before the season that I wouldn’t defend/make excuses for him if he didn’t end up doing things that I’d hoped he would in the article I wrote about the Vikings needing to go “All in” on signing the then free-agent quarterback.

But, I also did say that I was officially off the “Bandwagon” after the Bears game this season.

Point being; I get it. Sort of.

I understand that Cousins has had… Let’s call them mixed results during his time under center as a Viking. I was as disappointed about the 2018 season as anyone. That having been said, I believe I’ve found the reason that Cousins both had a disappointing 2018 and a slow start to the 2019 season. While I had inklings around the time I streamed the above video, it took his emergence and MVP-level play for me to really see it clearly. Now that that’s happened, I feel comfortable putting the remainder of my credibility on the line to say that he is, in fact, the franchise quarterback the Vikings hoped he’d be when they signed him to a then-record deal last off-season. Perhaps more importantly, I also feel comfortable enough to say that this is the checkmate that I need to finish my season-long series about Cousins’ performance and the fan reaction to it.

So, strap in! This is a long article because complex questions require complex answers. So, like those of you who have made it through ‘The Irishman’ on Netflix, take your time and come back after anger naps.

The Vikings dispatched the Detroit Lions at home Sunday, and while it was every bit the low-stress affair that I’d hoped for in my pre-game edition of our daily live Vikings news show, purpleUPDATE Live(!). And while it was every bit the (semi-)statement game that we’d hoped, it wasn’t necessarily the firing on all cylinders example of offensive prowess that we’ve become accustomed, with some exceptions, this season. So, I understand that this isn’t the best time to write this article, and I also understand that the majority of my articles the past few weeks have been about the same topic, Kirk Cousins. However, as the season progresses and Cousins continues to knock down narrative-after-narrative that the Never-Cousiners use to explain away his success, I feel compelled to write these articles as I let the Vikings zeitgeist dictate my think pieces, not the other way around (yet…).

And that’s just the thing(s) that brought me to this piece.

For the majority of my 35 years on this planet, we’ve been waiting for a franchise quarterback. A quarterback that was either developed post-draft or, failing that, young enough to play beyond a season or two i.e. Brett Favre, Warren Moon, Jeff George, Randall Cunningham, Donovan McNabb, etc. We’ve had a couple of potentials in that time, sure, in Brad Johnson, Dante Culpepper and/or Teddy Bridgewater. Whether it was timing or injury, those quarterbacks never quite fit the bill.

There’s been a fair share of busts in that time, as well. Christian Ponder or Tarvaris Jackson were examples of that. Sure, T-Jack had his moments, but if he was the answer the team would’ve never pursued Favre (or others). There were mediocre placeholders, as well, in Case Keenum, Sam Bradford or even Gus Frerotte. Point being, this team has never had the quality or consistency needed to succeed in the old NFL, let alone the pass-happy NFL of today since Tommy Kramer.

Speaking of the old days, the stat that I often reference is the fact that the Vikings haven’t had a quarterback play full back-to-back 16 games season since 1978. While that doesn’t necessarily mean what it sounds like (as you could have an injury-prone franchise guy who plays 15 games a season, theoretically), the most negative interpretation of that stat is the reality that we’ve been dealing with our entire lives as millennials.

Enter Kirk Cousins.

Now. I’ve written about Cousins a lot the last couple weeks, starting with whether or not the Broncos comeback win was his best as a Viking and ending with the most recent entry, whether or not his contract was, in retrospect, a bargain. The reason that I’ve written about him is that he remains the one constant in the Vikings zeitgeist that people seem to disagree on the most. That’s what is so surprising, though, is that while people disagree about everything (hence 99% of Twitter), it’s that they disagree about the one thing that we’ve wanted to badly our entire lives.

Whether or not Cousins is the franchise quarterback we’ve been searching for.

Now. The term “franchise quarterback” means different things to different people. For example, it could simply mean a quarterback that you build your team around, which is a time-based metric. That idea doesn’t mean that your quarterback is elite or good enough, although it does mean that he is at least good enough to not only not be replaced by another quarterback but rather (and perhaps more importantly) that you don’t try to replace them in the first place.

Then there’s the definition of a franchise quarterback that I think most Never-Cousiners are using is the more restrictive version, the one that at this point seems like they’re demanding perfection. To them, Cousins was at first just plain bad. Then, he was putting up numbers but they were garbage time numbers. Then, they were legitimate numbers that lead to wins (and thus weren’t garbage time stats), but they weren’t wins against good teams. Then, they were wins against good teams but they weren’t examples of Cousins “putting the team on his back”. Then, when he did that against the Broncos (and despite the final score, I’d argue the Seahawks, or really the entire post-Bears run where the defense has played worse-and-worse, up until today’s win against the Lions), it was an example of “never having to been in the position in the first place” to need him to do just that.

That Broncos game is a good example, as was the Chiefs and Seahawks game, of what I truly believe the issue has been in terms of the most recent two losses this team has accrued, which we will talk about in a minute. But, it can be sort of maddening as someone who really has no skin in the game (I don’t typically have a problem, at least consciously, admitting when I’m wrong as when you are in this line of work you’re going to be wrong A LOT), to see people who have wanted something so bad do everything in their power to explain it away when they actually have it. Or at least the closest thing to it we’ve ever had.

So, I wanted to step outside of the Vikings bubble for a second and see what other teams or writers from other teams thought about Cousins. I recall what the national narratives about Cousins were at the time the Vikings signed him. There wasn’t one school of thought there, either, but things at least felt more objective… Not objective, but at least less visceral or emotional. I came across this Tweet from over the weekend that explains how people on a national level feel, but these people aren’t writers.

They’re actually anonymous scouts from teams across the league. Which, should give you a general idea at least how other teams feel about Cousins.

While that might not mean great things about re-signing Cousins after the 2020 season (as he smartly signed a shorter extension knowing that his 2018 contract would set the market, which would then increase dramatically as other more established and ingrained quarterbacks used his deal to get even larger deals), it does mean that Cousins is clearly good enough to get signed by other teams. Let’s go through these one-by-one, quickly. Then we can go through my final point, which is an answer to the question: If he’s so great, why haven’t the results been consistently great?

1) “A top QB. One of the Best. Look at his numbers” – An Executive from the NFC East

First of all, despite the fact that the NFC East is the crap of the NFC this season, they have some established quarterbacks as well as some young up-and-comers. Dak Prescott was often argued as the better quarterback in the MVP-contest earlier this season and by some Never-Cousiners he was actually the one they pointed to as THE MVP (before Lamar Jackson took the lead and never looked back). Carson Wentz has had issues staying healthy and hasn’t looked like the lock to be one of the guaranteed next-generation superstar QB’s that he seemed in his rookie campaign, but he’s definitely locked in for the next 15-years (assuming his body holds up).

That leaves the Giants, who have a rookie quarterback in Daniel Jones that they’re attempting to build a team around. The same can be said about the Washington Redskins, who have the hyper-talented but super inexperienced Dwayne Haskins at the helm (after benching one of the poster boys of the ‘What If’ argument typically deployed by the Never Cousinsers, Case Keenum (who, I should point out, is on his second team in his second year)). That having been said, clearly this praise isn’t coming out of Washington (for obvious reasons).

That means either Philly, New York or Dallas said that Cousins was one of the best QB’s in the NFL. While I have my feeling that it’s New York, that means that there’s nearly a 70% chance it’s a team that has one of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL. It’s also important to point out that this is coming from a scout that most likely faced Cousins twice a season. I know, people will say, but the numbers are padded or from yards after the catch!

Yeah. No. Not this year.

2) “Top-Five QB (Physical Talent)” – AFC Scout

I can already see the comments. “He said physical talent, not results!” i.e., “He meant potential, not outcome!”
Now, this one jumped out to me immediately as, and I don’t want to toot my own horn, I said that Cousins had the potential to be a top-five quarterback in the league with this Vikings offense. Again, I actually wrote that exact thing in my first article about Cousins from last off-season, titled ‘I’ll Say It, The Vikings Need to Go All-In on Cousins’. While that’s different than what was said here, it’s actually the key difference.

In 2018, even, Cousins had one of the best statistical seasons in team history (or at least one of the most balanced). For the first team in team history, the Vikings had a quarterback with over 4,000 yards, 30 touchdowns, under 10 interceptions and over 70% completions. While you could argue that the first two came in garbage time, the latter two obviously didn’t or couldn’t.

2019, though, has been astounding. While these Tweets are from last month they still sum things up relatively well. This Tweet from Ian Rapoport shows just how well Cousins has played since Week 5.

This Tweet shows how impactful that play has been on Stefon Diggs, which also highlights another jewel in the crown that is the argument/reality that Cousins is in fact not only our franchise quarterback but also an elite quarterback (that being that Cousins has done most of this without his favorite target in Adam Thielen):

While it can oftentimes be hard to separate the quarterback from the statistics, I think that it’s safe to say that Cousins has proven that he is statistically a top-five quarterback in the NFL. Considering that he also has top-five physical capabilities (as he is lethally accurate down the field), it’s safe to say we should just call him top five at this point in his career. Whether or not that means it’s him, the players around him or the system is moot as what matters is what the Vikings paid a premium to bring him in for, to elevate this offense to match the elite level of the defense and it’s safe to say he’s done that.

3) “There are 20 Teams that’d Want Cousins” – An AFC South Scout

Maybe it’s just how my brain works, but I can hear the comments on this one as well.

“That means 12 teams DON’T want Cousins! That means he’s the 13th best QB in the game!”

I’ll admit it. This isn’t the best quote here. However, there are established quarterbacks on that many teams and it’s safe to say that this shows that Cousins can’t be as bad as people say he is because if two-thirds of the league are willing to not only bring Cousins in but bring him in at the contract amount everyone likes to talk about.

Also, keep in mind that he most likely meant that 20 teams would bring him in right now. There are teams like the aforementioned Redskins that have young quarterbacks that are much cheaper and that they’d most likely want to at least try to develop before replacing them with a 31-year-old Cousins.

I promised that I’d end this piece by explaining why Cousins hasn’t had consistently elite results. I think a stat from today’s game (courtesy of Courtney Cronin of ESPN) explains that rather well. Against the Lions today, Cousins was “12-for-12 for 114 yards and a touchdown on such throws in the first half, the highest number of play-action completions in any half since ESPN started tracking that data in 2006.”

You didn’t read that wrong.

What does that have to do with his entire career as a Viking? Well. It’s all about how you use Cousins. I understand that you may not have to say that about every other elite quarterback, but it’s not that simple. Some teams simply have the personnel to execute certain plays better than others and even elite quarterbacks are better in certain formations than others. Cousins happens to be amazing at play-action passes and at rolling out in general, but especially to his left. We’ve seen that this season. He doesn’t thrive out of the shotgun, however.

For reasons that I presume were to keep Seattle’s defense in the nickel for as long as possible, the Vikings ran Cousins out of the shotgun more often than not Monday night against the Seahawks, for example. In the Chiefs game, the Vikings also deviated from the sort of plays that otherwise have created amazing results. In 2018 it was hard to really know what worked and what didn’t because the Vikings were a mess.

They had strife and no consistency between their head coach and their first offensive coordinator, then they only had a handful of games after that coordinator was fired to attempt to learn and establish Kevin Stefanski’s offensive philosophy. Beyond that, you had one of the worst offensive lines in team history as well as a major injury to your stud second year running back in Dalvin Cook.

Do any of those things scream success to you?

This season they had a new system to learn, which was a mix of Stefanski’s and Gary Kubiak and his teams’ philosophies. The offensive line was learning Rick Dennison’s zone-blocking scheme, as well. So, it’s not hard to see why it may have taken a few weeks/games to really know what specifically worked best for Cousins and the rest of this offense.

We now know what works and while you can’t just do the exact same thing from week-to-week, when it comes to the playoffs and playing other great teams you’re eventually going to have to be better at what you do best than the other team is at stopping it. It feels like the Vikings attempt to get “Too Cute” (a phrase that they’ve used multiple times when they’ve lost a big game, which is typically also a game in which they deviate greatly from their status quo), they always end up losing. It’s become something of a meme on my daily Vikings news/audience participation show, purpleUPDATE Live! to the point that we’re literally selling shirts with that phrase on them.

That’s not to say that Cousins is a perfect quarterback, either. No quarterback is perfect. Hell, the Patriots are struggling right now and the Packers just beat the Redskins by FIVE POINTS at home. But, and I know this is a VERY low bar, but I can genuinely say that I’m fully confident (obviously) that Cousins is the closest thing we’ve had to a perfect or franchise quarterback that this team has had. I loved Teddy, too, but he never performed on the level that Cousins is right now. The only person close, outside of Favre, was Culpepper pre-Moss trade/knee injury.

The evidence is overwhelming at this point.

Perhaps it’s the fact that we haven’t had it that we can’t acknowledge when we actually do, but the fact is that it’s time that we start talking about Cousins as the franchise quarterback that he is because if there’s actually one thing that I’ve learned during my time both as a fan and as a content creator for this team it’s that the players and the team are a lot more cognizant of that content than you might think. I genuinely believe that the team would’ve never traded Randy Moss, for example, had there not been enough people that had turned on him for reasons I’ll never understand. I KNOW that the team sees articles, whether it be players or executives, as well.

This team does have real issues and they’re concerning enough to warrant discussion and frustration, but Cousins’ play is not one of them. Those concerns might be too great, too late in the season and they could end up meaning that this Vikings team doesn’t make it past their first playoff game. If that’s the case and Cousins gets a lot of heat for it, he very well could say (with cause) that he isn’t getting support in Minnesota, a place he chose over a larger stage and paycheck in New York. When it comes time for him to re-up after 2020, he could end up taking more money over the loyalty he feels to Minnesota and if he doesn’t feel like that people are meeting him halfway, he could leave.

While it’d be very Vikings of us to run off our first real chance at consistency and quality at the quarterback position since the Jimmy Carter administration, we don’t have to. So, let’s stop not just ignoring, but actively and sometimes angrily denying, what is right in front of us and focus on the good and what is really bad with this team as it stands.

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    • #54177
      puck1384Joe Johnson
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      Editor’s Note: This article is (hopefully) the conclusion of a season-long series on the play of Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins and the fans reactio
      [See the full post at: Someone has to Say It. Cousins is the Franchise QB We’ve been Waiting for.]

    • #54192
      StuStu
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      I like your articles, but I’m going to have to disagree on this one. This league is about winning the critical games in big spots. It’s about being successful in the post-season. QB’s are judged on big game performances and the ability to rally a team to come from behind when adversity hits. It’s less about stats. Is Kirk a winner? The jury is still out if you ask me.

      Why? Because the knock last year was he couldn’t beat a team with a winning record. This year is going down the same path. Our eight wins are all against sub .500 teams right now. Our four losses are all against above average teams.

      Kirk is also 0 – 8 on Monday Nights and the only QB to reach that level.

      If he wants to change this narrative, he has a huge game coming up vs the Packers in Week 16. It’s against a winning team and on Monday Night. He could kill two birds with one stone and it’s all setup for him, because it’s at home where our defense plays it’s best. He also has a great run game at his disposal. He has to win that game. You can’t have your worst games in the biggest moments. Otherwise he’s going to continue to be labeled as just a stat QB. And in the end, stats just don’t matter, if that’s all they are.

      That’s my take.

    • #54208
      SeanmacgSeanmacg
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      I’ve always been interested in this… basing an individuals merit on the performance of his team. Explain the logic for me… according to your narrative, Trent Dilfer was a better quarterback than Dan Fouts, Dan Marino, Warren Moon, Archie Manning… the list goes on and on. All of those quarterbacks ended their careers with a lower winning pct. than Brad Johnson, Johnson also won a Super Bowl. So by your metric… you would prefer your team to have Brad Johnson or Yrent Silfer under center than Dan Fouts, or Warren Moon? IMO blaming the quarterback is … easy and honestly… lazy. There are ALWAYS gonna be one or two plays in a game that he might have done better, and as long as you don’t look any deeper than who’s face is in the tv, your gonna find plenty of support for your argument. If you look back at the statistics “prime time games” Cousins has performed ABOVE his career averages. Can you honestly blame him for the team surrounding him? Or in the case of that Seahawk debacle…the defense AND his coaches? Truly… if everyone on this team performed at the level Cousins has this year we’d be shoe in to bring home the chip. Prove me wrong…

    • #54211
      StuStu
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      If Kirk was on a bad team, the expectations would be lower obviously. But, when you come to a team that many feel is loaded with talent and some have said, only a QB away from a deep run, the expectations change.

      If Kirk plays very well in big games, he likely doesn’t get the tag of not being able to step up in the moment of that kind of pressure, but he historically hasn’t. One example would be the Seattle game you mentioned. The defense came up big with a sack and forced Seattle to punt, giving the ball to the offense with over 5 minutes left.

      This is the intangible, if you will, could Kirk make the game winning drive, stats aside? He threw an uncatchable pass on 4th down. Game over. The receiver didn’t drop the ball, it was out of reach.

      Games are usually decided by a few points. Teams are often evenly matched. Most games come down to the end and who can make a play. Teams with great QB’s usually perform best in these situations under pressure. Do they always make them? Nope, but they do make them with some consistency. Kirk has beaten one team with a winning record to date in the two years he’s been a Viking. The 9 – 7 Eagles in 2018. ONE. He’s consistent. Consistently unable to beat good teams.

      Winning the big games on the big stage in the 4th quarter will always be one of the aspects of a measuring a good or great QB. How heavy you weight that is a matter of opinion.

      For me, he has to start beating some good teams on big stages. A win in Week 16 would go a long way for me if he plays well.

      Again, these are just my opinions.

    • #54212
      SeanmacgSeanmacg
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      The Seattle game is a PERFECT example of this sort of narrative. Kirk had a GREAT game. The fact that the defense gave up 30+ points can’t be hung on him. Yet the narrative is “Cousins loses another game”. Look up his stats in big games last year… he outplayed Brees in a loss… … is that game on him? He threw for 400 yds against the Rams… he holds that L? The tie against Green Bay last year he played a nearly perfect game IN LAMBEAU including being down by 21 and throwing 3 TDs in the 3rd qtr… yet he’s not clutch because Green Bay was .500 at the time? He played well in the win against Dallas Dallas in Prime Time this year when Dallas HAD a winning record, but it doesn’t count because their record is under .500 NOW? C’mon man. He single handed my brought us back in the Denver game against the 4th rated defense in the league … but no credit eh? Anyone that paid attention knows that last years team was a complete MESS… one piece away from a Super Bowl… oh… hell no🤦🏻‍♂️. I don’t have time to list all the reasons last years Vikings were a TOTAL dumpster fire, but Cousins wasn’t one of them, and as for his record against .500 teams over his career… one word… Redskins. I don’t believe Cousins is elite, but he’s the best QB the Vikes have had since Favre. Is there any reason we don’t blame Cook for busting one off against Seattle? He’s just one guy that needs to perform. Why does no one quote Rhodes success/failure in pass defenses against the top .500 receivers in the league? Another individual that has to perform before the Vikes are successful. In the Seattle game Diggs dropped a pass that hit him right in the hands and turned into an interception. FAR more game changing than a missed throw under pressure on last drive IMO, so where the backlash for Diggs? He’s done it twice this year… that’s almost have if Cousins interceptions for the whole year ON DIGGS 100%. My point is that if you want to look for the reasons the Vikings are unsuccessful against the better teams… look deeper.

    • #54217
      StuStu
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      I’m just presenting my side calmly, as an opinion. That tie at Lambeau last year in week 2 was a great performance by Kirk. The kicker truly gets the blame on that one. I’d like to see that Kirk again in big games since.

      Beating the Packers at US Bank would go a long ways. And I believe he will. He’s also aware of the knocks against him and it would build his confidence.

      All I said is I’m not ready to anoint him yet or call him a Franchise QB.

    • #54218
      SeanmacgSeanmacg
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      I’m 100 pact with you on “calmly stating opinion” and hope I didn’t show any disrespect. I think Cousins is a franchise qb and doesn’t get the respect he deserves. It’s hard for me to say a WIN in Lambeau would make any difference. What if he has perfect passer rating and throws for 5 TDs but defense gives up 40. You KNOW the narrative would be “Cousins can’t win the big one”. If he plays at a higher level than the defense … how can we lay the blame at his feet? Just my RESPECTFUL opinion brutha.

    • #54234
      StuStu
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      :thumbsup:

      I’m rational enough to consider other factors if Cousins plays well in a loss.

      I’m not a Cousins basher. I just want to see him win some big games.

      Peace out brother.

      And I also think this forum needs some more back and forth of what we see in this thread! It shows Vikings passion and good discussion.

    • #54235
      puck1384Joe Johnson
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      SeanMac! You made it!

      You really are the best!

      I’ll respond to this when I get home! Great debate you two! Exactly what we built this for !

    • #54246
      SeanmacgSeanmacg
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      Agreed! Let’s get some more intelligent debate on the hot topics. I am constantly stating in posts on… other sports media… how proud I am of the football IQ of the Vikings fan base. Best fanbase in the league… I mean who’s showed more loyalty than SKOLgang? No… damned… body.

    • #54256
      shoeless6Joe Oberle
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      Someone had to say it. I knew it would Joe Johnson.

    • #54264
      SeanmacgSeanmacg
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      He’s not wrong.

    • #54377
      StuStu
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      Another big game loss. Cousins looks absolutely lost tonight vs Green Bay.

      0 – 9 on Monday Nights and clearly doesn’t have the leadership factor in big games.

      Please don’t tell me you guys still want this guy as your franchise QB?

    • #54378
      SeanmacgSeanmacg
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      Cousins did not have his best game… On the other hand the Darius Smith pretty well on the entire Vikings offense. Please tell me you’re not one of those people that honestly believes you can plug-in Boone in place of Delvon cook and expect that offense to run the same way. Yes I absolutely still want cousins as my franchise quarterback, unless you have another plan? Draft a quarterback in the first round and hope we win the Lamar Jackson lottery? Come on man don’t let your hurt feelings cause a knee-jerk reaction. It’s not smart

    • #54379
      StuStu
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      Kirk’s a LOSER with a capital L.

      Everyone in the building knew that without Cook and Mattison, it was going to have to be the Kirk Cousins show. Two first downs in the first half and your defense gives you two extra possessions? Without those two short field turnovers we don’t score a point in the first half.

      Kirk was like 4/12 for 29 yards or something. Did you see him finally start to hit some receivers when the Packers went up by two scores?? Yeah, when the pressure was finally off he starts to play with more energy and drive. Meaning the game was over already. Then he gets some stats.

      I’m too pissed off to talk about it right now. He’s just good enough to think we should keep him, but NEVER shows up in the big stage. I can’t stand it. I think his whole fetal position mentality infects the whole team. There’s zero belief he will lead the team. He doesn’t even believe in himself in big games, how’s anyone else going to?

      We finally start moving the ball and he OVER throws into double coverage and the Packers march down the field and take the lead. BALLGAME right there and everyone knows it – AND there’s 20 minutes of football left. But, it’s over.

    • #54386
      SeanmacgSeanmacg
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      Dude… don’t be a twelve year old. Cousins had an awful game. He wasn’t the only one. You realize it was well into the second quarter before we used play action? Give me a big boy reason for that. Pressure and game planning. No cook, no
      Protection, no chance. Overthrow into double coverage? When the receiver fell? Oh… wait we’re going to alter reality to make sure the narrative remains… yes? Cousins pretty well stunk it up. To paraphrase Denny Green… he is who we knew he is. But if you honestly believe Cousins is the biggest issue on this Vikings team… I can’t help you

    • #54387
      StuStu
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      I never said he was the only reason for the loss.

      And I’m not talking about one game. Here’s his two year record in purple.

      2018 Wins

      SF 4-12
      Philly 9-7
      Ariz 3-11
      NYJ 4-12
      Detroit 6-10
      GB 6-9-1
      Miami 7-9
      Detroit 6-10

      2018 Losses

      Buf 6-10
      Rams 13-3
      NO 13-3
      Chi 12-4
      NE 11-5
      Seattle 10-6
      Chi 12-4

      ————————–

      2019 Wins to date

      Falcons 6-9
      Raiders 7-8
      Giants 4-11
      Eagles 8-7
      Lions 3-11-1
      Redskins 3-12
      Cowboys 7-8
      Broncos 6-9
      Lions 3-11-1

      2019 Losses

      Packers 12-3
      Bears 7-8
      Chiefs 11-4
      Seahawks 11-4

      Nine straight losses to teams with double digit wins (or good successful teams).

      Not a single win in two years. You think he’d be able to lead the team to one win with all the talent around him compared to Washington?

      This thread is about Kirk Cousins being the franchise QB we’ve been looking for.

      He’s not. If you can’t see that, I can’t help you.

    • #54388
      SeanmacgSeanmacg
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      Again… we are not going to agree on this. I am never going to view football as anything less than a team sport. How anyone that has ever played the game, or spent any time watching the game can single out an individual ESPECIALLY over a number of games, and hang his teams W/L record on him alone is beyond my scope. I can explain it to you, but I can’t understand it for you. We can agree that he has a lousy game last night… If you have a realistically objective nine in your body you have to admit (at least to yourself) that he is the best quarterback we’ve had under center since Favre. Elite quarterback… no. Franchise quarterback… without question yes.

    • #54390
      StuStu
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      Well, we’re not talking about the left guard, or the free safety. We’re talking about the quarterback. The MOST important position in football. Can you even admit that?

      If you want to put horse blinders on and ride Kirk to a four year extension. More power to ya.

      He’s not a gamer, he’s not a winner, he regresses under pressure. At SOME point you need your leader to do just that, lead in big game situations. Put the game on your back and make plays. I could name any number of QB’s that people have said, “as long as you got _____ , you’re never out of any game.” Fill in the blank. If your anywhere close to honest, you could never add Kirk’s name to that blank.

      What last nights showed us again is that Kirk needs great line play, he needs a great running game, he needs low pressure situations to succeed. If a big game is on his shoulders, fuhgeddaboudit.

      He could sell mattresses full-time as far as I’m concerned. That would be low pressure.

    • #54392
      SeanmacgSeanmacg
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      Again… we’ll have to agree to disagree. Anger is not conducive to logic. Cousins pressured on 47% of attempts, sacked 5 times, ran play action TWICE in the first half… but yeah. His fault entirely. Maybe we can draft a quarterback that can block for himself?

      • #54720
        puck1384Joe Johnson
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        Maybe we can draft a quarterback that can block for himself?

        Yeah. I’m glad Stefanski is gone.

        I can’t wait to hear what you think about Tice. He basically said that the zone blocking scheme can’t handle D-lines like the Niners/Packers.

        I’m a Cousins guy, clearly, but a system that can’t create a pocket against good D-lines seems odd considering that’s his major weakness.

    • #54393
      StuStu
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      You obviously can’t read. This isn’t about one game. I listed two years of stats.

      You can decree “team game” all you want, but there’s a reason the highest compensated position in football is the QB.

      I don’t recall anyone else being paid $84 million on our team. Owners do that because QB’s are the field generals of the team. They have the biggest impact on a game.

      In the end they are all judged by success on the field. W’s and post season success, not feel good stats.

      Merry Christmas.

    • #54394
      SeanmacgSeanmacg
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      Now I can’t read? Ok man… whatever helps you sleep at night. But just to be clear, You didn’t post any of Cousins stats, you posted team wins and losses. Team. Wins. And. Losses. Why just Cousins salary? They are 11 players over the major salary cap hit marker. Why not discuss if Riley Reiff played up to his salary last night? Cuz it doesn’t fit your narrative. Merry Christmas man. Hope I spelled that correctly… what with my awful reading comprehension.

    • #54395
      StuStu
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      Really? How many TD passes does Riley have? Has he ever driven his team for the winning TD?

      You kept going back to last nights game when I’ve been clear in this whole thread, that I would never judge Kirk if it was just one bad game. That’s why I made the reading remark.

      If that offended you, then you’ll have to excuse me, because apparently, I’m only twelve.

    • #54396
      SeanmacgSeanmacg
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      How many missed blocks does Riley have? How many holding penalties? You quoted a team statistic to back up an opinion of an individual performance. Go back to all of the games Cousins PLAYED in that his TEAM lost, and look up HIS statistics. Actually I’ve already done it for you so.. Statistically in prime time games and games against teams above .500 Cousins plays ABOVE his career benchmarks. Last night was an exception not a rule. He’s had bad games against good teams… but he’s had many more good games that his TEAM ended up losing.

    • #54397
      StuStu
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      Well, I guess you’re going to keep going.

      When you talk about a football player in terms of franchise player, you obviously bring up their stats. But, you go beyond stats. You bring up their ability to change a game or their history of coming up big in important games. Take a DE for example, you would quote his tackles for loss, his sacks and pressures which are all good, but what will carry as much weight and sometimes more is your ability to recount times in big games where he came up with the crucial sack or batted ball or fumble recovery. Important games on the big stage that got you a W. Playoff performances that were huge.

      That’s what you remember. Consequently there have been players that have gaudy stats, but seem to disappear in big games.

      Tell me Kirk’s franchise player attributes. Go ahead. Convince me he’s the man to get the job done when it counts in big games. Tell me his accomplishments. Give me his resume.

      Whatcha got?

    • #54398
      SeanmacgSeanmacg
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      Do I have to do your homework for you? I guess by your metric Since Hunter Is so far under the radar he isn’t a “franchise” D lineman? 😂😂 Do some more homework. Find me the last time a QB was successful on a Monday night while being pressured on at least 45% of his attempts and being sacked 5X. I’ll wait… oh… this is where you say “I don’t mean just last night” and then bring up team stats? Ok… gimme the Defensive stats against the Rams last year when Cousins threw for 400 yds… gimme the defensive stats against the Seahawks this season… want individual stats? give me Rhodes’ stats guarding Mike against the Saints last year when Cousins outplayed Brees… gimme the kickers stats when we tied the Packers last year and Cousins threw three td’s in the 3rd to bring us back… how many touchdowns did our secondary (as a unit) give up in 3 minutes against the Packers in game one this year… your memory is convenient to your narrative.

    • #54399
      StuStu
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      😆

      You keep going back to last night and yet you say you have no reading comprehension issues.

      Who single-handedly lost the first Packer game for us by throwing a god awful pick in the end-zone on 1st down? Even though the rest of the TEAM fought their asses off to get us back into that game? He had a shot at the game winner and flushed it down the toilet!

      That’s Kirk Cousins! Yeah, but, but the stats he can put up against average teams!

      0 – 9 my man, against teams with double digit wins in two years.

      O – 9 on Monday Nights under the bright lights. First and only in the NFL.

      But, he’s your FRANCHISE QB ladies and gentlemen!

      No thanks. I’ve had 50 years of near misses. I want some real hope, not this facade that folds in big games.

    • #54403
      SeanmacgSeanmacg
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      😂😂😂 OK OK brother… Whatever you say. Have to admit to a bit of consternation at the beginning of this one-sided debate. Now the consternation has been replaced with Disappointed amusement. You seem to have a minor hard on for my reading comprehension, and yet you glossed over the fact that I asked questions about four or five games other than last nights game in my very last comment. Just shows me that you’re getting desperate, and flailing a bit. Did you honestly just say that cousin single-handedly lost the first Packers game? I’m doing my best not to be insulting, but that’s… wholly, entirely, and, I have to assume, intentionally ignorant. The defense put us down 21 points in the first quarter before cousins arm and Cook got us back into the game. Yes he made a bad decision on a questionable play call, but again your memory is convenient to your narrative. Keep posting accurate but irrelevant team statistics… even if most of them don’t concern the team were discussing anymore… Because I’m guessing it’s going to help you sleep at night. You say you’ve been a fan for 50 years, try not to be THAT guy… I’ve been a fan longer than you, and have seen them all. Fran the Scram to TD Tommy, and every Steve Dills in between. If you’d stop stomping your feet you’d recognize that Cousins is a franchise quarterback end of story. There are a lot of variables that will determine whether or not he is successful with THIS franchise. If it helps you out any with your next post, I am extremely confident in my reading comprehension skills, but I’m more than a little iffy with my math and I’m just a bit cross Eyed, maybe toss those insecurities my way the next time you attempt an insult. You may have better luck… but I doubt it. Merry Christmas man… Have a Grain Belt and try again in a couple days

    • #54404
      StuStu
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      Whatever man. I guess we’ll just have to nominate you for the head of the Kirk Cousins fan club and realize that if everyone else on the team had played better he’d be 9 – 0 instead of 0 – 9 as it’s never his fault, even though he’s the one with the ball in his hands on 99% of every offensive play.

      Congrats.

    • #54405
      SeanmacgSeanmacg
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      There it is again… Reforming reality to fit your narrative. Let’s face it if Kirk cousins is four and five or five and four on Monday night no one would be talking about this record. So even if Kirk cousins was solely responsible for five of the nine losses, which is Out of the realm of possibility to anyone with a logical mind, no one would be talking about this stupid team record. Merry Christmas man, If your belief in Santa Claus is as strong as your belief that Kirk cousins is the antichrist it should be a great day for you

    • #54406
      StuStu
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      I wasn’t talking solely about the Monday Night record which is largely while with another team.

      I’m also talking about the 0 – 9 in games against winning teams of ten wins or more in two years. T

      And if he were 4 – 5 or 5 – 4 in those games,

        of course

      I wouldn’t be down on Kirk. But, he’s not.

      He’s 0 – 9. That’s a big fat ZERO.

      There’s proof in that there pudding that you refuse to acknowledge. Maybe that’s just a requirement of being president of the Kirk Cousins fan club?

      Like I said, congrats. I’m happy for ya.

      Cheers, I’m out.

    • #54407
      SeanmacgSeanmacg
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      Did I say just Monday night? There you go again putting words in my mouth to try and bolster a flimsy argument. You should google “straw man argument”… it’s your jam. But if you insist… I guess I’ll just have to agree that COUSINS record is 0 and 9 against .500 TEAMS. As is ERIC KENDRICKS record against .500 TEAMS, and DANEIL HUNTERS record against .500 teams, and DALVIN COOKS record against .500 TEAMS. Huh… as a matter of fact… now that I think of it ALL of the VIKINGS have that record… it’s almost like it’s a TEAM sport😂. I have said it before and I’ll say it again… I don’t think Cousins is an elite quarterback. But given the proper tools you most certainly can build a franchise around him, and I am ABSOLUTELY certain that no one with a kick of football sense can feel good about blaming all of these losses on ANY single player. If that makes me the president of some Kirk fam club that lives in your head sign me up…
      Merry Christmas… have a Grain Belt for a displaced Minnesotan.

    • #54417
      StuStu
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      I’m not the biggest Colin Cowherd fan, but he summed up some decent points below.

      There’s no reason to make any more excuses for Kirk Cousins

      It’s about earning some of that big money… at some point. How is that not a fair demand for the most important position in football?

    • #54418
      SeanmacgSeanmacg
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      Sorry man… I absolutely can not put give any weight to anything Cowherd says. About 3 years ago I decided any second of my life spent on Cowherd was a second of my life I’ve wasted. I’m too old to waste anymor of them👨🏻‍🦳. I don’t think I’ve made excuses for Cousins play… my contention is that team statistics are an illogical and lazy metric for measuring an individuals worth.

    • #54419
      StuStu
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      Internet debate class 101. Attack the provided source or opinion as invalid.

      Golly gee, who knew that was coming?

      I would agree with your last sentence if we were talking about any other position than the QB who signed a record contract, at the time, to come in here and win big games. As Cowherd said, with a more talented team, at some point you gotta come through.

      He’s got ONE more chance this season to earn some of that money in a big game. All be back to give some praise or present an overwhelming 0 – 10 two year case. Now, if he plays well and the D gives up the winning score, I’m not an idiot to not consider that. It is a team game as you say, but a franchise QB gets paid the most and has the most potential to affect the outcome. AT SOME POINT you gotta have the moxy to put a team on your back and win a dam big game. Especially with the talent you can clearly see he has when he’s playing against below or average teams.

    • #54532
      SeanmacgSeanmacg
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      Well?

    • #54544
      StuStu
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      Great game by Cousins.

      That’s the type of QB we thought we were getting two years ago. 1-9 now.

    • #54624
      puck1384Joe Johnson
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      Haha Stu, you’re a tough cookie to… crumble?

      I’m a Cousins guy, so take this for what it’s worth. I do think that he’s capable, with the talent on this roster, to put up elite numbers. Shit, he was 100 yards from 5k yards with Garçon and Jackson.

      They’ve just not been consistent in how they’ve used him. I think they’ve learned their lesson, but I’m always worried they will forget that if you get Cousins out of the pocket, he’ll earn that paycheck.

    • #54630
      StuStu
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      “They’ve just not been consistent in how they’ve used him.”

      Wow. So it’s the coaches fault?

      My fear now is, he’s 1 – 10 in his two years here. That one win probably was enough to put all our eggs in the Cousins basket and call him a success and not try and draft the position in a serious manner.

    • #54636
      SeanmacgSeanmacg
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      One SUPER simple question Stu… how many guys played for the Vikings in this 10 games… if the answer is more than one ask yourself why you keep talking about how HIS record is 1-10.

    • #54637
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      It’s not just me. Do you want me to post links to the numerous articles concerning Cousins record vs teams with winning records?

      Why do people say Rodgers only has one Super Bowl ring? Why don’t they say his teammates only have one Super Bowl ring? Are you that daft that you don’t understand the QB is the field general of the offense and has responsibility of leading a team and distributing the ball? For as good as Rodgers is, they expect him to have more at this point in his career.

      When they talk about Tom Brady and his 6 Super Bowl wins and 4 Super Bowl MVP’s in his 20 seasons as possibly the greatest QB of all time, why do they do this? Why do they give him any credit when he was on a team of more than one?

      Because of the importance of the position to the game of football. Duh?

      Just go ahead and gloss over this and pretend Kirk only has 1/52nd part responsibility in any win or loss. Or maybe less if you want to throw the coaches in.

      Maybe they should probably pool all the salaries into one pot and divide it up by 52 and give an equal share to all the players according to your logic.

    • #54645
      SeanmacgSeanmacg
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      I’d hoped you weren’t one of “those” guys. Just can’t be wrong or see a different point of view. Look man… some of this loses are on Kirk… but not most. Why do people say Rodgers should have more rings? Because they don’t watch packers games I guess… why does Brady have so many? Probably not because of the team surrounding him or the coach… right? Randy Moss… Gronkowski… the entirety of the Belichik coaching tree… guess that didn’t help cuz hey… it’s ALL about the quarterback. I’m sure TB12 would have won alllllll of those games that “Kirk” lost. I said long ago that Cousins is NOT an elite qb. He’s ALSO only a partial reason for the losses. Name a Vikings QB better than Cousins in the last 15 years… Hey … Lamar Jackson lost that game last night right? Derrick Henry has more passing TDs… must be a shitty quarterback… can’t win the big one

    • #54646
      StuStu
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      You keep putting words in my mouth that I never said or already completely refuted. That’s why it’s pointless to sit here and argue with you.

      I never said it’s ALL about the QB. I never said it’s ALL about one game. Go back and read it. I’m not saying it all over again.

      Kirk needs a complete team around him to elevate HIS play. I’m happy for ya that your so completely satisfied with him as our leader. Nothing you’ve said has changed my mind to what I see on the field. Only Kirk can do that. To this point, he has not.

    • #54670
      Vikadan11Vikadan11
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      I still believe the fastest way to fix the offense is to improve the left side of the OL with better players by either drafting them or by siging someone in FA or both ~ They might even believe they have their replacement already on the roster ~???

    • #54682
      SeanmacgSeanmacg
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      Agreed. Get a little more… nasty in the trenches. What happened with Drew Samoa? The smaller players are more… adept at the zone run, but get absolutely buried in pass blocking or bull rushes.

    • #54690
      puck1384Joe Johnson
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      Hey Sean.

      Did you listen to my interview with Mike Tice this week?

      He’s got some interesting insight on the line/zone blocking.

      Also, Stu.

      Yeah, it’s partially The coaches fault.

      You don’t go from 30.3 points per game when you when to 17.3 when you lose because of the QB.

      You don’t have a guy who plays at an MVP level statistically one week to being really bad when they lose without learning something and finding ways to mitigate that.

      I’m glad Stefanski is gone. Kubiak should at least limit the 17.3 games, but then again, it’s his zone blocking that got dominated by the Niners. But he’s also playing with the hands he was dealt and Zimmer has made the O-Line his last priority and it showed on a Saturday.

      Unfortunately it’s too late to do anything about it.

    • #54714
      SeanmacgSeanmacg
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      Haven’t heard it yet Joe… after a loss like that I usually have to take a bit of a “football hiatus”. I’ll definitely listen soon though. Want to take this opportunity to say “Thank you SO much” for all the work you put in for SKOLheads like me through the season. SKOL brutha!

    • #54716
      puck1384Joe Johnson
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      I hear that.

      If I didn’t do this I’d be doing the same.

      Interested in your thoughts whenever you can get back into the swing of things!

      Appreciate you!

    • #54725
      SeanmacgSeanmacg
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      Looking forward to hearing it. Stefanski and Zimmers stubbornness in trying to run same game plan and scheme against EVERY defense regardless of personnel package isnincredubly frustrations. Living in Eugene means I’ve watched Oregon try to use that “speed” blocking scheme with success UNTIL they run up against a team with POWER pass rushes… then they get bullied.

    • #54727
      shoeless6Joe Oberle
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      Tice was great to talk to. I do believe he can add even more to the subject of Cousins. We never got there with him. Hopefully he will be back on MJs soon.

      Regarding Cousins, he is who thought he is. he has all the throws under perfect conditions and less so when the conditions are not. How much less and under what conditions are certainly up for debate (just check out the debate in this thread), but it is incumbent upon his coaches to put him in the right conditions to succeed and it is incumbent on his opponents to blow that up. SF blew it up, although I am not sure the coaches put him in the best spot to succeed.

      Cousins is the Vikings QB and will be a while longer. They could do much worse. Can he win big games? Yes, but he also needs a village to do so–like most QBs do.

      I will say this, if Rodgers leads the Packers to victory this weekend, I think that tells you something about the differing skill levels of QBs in this league. I will roll with Cousins until they find the next Mahomey to play for the Purple, but they must improve the line for him in order for us to see the best Cousins on the field.

    • #54744
      SeanmacgSeanmacg
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      Really well said.

    • #54750
      KjoconKirby O’Connor
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      Just jumping in to say I think the best thing that can be said about Kirk is that he brings stability at the quarterback position. He’s solid and when the gameplan is working, he’s working. However, I don’t know that he’s ever going to have that “it” factor to turn a game despite how the game is going. The Denver Broncos game is the one time I can ever remember him turning it around mid-game. If they can put a system and team around him that he can just run, he could be very good, but I think he needs near perfect conditions and play from his peers to make it happen. That’s something that Brady, Brees, Rodgers have done, make their teammates better.

      • #54763
        puck1384Joe Johnson
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        Just jumping in to say I think the best thing that can be said about Kirk is that he brings stability at the quarterback position.

        That’s something that I think is overlooked. A LOT.

        The Never-Cousiners never seem to really have another solution. Who is this mystery QB that’s going to come in and produce the same numbers Cousins did in the games they won?

        And in those games, why did they win?

        In the games they lost (where they scored 17.3333 points vs. 30.3 in the ones they won), why did they lose?

        It’s never that simple, sure, but you have to also look for patterns and the patterns in games that the Vikings lost are pretty obvious. I am SO glad that Stefanski is gone but I will say that after talking to Tice, especially, my concern about the system and Cousins in it, and what it’s peak might be, persist.

        If the zone blocking scheme can’t create pockets against dominant D-lines (a la Green Bay and San Francisco), and we have a QB who is bad under pressure… That’s scary.

        I mean, I’m a Cousins guy, but I get it. You can’t always have your QB outside of the pocket. He needs to be able to make throws in the pocket from time-to-time, so I have to have faith that whichever Kubiak takes over as OC (Hopefully), will be able to bring some consistency or continuity.

    • #54751
      StuStu
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      All good comments. What I know is this. Kirk is our QB next year so we just need to focus on continuing to improving the offensive line to give him the most support.

      It’s also my hope that we get aggressive and take a talent in the draft for development.

    • #54752
      SeanmacgSeanmacg
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      I… semi agree Kirby. But there are a couple games that come to mind where Kirk out the team in his back and we still came up short regardless of an AMAZING effort. #1 the tie against Green Bay last year… he put on a clinic in Lambeau… 3 TD’s in 3rd qtr, but our defense let us down, and a damned near perfect game against the Rams last year but our defense allowed over 400 yds and perfect passer rating to Jared f’ing Goff! I don’t think any QB in the league aside from perhaps Mahomes could have done better.
      Do things have to Ben”perfect” for Kirk? Nah… I don’t believe that. But we can’t give him the Archie Manning, Dan Marino treatment either. If just once Zimmer would come to that podium after an awful defensive performance and say… “Yeah man… that’s on ME” it would do a lot to negate the Cousins big game narrative, and garner, at the very least, MY respect.

    • #54753
      KjoconKirby O’Connor
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      You’re right about those two games, I’ll admit I forgot about them, but I think it’s still more often than not that he doesn’t live up to the pressure. Those big games have also been on the coaches not coming up with good gameplans on either side of the ball and his teammates playing bad. That said, I don’t think he should get a completely free pass because he’s had plenty of big games where he also hasn’t played well. I think he’s the best option for now, and I’m okay with rolling with him. I think the good generally outweighs the bad, but I think another option should be being trained up in the meantime to step in and be the guy, hopefully somebody with a higher upside.

    • #54754
      SeanmacgSeanmacg
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      I agree with all. I don’t exactly trust Kirk to Preform at an elite level in big games yet because we haven’t given him the support. I’m all for drafting a QB in second round if one with the requisite skills falls that far. But more likely 3rd? We have so many other needs this year… what is everyone’s thought on 1st round? Guard? CB? 3 tech?

    • #54758
      KjoconKirby O’Connor
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      We’ll have a lot for discussion on it before the end of the offseason, I’m kind of the draft guy here, but as of now I’m thinking it should be defensive back or 3 tech.

      • #54764
        puck1384Joe Johnson
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        That reminds me…

        TheDraftTeam.com?

        • #54770
          KjoconKirby O’Connor
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          Got documents about it going your way in the a.m.

          • #54803
            puck1384Joe Johnson
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            Word.

    • #54874
      StuStu
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      Well apparently this thread was my undoing.

      I’m now blocked or moderated from creating any new threads.

      No warning, no email saying hey Stu lighten up in the Cousins thread.

      I guess if you disagree with a subject and are passionate about defending your case, if it’s contrary to the moderator’s opinion, your shut down.

      Apologies to any viewpoints I must have clearly offended. Good luck in the future and Go Vikings.

    • #54875
      mikegreitzermikegreitzer
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      Wow! Mucho blando!

      I side with Kirk being a bit of a loser. He accepts things too easily. Christ on the Throne, etc. He’s not the guy I wanted. My idea of a winner is Russell Wilson. Of course, that sounds stupid because everybody wants the guy, but he’s still my example.

      He’s gonna get you if he has a sliver of a chance. Kirk will get it done if everything is working around him. He won’t bail you out with his ability and guts.

    • #54878
      SeanmacgSeanmacg
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      I don’t think the question has ever been “Is Cousins as good as (insert elite web here). He’s not Wilson, Jackson, Mahomes… but he is Jimmy G ot better, Stafford or better, Rivers or better… and most importantly better than any Vikings QB in 15+ years. Elite… no. Franchise QB… yes.

    • #54880
      StuStu
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      Honestly my loser comment was after a bad loss and I got a little emotional. I get too wrapped up in the Vikings at times and probably shouldn’t have reacted in such anger at Kirk.

      Stuff happens.

    • #54881
      SeanmacgSeanmacg
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      Don’t we all Stu? Purpleptsd is for real! Only medication I’ve found is tequila… a lot of tequila!Bekieve me, I have called Cousins EVERY name you have during a game… and probably a few that are a touch more… imaginative. At the core we are all SKOLheads brutha.

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