QB Kirk Cousins - Minnesota Vikings
|6-3, 214||Born: 8-19-1988||College: Michigan State||Drafted: Round 4, pick 2012|
Week 15: vs Miami Dolphins
FBG says: Great matchup. Kirk Cousins has seen his production plummet over the last five weeks, throwing for 270+ yards only once with seven touchdowns to five interceptions. Cousins attempts are not down dramatically, but his yards per attempt has dropped to from 7.5 from 6.4 over that span. Adam Thielen started the year off with eight straight 100+ yard games but has only one since week nine, and that includes two games of less than 30 yards receiving. He has caught a touchdown in three of those five games though and averaged 5.8 receptions, which has kept his fantasy stock afloat as the Vikings passing offense has gone through a funk. The one player who has benefitted during this time frame has been Stefon Diggs, as Diggs has had four games with 75+ yards receiving and caught touchdowns in three of those five games. Tight end Kyle Rudolph is largely the forgotten man in this offense, as Diggs and Thielen command so many targets, and Dalvin Cook has become the preferred option on routes near the line of scrimmage. The Miami Dolphins secondary comes into week 15 having allowed the eighth most passing yards per game this year (261.6 yards per game), but they as the 12th best unit against opposing fantasy quarterbacks. This is mainly due to the two games they played against Sam Darnold, where they forced six interceptions and only allowed one touchdown pass. When they've played against upper echelon quarterbacks, they've gotten torched. Deshaun Watson threw for five touchdowns, Tom Brady totaled 6 touchdowns in two games and over 300 yards per game in their two matchups and Andrew Luck completed 30 of 37 passes for 343 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions. The one thing this unit has going for them is that they have forced interceptions at a very high rate, ranking second in the NFL with 19 interceptions, to 26 touchdowns. The Dolphins shut down corner, Xavien Howard, missed last week's game against the Patriots, and it is now come out that he had surgery on his injured knee. Howard is listed as week to week, but his status for Sunday's game does not look good. Without Howard, the Dolphins secondary is at a major disadvantage against one of the leagues best-receiving duos, and this sets up as a game where Cousins could pick them apart.
Recent Stats and Projections
Weekly Performance vs QB 1, QB 12, QB 24
Kirk Cousins's percentile rank in each category, among QB with more than 50 fantasy points.
Recent Game Summaries
2018 Week 14 vs SEA (20 / 33 / 208 / 1 / 0 pass, 3 / 5 / 0 rush)
It was another very poor performance for Cousins this week. He is not getting the ball out on time and is missing his receivers. Cousins missed on 13 of his throws this week, making for one of his least accurate games of the season. He failed to push the ball down the field and only averaged 6.3 yards per completion. His lone touchdown did not come until the end of the game when there was not enough time left to matter. The pass was a short 6-yard strike to Cook across the middle. Unfortunately, it came on the heels of a strip sack returned for a touchdown by the Seahawks on the previous drive. That pushed it to a 3-score game and well out of reach for Cousins. The route tree was unimaginative this week and the Vikings continue to run the same plays. Defenses have found a way to contain Thielen underneath and the Vikings are not stretching the field with Diggs enough. It has been an all-around failure from the play calling to the decisions made by Cousins on the field. A perfect example is the 4th and goal play from the 1-yard line in the 4th quarter. Rather than line up in a power formation and run it in, they attempted to throw the ball. Cousins targeted Rudolph but threw it behind him and the play was broken up by the Seahawks. It was a bad call and a bad read that could have changed the game entirely. Cousins will look to get back on track against the Dolphins next week.
2018 Week 13 vs NE (32 / 44 / 201 / 1 / 2 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
It was not a banner day for Cousins this week. The New England defense took away his top receiver in Adam Thielen and he just could not find his rhythm outside of that. 29 of his 43 targets went to Thielen, Cook, and Robinson. There were a few large chunk plays down the field, but New England tackled well, and no Viking receiver was really able to break free. There were 2 plays in the corner of the end zone where the Patriots defender was draped all over Thielen and then Robinson, but the referees kept the flags in their pocket and let the players play. Both Thielen and Robinson were visibly upset, but Cousins did not throw the best pass to begin with. His lone touchdown was a 5-yard score to Thielen who ran a drag across the field and caught a floater in the corner or the end zone. It was an easy pitch and catch for Cousins and Thielen. The game ended with back to back interceptions from Cousins. The first was just unlucky as he took a deep shot to Robinson in the end zone. His receiver looked to make the sliding catch but bobbled the ball as he went to the ground. It then hit and rolled on the defender before being kicked in the air and caught by a second defender. T should have been a touchdown if he had held on to the ball but ended up being an unlucky interception. The second interception that ended the game was a deep shot down the middle towards Thielen. The route was just undercut by the defender and there was nothing Thielen could have done. Cousins struggled this week and is going to have another tough test next week in Seattle.
2018 Week 12 vs GB (29 / 38 / 342 / 3 / 0 pass, 6 / 17 / 0 rush)
It has been an up and down season for Cousins, but this week was one of those high points. He surpassed 300 yards, added 3 touchdowns, ran the ball when needed, and most importantly, did not turn the ball over. He did take 2 sacks by staying in the pocket too long, but he was able to tuck the ball away and not fumble like he has in previous games this season. The first touchdown drive was a result of back to back 20+ yard plays. Cousins hit Diggs on a 24-yard slant the play before he swung it out to Cook for a 26-yard touchdown. Cousins found Cook on the outlet pass and let his young running back weave through defenders and into the end zone for the score. Green Bay took poor angles to the ball and Cook made them pay with the touchdown. The second touchdown was a beautiful 30-yard throw to Diggs. After the play action fake to Cook, Cousins found Diggs wide open down the side line and into the end zone. A crossing route between Diggs and Thielen caused his defender to get confused and fall, leaving Diggs wide open for the easy score. The third and final passing touchdown came on a scramble play. Cousins was flushed out of the pocket by the Green Bay pass rush and let loose a pass to Thielen just before he crossed the line of scrimmage. Thielen had settled into a void behind the linebackers and was able to dive his way 14 yards into the end zone. Cousins made the right decision throwing the ball rather than trying to run for the first down as he would have been stopped well short. With 2 games on the road in New England and Seattle, Cousins will be able to prove whether or not he is worth the massive contract he got in the coming weeks.
2018 Week 11 vs CHI (30 / 46 / 262 / 2 / 2 pass, 1 / 5 / 0 rush)
There are some Vikings fans wondering if they went out and got the right guy after this game. The defense stepped up against the Bears, but Cousins was the downfall of the offense this week. He has been asked to do a lot this season with the run game not working out, but this week was a new low. He targeted Thielen and Diggs on 30 of his 46 attempts and chipped in 2 interceptions. The biggest mistake was the interception returned for a touchdown. Cousins tried to take a shot deep in their own territory and was intercepted by Eddie Jackson who returned it 27 yards for a touchdown. His other interception was a jumped route by Adrian Amos. Cousins also threw 2 touchdowns against the Bears, but it was not enough to overcome the mistakes. He connected with Robinson on a 13-yard skinny post and then with Diggs on a 5-yard slant route, both in the 4th quarter. Cousins did not look like the guy they threw a lot of money at in the off season and will need to play much better in the coming weeks if the Vikings want to make the playoffs.
2018 Week 9 vs DET (18 / 22 / 164 / 1 / 1 pass, 2 / 3 / 0 rush)
It was not the best performance from Cousins this week. He failed to throw for 200 yards and things seemed out of sync without Stefon Diggs on the field. Cousins was missing his biggest outside threat and the Lions did a great job doubling Thielen and limiting who he could throw to. There were 2 big mistakes that could have really cost the Vikings. Cousins interception came on a deep out route where he stared down Thielen and had no chance of completing the pass. Cousins threw the ball too far and Darius Slay was able to come over and make the easy interception. This is a route that has worked for the duo all season long but was just not there today. The second was a pitch to Dalvin Cook in the 4th quarter that the second year back could not bring in. The fumble was a result of Cook taking his eyes off the ball before trying to cut off field but was credited to Cousins. His lone touchdown pass came to Thielen from the 2-yard line. From a bunch formation, Cousins was able to find his receiver in stride right up the seam for an easy touchdown. There was one other play that really stuck out and it was a drop by Aldrick Robinson. Cousins attempted to connect with his former practice squad partner deep down the field and Robinson let the ball fall right between his hands. It would have set the Vikings up with a first and goal situation, but Robinson let Cousins down. Things really seemed to be thrown off with Diggs out of the lineup and Cousins should benefit from the Bye week and getting all his offensive weapons back before heading into Chicago in week 11.
2018 Week 8 vs NO (31 / 41 / 359 / 2 / 1 pass, 2 / 3 / 0 rush)
Another week and another solid line for Cousins under center. While his overall stat line seems impressive, it hides a lot of the things that went wrong this week. Cousins was sacked 4 times, and while a lot of it had to do with poor protection, he also held the ball too long in some situations. There was also a strip sack fumble returned for a touchdown that was eventually overturned by review, but Cousins continues to struggle to hold on to the ball. His interception was due to miscommunication with Stefon Diggs where he ran a drag route across the formation but pulled up right as Cousins threw the ball. This turned into an easy interception and return for the Saints and gave them a 2-touchdown advantage. It was not all bad for Cousins. He managed over 300 yards passing and got both of his top receiving options involved early and often. Both Diggs and Thielen had over 100 yards receiving and a touchdown this week. The first touchdown to Diggs was a 1-yard pass to the side of the end zone on 4th and 1. After failing to connect with Rudolph in the end zone, Cousins found Diggs on a quick out and Diggs had just enough room to drag his back foot for the score. The second touchdown looked almost like a broken play with Thielen getting so wide open. He caught the ball right up the seam with his man more than 2 steps behind him. It was another easy 1-yard pitch and catch for the score. The Vikings have aspirations of making a deep playoff run this season and to do so they will need better protection up front and a little more ball security from Cousins down the stretch.
2018 Week 7 vs NYJ (25 / 40 / 241 / 2 / 0 pass, 2 / -1 / 0 rush)
The offense continues to move through Cousins, despite the help provided by Murray and the running game the last 2 weeks. Cousins has been leading the league in completion percentage but had an uncharacteristic 62% completion rate today. His targets were dominated by Thielen and Diggs again this week with 24 of his 38 attempts coming to the duo. Both of his touchdowns came on what looked like the exact same play. Cousins connected with both Thielen and Robinson on 34-yard touchdown passes down the right side line. Each receiver got a step on their man and Cousins laid the ball just off their outside shoulder for the easy touchdown. Cousins tried to force feed the ball to Diggs as well but did not have success with the quick hitting plays. The Jets played almost on the line of scrimmage when covering Diggs, but they still never tried a stop and go route or sent Diggs deep down the field. Cousins played better with the football, but still had a fumble that was recovered by Diggs. He is having a lot of trouble holding on to the ball and will need to work on that if the Vikings want to make an extended run this season. Cousins will get to take on a soft New Orleans secondary next week on Sunday Night football and is primed for one of his best games of the season.
2018 Week 6 vs ARI (24 / 34 / 233 / 1 / 1 pass, 4 / 14 / 1 rush)
The Vikings have relied on the right arm of Kirk Cousins all season long and this is the first game where they really did not need to. If anything, Cousins almost proved to be a detriment to the team this week with 2 turnovers and being sacked 4 times. The fumble he lost was picked up by the defense and returned for a touchdown and his interception came on the Viking half of the field. Thankfully the Cardinals turned the ball over on downs after that play, but they had gotten the ball to the 1-yard line before the defense made the stop. Cousins threw a single touchdown pass to Adam Thielen on a 13-yard bullet up the seam but did not have a single pass go for more than 20 yards. He chipped in his own 7-yard touchdown run off the edge and attempted to get the crowd fired up with a very poor end zone celebration. Cousins also had one of his own passes batted down into his arms and was tackled for a loss. It is rare that you see a quarterback with a reception and he would have been better off just letting the ball hit the ground. Cousins has been masterful with the ball when the run game could not be found and then floundered a bit when they actually showed up. He still completed 70% of his passes this week and continues to be one of the most accurate quarterbacks in the league. The Jets offense is clicking right now, and Cousins is going to have to put up some points next week to continue the Vikings winning streak.
2018 Week 5 vs PHI (30 / 37 / 301 / 1 / 0 pass, 5 / 1 / 0 rush)
With no run game in sight, Cousins is leading this team with his arm again. For as great as he has been moving them up and down the field, he continues to struggle in the red zone. Cousins continues to rely on Diggs and Thielen in the passing game and does not seem to get Rudolph involved enough. He has several weapons at his disposal but favors 2 of them. He was very efficient with the ball, completing 81% of his passes this week. However, he only found the end zone once and forced Dan Bailey into 5 field goal attempts. His lone touchdown was a beautiful 3-yard fade route to Adam Thielen. Cousins put the ball just over the defender draped all over Thielen and low enough that the safety coming over could not make a play. Thielen was able to tap and drag his feet in the back corner of the end zone for the score. He also had a 68-yard catch and run play down the sideline to Thielen. This could have been a touchdown, but Thielen ran out of gas and was tackled in the red zone. Cousins is doing all of his damage through the air and is not getting a lot of help from the rushing offense. He should benefit greatly from a healthy Dalvin Cook, but there is no timeline for when that may happen. Cousins has a plus matchup next week against Arizona and should continue to put up big numbers for the next 2 weeks.
2018 Week 4 vs LAR (36 / 50 / 422 / 3 / 0 pass, 4 / 28 / 0 rush)
After disappearing in big moments for the Redskins, Cousins is doing everything he can to change the narrative and show that he can lead a team when it matters. Cousins went blow to blow with Goff in terms of yards but could not match the touchdown throws. He was also sacked 3 more times and lost 21 more yards on those sacks. Cousins had a chance with the ball at the end of the game but was sacked from behind and lost the ball. This was his chance to lead the Vikings down for another game tying drive at the end of the game, but it was taken away by horrendous offensive line play. He did throw 3 touchdowns and got Aldrick Robinson involved in his first game as a Viking. Robinson served on the practice team with Cousins when they played for the Redskins and showed an instant connection this week. The first pass was a 16-yard throw to a wide-open Robinson. He was standing all alone in the end zone after a blown assignment by the corner. The Rams were in zone coverage and the corner jumped up on an underneath receiver and left Robinson alone. The second pass was another beautifully thrown ball to Robinson in the back corner of the end zone. Both Rudolph and Robinson were in the area and it looked more like bad route running that worked out. You should never see 2 receivers in the same area, let alone hip to hip in the end zone. The final touchdown pass came to Adam Thielen directly up the seam. Cousins looked the safety off to the right and came back to Thielen up the seam. He then found Murray on a two-point conversion to bring the score within 3. There was only so much Cousins could do to keep his team in the game and unfortunately came up short in the end. He will face the defending world champs next week in Philadelphia.
2018 Week 3 vs BUF (40 / 55 / 296 / 1 / 1 pass, 2 / 2 / 0 rush)
This was the Cousins that Redskins fans remember. A quarterback that can move the ball down the field but not get it into the end zone. A quarterback that will turn the ball over at key times in the game and put his team in a hole they cannot climb out of. After back to back great games, Cousins put up a real dud for the Vikings. He may have had almost 300 yards and a touchdown, but he also put the ball on the ground 3 times and threw an interception. He tried to force the ball to Stefon Diggs but did not have any luck. The only receiver he seemed to be in sync with was Thielen, but he has been allergic to the end zone for the past two years. Cousins salvaged a big of fantasy value with a late touchdown to Rudolph. The pass was thrown into traffic in the direction of Rudolph who had run a comeback route. The Bills thought he had put the ball on the ground, but after a replay review the touchdown was confirmed. They then tried to connect on a two-point conversion on a very similar play, but the try failed. Cousins did not have any luck looking for Diggs or Thielen underneath and was unsuccessful every time he took a shot down the field. He put the ball on the ground 3 times and lost 2 of the fumbles. He was also sacked 4 times for a loss of 18 yards. The interception was a short check down pass over the middle to Latavius Murray where a big hit dislodged the ball and was caught by a diving linebacker. It was not a drop or a bad throw, but instead a great hit put on by the Bills. Cousins will have his work cut out for him next week against a revamped Rams defense in what could be the preview of a playoff matchup later in the year.
2018 Week 2 vs GB (35 / 48 / 425 / 4 / 1 pass, 2 / 5 / 0 rush)
When a team goes out and gives you the first ever fully guaranteed contract, this is the type of game they expect you to play. Cousins surpassed 400 yards for the first time with the Vikings and accounted for all 4 touchdowns. The rust and timing issues that he seemed to have with his top weapons from the preseason seem to have faded and he almost pulled an Aaron Rodgers against the Packers if it had not been for a rookie kicker missing 3 times. Cousins got the party started right after the Packers had scored on a blocked punt. After a great kick return, Cousins capped the drive with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Laquon Treadwell. The ball was thrown perfectly over the top to Treadwell who had found some room yard rush right up the seam. This was the receivers first touchdown catch of his career. He later rewards Cousins with a tipped ball for an interception that almost cost the Vikings the game. The second touchdown came on a quick out to Stefon Diggs. The receiver was called into motion, ran back and forth a few times to expose coverage, and then immediately broke outside on the snap for an easy 3-yard touchdown. The third touchdown also came to Diggs as was a 75-yard bomb down the right sideline. Diggs simply outran his coverage and Cousins put the ball right into his stride for the big touchdown. The final touchdown was a beautifully thrown ball between two defenders to Adam Thielen. Cousins laid it right into his chest as he was falling backwards into the end zone. This put the Vikings within 2 points of the tie and Cousins then hit Stefon Diggs in the corner or the end zone as the isolated receiver. This was a huge comeback late in a game against your rival. It is a shame it was ruined by the rookie kicker. Cousins will get another great matchup next week against the Bills.
2018 Week 1 vs SF (20 / 36 / 244 / 2 / 0 pass, 4 / 26 / 0 rush)
It was not an eye-popping day stat wise for Cousins, but he did manage to do enough to pull out the win for the Vikings. He was not overly accurate, completing only 55% of his passes, but he did show more chemistry with his receiving group and did have to endure three drops from his normally sure handed receivers. His best play of the day came on a 22-yard bullet down the sideline to Stefon Diggs. The ball was laid out perfectly to Diggs, who had a step on the corner in coverage, and led him right into the end zone. The second touchdown came on an 11-yard pass to tight end Kyle Rudolph right up the seam. Cousins took the snap in the gun and knew right away where he was going for the ball, finding Rudolph in the back of the end zone for the touchdown. While he may not have been as accurate as he wanted, he did show off his legs on a few occasions and even picked up a big 13-yard carry for a first down. There was one scary moment where he tried to dive forward on a run for a first down but was rudely met by a defender and stopped in his tracks. Cousins had lowered his head but managed to avoid any helmet to helmet contact but did take a big blow to his throwing shoulder. He could be seen wincing after the play but managed to stay in the game and pull off the victory.
Latest NewsVikings | Kirk Cousins has mediocre showing (Mon Dec 10, 10:51 PM) - Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins completed 20-of-33 passes for 208 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions in the Week 14 game against the Seattle Seahawks on Monday, Dec. 10, and he also lost a fumble. link to story Vikings | Kirk Cousins totals 201 yards, TD (Sun Dec 2, 09:24 PM) - Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins completed 32-of-44 passes for 201 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions in Week 13 against the New England Patriots. link to story
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