QB Kirk Cousins - Minnesota Vikings
|6-3, 214||Born: 8-19-1988||College: Michigan State||Drafted: Round 4, pick 2012|
News you need to know
From the upgrade/downgrade report (Mon Dec 9): Cousins run of four straight games with multiple passing scores came to a halt in Week 14, but mostly because the Lions didn't ever make the Vikings feel like the game was in question. They need to get a win against the Chargers to stay in the six seed in a game that could be high-scoring.
Week 15: at Los Angeles Chargers - $7900
FBG says: Tough matchup. Even without Adam Thielen, one of the league's top wide receivers, the Minnesota Vikings have continued to field one of the league's most efficient passing attacks. The Vikings rarely throw the ball, attempting the fourth-fewest passes in the NFL, but when they do, they utilize play-action at one of the highest-rates in the NFL, which bodes extremely well for their efficiency totals. Kirk Cousins' impressive performance this season has been a driving force behind the Vikings' improved performance through the air, even in the absence of one of their top-two pass-catchers. Without Adam Thielen, who has missed the better part of Minnesota's last seven games due to a hamstring injury, Stefon Diggs, Kyle Rudolph, and Irv Smith, Jr. have all seen increased roles in the team's passing attack. Diggs leads the way as the top producer of the bunch, and with Thielen's status in question once again here in Week 15, Diggs should command the most targets of anyone on the team. If Thielen returns to action, his presence will bode well for the unit's cumulative production, but on an individual level, he would eat into every other pass-catcher's volume. The Los Angeles Chargers defense has faced the lowest passing volume of any team in the NFL while permitting the fourth-fewest passing yardage in the league. However, the unit's efficiency metrics, including their 6.2 net yards per attempt allowed, which ranks 16th in the league, are not as impressive. Along the defensive line, the Chargers field two top-tier pass rushers with Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram on the edges. Bosa has 10.5 sacks on the season already, which ranks 7th in the NFL through 13 games. Additionally, the Chargers' already strong secondary received a boost a few weeks ago with the return of utility defensive back Derwin James. James can play on the outside at cornerback, inside at slot cornerback, and at the back-end of the defense at safety, making his value to the team's pass defense far greater than what may show up on the stat sheet. The Chargers already fielded a strong secondary, with Casey Heyward and Desmond King locking down the outside, and third-year safety Rayshawn Jenkins making massive improvements in coverage this season. Overall, the Chargers have only allowed a single 100-yard receiver on the season, and the return of Derwin James to the fold will only make it harder on all future pass-catchers to join the list of one. The Vikings' highly-efficient passing attack will need to post one of its strongest days this weekend if they have any hope of picking apart the Chargers through the air.
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
2019 Week 14 vs DET (24 / 30 / 242 / 1 / 0 pass, 1 / -1 / 0 rush - 13.58 points, $8200)
It was not a repeat of the 337 yards and 4 touchdowns he threw in week 7 against the Lions, but Cousins was able to rebound and do enough this week to help the Vikings get the win. He completed 80% of his passes, threw 1 touchdown to Bisi Johnson, and most importantly did not turn over the football. The offensive line did a great job in protection this week with Cousins only being sacked a single time for a loss of 8 yards. His touchdown to Johnson came late in the 1st quarter and went for 9 yards in the back of the end zone. It was a play-action pass with Johnson running a drag route in the back of the end zone. He had a step on his man and Cousins let loose a pass that was a little high but still within reach for a leaping Johnson. It could have been an easier throw and catch but the end result was the same. His longest play of the game went deep down the side line for 44 yards to Stefon Diggs and a 36-yard pass to Treadwell across the middle. Cousins continues to love to check down to C.J. Ham and saw a screen play go for 25 yards as well. It will be a huge boost for Cousins when Thielen suits back up and the Vikings offense is at full strength. Laquon Treadwell and Bisi Johnson have stepped up in recent weeks but there is no equally the presence of Thielen on the field. Cousins needs to continue to play well and limit the turnovers in the final 3 weeks for the Vikings to make the playoffs.
2019 Week 13 vs SEA (22 / 38 / 276 / 2 / 1 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush - 18.04 points, $7700)
The struggles of Cousins in primetime games continued this week after falling to 0-8 on Monday Night Football. He did not attempt a pass more than 5 yards down the field until well into the second quarter and relied on screens and quick passes to try and move the ball. He was not sacked a single time this week but was often rushed and had to get the ball out early. He was unable to complete any deep shots down the field to Diggs and only managed to salvage his day on a broken coverage long touchdown to Treadwell. He did lead a field goal drive just before half time with less than a minute on the clock but that was the only time, he seemed to preform under pressure this week. After the Seahawks jumped out to a 27-17 lead, Cousins promptly threw an interception to Tre Flowers on the second play of the ensuing drive. The blame can be placed mostly on Diggs who bobbled the ball as he was going to the ground and allowed Flowers to take it away from him. After the defense allowed another touchdown, Cousins finally got on the board with a 58-yard touchdown pass to Laquon Treadwell. Cousins rolled to his right and the corner left his coverage of Treadwell to play the run. From there is was an easy completion and long run to the end zone for Treadwell. That was his only catch of the game. For his second touchdown, Cousins found Rudolph in the middle of the end zone for an amazing 1 handed catch from 3 yards out. Cousins was running out of time in the pocket and let loose a high pass in the middle of the field hoping his big tight end could make the play. Dan Bailey missed the extra point that would have brought the score to within 3 and then a turnover on downs and a fumbled kick return ended the Vikings chance at a comeback. Cousins will hope to repeat his performance against the Lions next week and get the Vikings back on track.
2019 Week 11 vs DEN (29 / 35 / 319 / 3 / 0 pass, 2 / 1 / 0 rush - 22.86 points, $7700)
It was a tale of 2 halves for Cousins this week. The first half was borderline embarrassing as the Vikings failed to put up a single point at home. Cousins flipped some sort of switch at half time and came out to throw 3 touchdowns and lead the Vikings to an improbable comeback against Denver. The first touchdown pass came on the opening drive of the second half. Cousins unloaded a 44-yard deep pass to Diggs to det the Vikings up at the 10-yard line. After another failed rushing attempt from Cook, Cousins found rookie Irv Smith for his first career touchdown in the back of the end zone. Cousins had a clean pocket and found Smith open in the seam with a step on his man and delivered the ball just before he went out of the back of the end zone. The second touchdown pass was a thing of beauty. Cousins unloaded a 54-yard touchdown pass to Stefon Diggs. It was a play action stretch play and the entire defense bit on the third and short play. Cousins rolled to his left and gave Diggs enough time to break free of his man deep down the middle of the field. The perfectly thrown ball hit Diggs in stride and let him walk into the end zone and brought the score to within 3. The final touchdown came after the Broncos missed a field goal and the Vikings drove the ball 67 yards for the go ahead score. Cousins found Rudolph all alone in the flat and the big tight end rumbled 32 yards down the sideline for the score. It was the exact same play as the Diggs touchdown and the defense again bit on the play action with Cousins rolling to his left. Cousins finished the day with more than 300 yards passing in what was essentially a half of football. All of Minnesota is relieved to have a Bye week so they can calm down after that game before taking on Seattle.
2019 Week 10 vs DAL (23 / 32 / 220 / 2 / 0 pass, 1 / 5 / 0 rush - 19.3 points, $7800)
After struggling last week against the Chiefs, Cousins got back on track this week against Dallas. It was a familiar opponent from his time with the Redskins and the bright lights of Sunday Night football did not prove to be too much for Cousins this week. He was sacked a single time despite the relentless pass rush from the Cowboys and did not turn the ball over. There was a play where the officials did not blow it dead and a forward pass was picked up and returned for a touchdown, but after review they got it right and saw the arm moving forward and took away the defensive touchdown. Cousins added 2 touchdown passes and a 2-point conversion this week and they all went to Rudolph. The first touchdown looked like a broken play and a throw away that turned into a circus catch for a touchdown. Cousins rolled to his left and made a jump throw to try and get rid of the ball. Rudolph came streaking across the back of the end zone and made a one-handed catch as he went to the ground and kept both feet in. His second pass also went to Rudolph for a 1-yard play action pass in the back of the end zone. Cousins was looking at his full back in the flat and realized the linebacker had jumped the route and left Rudolph in the back of the end zone alone. His 2-point conversion play also went to Rudolph on a play where he rolled to the right and found the big tight end in the other corner of the end zone. It was a very productive and balanced game for the Vikings offense. Cousins did not have to force the ball and was able to play with a lead for the majority of the game after they jumped out to a 14-0 lead. Cousins will take on the Broncos defense next week before getting a week of rest in week 12.
2019 Week 9 vs KC (19 / 38 / 220 / 3 / 0 pass, 1 / 5 / 0 rush - 21.3 points, $7800)
The story line of not being able to win the big game continues to Cousins. There were a lot of things that went wrong for the Vikings defense and the loss cannot be solely put on him, but it was not his finest effort. Cousins was wildly inaccurate this week and missed on several key throws that could have easily changed the game. He missed Diggs on a long pass that could have gone for a touchdown and changed the entire game script in the 1st half. He did not turn the ball over and added 3 touchdowns, but it was far from a dominating performance. His first touchdown went to Bisi Johnson for 4 yards. Johnson ran a slant that got shut down, but he smartly continued up the field and Cousins found him all alone in the back of the end zone. It was an easy pitch and catch to tie the game 7-7. The second touchdown went to little used Ameer Abdullah and was a 16-yard wheel route that the back up running back took down the side line and into the end zone. It was a check down throw that ended up working out when all of the coverage rolled to the other side of the field. His third touchdown went to Kyle Rudolph and was a great throw on a slant in the back of the end zone. Rudolph carried 2 defenders with him, and Cousins delivered the ball just before he met with the safety in the middle of the field. Cousins was sacked a single time for a loss of 8 yards and managed to hold on to the ball the entire game. Cousins will have to put this one behind him before traveling to Dallas to take on a familiar opponent on Sunday Night Football next week. It is a great opportunity to show Minnesota that he can win the big prime time game.
2019 Week 8 vs WAS (23 / 26 / 285 / 0 / 0 pass, 2 / 2 / 0 rush - 11.6 points, $7800)
The stat line seems a little misleading when you look at the final score. Cousins set a Viking franchise record in completion percentage this week and threw for nearly 300 yards again, but he did not have a single passing touchdown and the Vikings only punched it into the end zone once. Cousins was very efficient this week and completed passes to 7 different players on a roster that has been hurting in the receiver department. The re-connection with Diggs continued this week with another 100-yard game. The duo connected on long plays of 33 and 39 yards where Diggs turned a deep crossing route up the field for big gains. The Vikings would have had a great opportunity for points on the first drive had it not been for a fumble by Diggs. Cousins dealt with pressure from the Washington line and was sacked 3 times for a loss of 12 yards, but what he did well was throw the ball away when he was in trouble and not trying to force anything. 2 of his 3 incompletions were on passes that he threw away to not take a sack. Cousins has turned the corner since the start of the season but will still need to prove that he can win the big game. The Chiefs will be a big test coming up next.
2019 Week 7 vs DET (24 / 34 / 337 / 4 / 0 pass, 4 / -3 / 0 rush - 29.18 points, $7300)
After a very disappointing start to the season, Cousins put together his 3rd straight 300 yard passing game and a second straight game with 4 touchdowns. There are a lot of things going right for the Vikings offense right now and one of the biggest changes has been the protection of Cousins. The offensive line did not allow a single sack this week and Cousins did not turn the ball over. He was intercepted in the end zone, but a defensive pass interference call overturned the turn over and the Vikings later punched it in for the score. Cousins first touchdown went to Adam Thielen on a beautifully thrown 25-yard pass. Cousins saw the zone coverage after calling Thielen into motion and rolled left long enough for Thielen to come free in the back of the end zone. The second touchdown was a 1-yard score to Bisi Johnson where Cousins saw the man coverage by calling him into motion and knew the linebacker could not get across the formation in time to stop the 1-yard pass in the flat. It was an easy pitch and catch for the score. His third touchdown was a 5-yard pass in the flat to C.J Ham. The coverage rolled to the inside when the outside receiver ran a slant and Ham was able to slip underneath into the flat and outrun his linebacker in coverage for the score. The final touchdown was the first of the season to Kyle Rudolph and went for 15 yards. Rudolph lined up in a bunch formation and made it look like he was blocking before he spun off his man and settled into the void in the zone coverage. Cousins made the easy throw and Rudolph did the rest of the work to get in the end zone. Cousins seems to have finally turned the corner on his season and will take on his former team at home on Thursday night.
2019 Week 6 vs PHI (22 / 29 / 333 / 4 / 1 pass, 2 / 0 / 0 rush - 28.32 points, $7000)
Cousins has looked like a completely different quarterback the last 2 weeks than what we saw at the beginning of the season. He is moving around in the pocket and making throws down the field to his elite receivers. Cousins accounted for 4 touchdowns this week and over 300 yards of passing. He was sacked once for a loss of 8 yards and threw an interception just before half time. The ball was intended for Diggs down the sideline and was just an unlucky bounce of the ball after Diggs was hit from behind. The Viking defense intercepted the Eagles on the next drive and then both teams went into half time. Cousins opened the scoring with a 6-yard touchdown pass to Thielen in the back corner of the end zone. He put enough air on the ball and allowed Thielen to run under it and get both feet in without being touched by his defender. The second touchdown went for 62 yards down the middle of the field to Diggs. It was a perfectly thrown ball to his receiver in stride after he had burned his man and the safety did not come over to help. He followed that up with his third touchdown and another 51 yards to Diggs down the sideline. The entire defense bit on the play fake and Cousins was able to roll to his left and hit Diggs in stride again for the touchdown. The fourth and final score came on a ball to Diggs in the back of the end zone. His receiver started his route to the outside and then cut back to the middle when Cousins was flushed from the pocket. He let go a pass that was a little high, but Diggs was able to come down with it and get both feet in the back of the end zone. Despite the single turnover, this was the best game of the season for Cousins so far and the Viking offense looked very balanced. Cousins will have to play like this against much better teams if the Vikings want to get back into the Super Bowl conversation.
2019 Week 5 vs NYG (22 / 27 / 306 / 2 / 0 pass, 3 / 3 / 0 rush - 20.54 points, $6800)
We finally got a glimpse of the Kirk Cousins to Adam Thielen connection from the beginning of last season. It came against a very poor Giants secondary, but at least we know it can still happen. Cousins had easily his best game of the season with more than 300 yards passing, 2 touchdowns, and no interceptions. The biggest issue this week was the inability to score touchdowns and settling for 4 field goals and a safety. The first touchdown for Cousins went for 15 yards to Thielen and capped off a drive that started at their own 2-yard line. Thielen made a move at the line and had just half a yard of separation from his man when Cousins delivered the back-shoulder fade. Thielen turned around just in time to make the catch as he was falling to the ground. The second touchdown came after a 41-yard run by Dalvin Cook and came on a 9-yard play-action pass in the back of the end zone for Thielen. Cousins left the ball a little high to get over the linebacker in the middle of the field, but Thielen was able to come down with it for the score. Cousins accounted for 5 plays over 20 yards and had the longest play of the game on a 44-yard pass to Thielen. The protection still needs to get better with Cousins being sacked 3 times for a loss of 27 yards, but it was a much better performance overall.
2019 Week 4 vs CHI (27 / 36 / 233 / 0 / 0 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush - 7.32 points, $6900)
It is tough when everyone in the building knows you are the problem and everything you are trying just is not working. Cousins may not have thrown an interception this week, but he did put the ball on the ground twice and was sacked 6 times. Several drives were killed when he held the ball too long or simply missed wide open receivers. Teams are starting to stack the box against Cook because they know Cousins is not going to beat them through the air. Cousins had a single nice play this week when he completed a 39-yard pass to Stefon Diggs. HE may have completed 75% of his passes this week, but he was off the mark when it really mattered. The connection with Adam Thielen is all but gone this season as Cousins just cannot find him down the field. Thielen had multiple steps on his defender in the first half and Cousins threw the ball 5 yards over his head on what should have been an easy touchdown. He is throwing the ball behind him on crossing routes and having the ball sail on comebacks. Cousins has the benefit of a massive guaranteed contract right now, but the Vikings will have to seriously consider moving on if he does not start to play better.
2019 Week 3 vs OAK (15 / 21 / 174 / 1 / 0 pass, 4 / 16 / 0 rush - 12.56 points, $7200)
It was a good game for Cousins in regard to not turning the football over, but it is week 3 and he has looked like nothing more than a game manager. Cousins benefitted from a rushing attack that had more than 200 yards on the ground and 3 touchdowns. He made a few nice throws but was largely not needed this week. His lone touchdown pass was a 35-yard strike to Thielen on a ball that any coach at any level would tell you not to throw. Cousins went play action and rolled to his left, he abruptly stopped, threw back across his body and the field to Thielen, and was rewarded with a touchdown after the receiver out ran his defender and into the end zone. This is not a safe throw and not one you would like to see a struggling quarterback make very often. Cousins did show good chemistry with rookie tight end Irv Smith and that may be something they can build on for the rest of the season. Cousins seems to be the most out of tune with Stefon Diggs so far this season but that could change very quickly with the right matchup. Cousins did not turn the ball over this week and did not give up a single sack. Next week against the Bears defense will be the true test to see if he has turned the corner for the Vikings.
2019 Week 2 vs GB (14 / 32 / 230 / 1 / 2 pass, 2 / 17 / 0 rush - 10.9 points, $7300)
Everyone thought last week was just an outlier and that Cousins could merely manage a game when Dalvin Cook takes over. This week the Vikings dug themselves a 21-0 hole and Cousins did everything possible to not climb out of it. His lone job saving play was a perfectly thrown 45-yard pass to Diggs for a touchdown. The ball landed just over his outside shoulder in stride for the touchdown. Diggs proceeded to take off his helmet and was called for an unsportsmanlike penalty that pushed the extra point back and Dan Bailey proceeded to miss the kick. Cousins also had a 3-yard touchdown to Diggs nullified by an offensive pass interference call on Dalvin Cook that he proceeded to turn into a field goal. There were a few other big plays, including a 61-yard catch and run by Chad Beebe and a 30-yard catch by Thielen. There were also the 2 interceptions thrown. The first he tried to force a ball across the middle to Diggs in a crowd of Packers defenders and the ball was tipped and intercepted. The second was the worst play of the game where Cousins fled a collapsing pocket, back pedaled away from the goal line, and threw up a lame duck that was an easy interception in the corner of the end zone. Rather than throw the ball away and have another red zone try, he forced the ball towards the end zone and came away with no points. The Vikings paid Cousins a lot of money and are unlikely to move off of him after 2 bad games, but if this trend continues this season the Vikings may want to think about drafting the quarterback of the future in Minnesota.
2019 Week 1 vs ATL (8 / 10 / 98 / 1 / 0 pass, 6 / 4 / 1 rush - 14.32 points, $7400)
It was a very rocky first year for Cousins and all eyes were on him in week 1 to see if he would rebound and earn all of the money Minnesota gave him. To everyones surprise, Cousins only had to throw the ball 10 times this week and let the running game take over. Cousins found Thielen on the first drive of the game after a blocked punt for a 23-yard touchdown. Thielen worked his way across the middle of the field and Cousins threw him open with a great ball on the deep crossing route. Thielen did the rest of the work and broke 2 tackles for the touchdown. Cousins also helped his own cause on the ground with a rushing touchdown on a quarterback sneak up the middle. Cousins served as more of a game manager this week and it worked out for the Vikings. It will be a much different game next week against a revitalized Packer defense that held the Bears to 3 points in week 1. Cousins will be asked to do a little more next week and again all eyes in Minnesota will be on him to see if he is worth the money they paid.
Latest NewsVikings | Kirk Cousins throws for 242 yards, TD (Sun Dec 8, 06:41 PM) - Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins completed 24-of-30 passes for 242 yards, one touchdowns and no interceptions in Week 14 against the Detroit Lions. Our View: Cousins was efficient but didn't need to press the issue with the Vikings in control the whole way. If Adam Thielen can get back for next week's game against the Chargers, Cousins could be in streamer consideration.
link to story Vikings | Kirk Cousins doesn't care for primetime (Mon Dec 2, 11:26 PM) - Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins completed 22-of-38 passes for 276 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in a Week 13 road loss against the Seattle Seahawks. He is now 0-8 all-time on Monday Night Football, the worst record in NFL history. link to story
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|15||@ Los Angeles Chargers|
|16||vs Green Bay Packers|
|17||vs Chicago Bears|