In his first season with the team, what sort of production and success should the Minnesota Vikings expect in 2018 with their new quarterback?
For the first time since he entered the NFL in 2012, Kirk Cousins will not be participating in a training camp with the Washington Redskins this year. Instead, Cousins has taken on a new challenge and will be the starting quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings in the upcoming season.
The Vikings have invested a lot in their new quarterback ($84 million to be exact), so they are clearly hoping he can eventually help lead the team to a championship. But what should Minnesota expect from Cousins in 2018?
A Super Bowl win?
While they would be ecstatic if their new quarterback could help lead them to a Super Bowl win in his very first season, even the Vikings know that this specific expectation may be a little lofty for him in 2018.
Cousins certainly increases Minnesota’s championship chances next season. But maybe give him at least a year to build a bit of chemistry with the Vikings’ offensive weapons before expecting the quarterback’s arrival to automatically guarantee a Super Bowl victory.
A playoff berth?
Now, helping the team get a spot in the playoffs is definitely something Minnesota should expect out of Cousins next season.
The Vikings already have the majority of their starters that got the team to the 2017 NFC Championship returning this year and an upgrade at quarterback should result in a second-straight appearance in the postseason.
A top five offense?
Minnesota has had an offense rank among the NFL’s five best just one time (2009) since 2001. Could having Cousins under center next season result in the Vikings have one of the league’s top five scoring offenses?
For 2018, a top five ranking for the offense seems a little high. Especially since Minnesota head coach Mike Zimmer is a guy who likes to win by controlling the clock with his running game and by allowing his defense to dictate the pace of the game.
With that being said, the Vikings finishing with a top 10 scoring offense seems like a more believable expectation in their first season with Cousins as their starting quarterback.
Since he became the full-time starter for the Redskins in 2015, Cousins has not missed a game due to injury. During that same time span, Minnesota has had four different quarterbacks start in at least one matchup for them.
The Vikings obviously decided to sign Cousins this year because he is a talented passer. However, the possibility of having someone as their starting quarterback for more than just one full season definitely played a part in Minnesota going after Cousins this year as well.
Under Zimmer, the Vikings have still been able to achieve success despite having to play quarterback musical chairs. With Cousins now, Minnesota should expect the same guy to be starting under center for every game they play in 2018.