Kirk Cousins: The scapegoat of the Minnesota Vikings

(Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins
(Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins /

After one season with the Minnesota Vikings, the veteran quarterback has already become the guy to blame for all of the team’s struggles.

With the Minnesota Vikings coming off a disappointing 2018 season with an 8-7-1 record and missing the playoffs after an NFC championship appearance the year prior, Kirk Cousins has naturally served as the sacrificial lamb of blame for a number of people who can’t help but take nonstop shots at the Vikings quarterback.

After all, how could he not take the fall for Minnesota’s struggles? This was a guy that was gifted with a hefty $84 million fully-guaranteed contract to be the missing piece that the Vikings so desperately needed to get closer to the goal of winning the first championship in franchise history.

After six seasons in the NFL, he didn’t evolve his game to become a completely different player in year seven? Unacceptable.

Cousins should’ve done a better job coaching up rookie kicker Daniel Carlson in Week 2 at Lambeau Field. Had he accomplished that, the Vikings would’ve won the game against the Green Bay Packers instead of settling for a tie after two missed Carlson field goal attempts in overtime.

That’s clearly on Cousins.

Cousins is also responsible for allowing quarterback Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills to channel his inner-MVP version of Cam Newton in Week 3, rushing for two touchdowns while tossing another, making the vaunted Minnesota defense look utterly helpless. Cousins obviously has to do better there.

On the road in Los Angeles against the Rams in Week 4, Cousins disappointed yet again in putting up just 31 pathetic points while the Vikings defense masterfully held the Rams to 38 points. Unbelievable.

Had their quarterback shown his true leadership with what is expected of his contract, Minnesota would’ve finished with an 11-5 record and a playoff berth in 2018.

Instead, it is Cousins who caused the firing of the brilliant mind and former offensive coordinator John DeFilippo. How could he not take advantage of an offensive scheme that led the league in dumbed-down plays?

The fact that Cousins couldn’t succeed with even Tom Compton and Mike Remmers as his guards on the offensive line is a complete embarrassment. Since the conclusion of the 2018 season, both players have resulted in roster casualties due to the lack of leadership from Cousins.

To justify any excuses for Cousins is simply horseradish. Much like inanimate objects, when people throw money at human beings, they are expected to instantly become different and better than what they previously were.

The more you think of it, the better off Minnesota would’ve been bringing back Case Keenum in 2018.

Sure, the Washington Redskins are his third team in three years and he will inevitably take a backseat to the eventual starter, rookie Dwayne Haskins. But there’s something special about Keenum that most NFL coaches just don’t understand.

When you unleash the chains, allowing Keenum to showcase his talents, his performance will reward you in ways that you couldn’t fathom.

Look at Pat Shurmur for example. The only reason the former Vikings offensive coordinator has a head coaching job now is simply because of Keenum and nothing else.

Had DeFilippo been given the chance to work with Keenum instead of Cousins, he would probably be the new head coach of the Packers to revive the career of Aaron Rodgers. Instead, he has to settle as the offensive coordinator for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2019. Shame.

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The time has come for Cousins to put up or shut up. He will be the sixth-highest paid quarterback in the league for the upcoming 2019 season which naturally means he must put up top six quarterback numbers. Anything less than that is a catastrophic failure.