Kirk Cousins vs. New-look Packers secondary
Speaking of Kirk Cousins, last week’s season-debut may not have been what many Viking fans were expecting from their $84 million quarterback. While those who may not have watched the game believed that the Vikings were trying to hide Cousins with just ten passing attempts, Cousins displayed an efficient afternoon while completing eight of those passes for 98 yards and a touchdown.
In Week 2, the Vikings probably aren’t going to run the ball as they did against Atlanta, meaning Cousins will have to throw more to get Minnesota the victory. If his performance against the Packers in 2018 is any indication, that shouldn’t be an issue.
In his first season with the Vikings, one of the things Cousins did right was not losing to the Packers. His Week 2 meeting last year saw him seemingly rise from the dead in the fourth quarter and after he was bailed out on a questionable roughing the passer penalty on Matthews, he threw a strike to Adam Thielen for the game-tying score with 31 seconds left to put an exclamation point on a 425 yard, four touchdown (and one interception) performance.
For an encore, Cousins put forth another dominant performance over the Packers under the primetime lights in which he normally struggles. Thanks to Stefon Diggs (8 catches, 77 yards, TD) and Thielen (8 catches, 125 yards, TD) abusing the Packers’ secondary, the Vikings were able to get another win that virtually knocked Green Bay out of the playoffs.
Much like the pass rush, the Packers took note of this, keeping Jaire Alexander around, but adding safeties Adrian Amos, who had an interception against the Bears in Week 1, and Darnell Savage should give them better results. Then again, after an injury to Kevin King, the Packers will also be relying on 36-year old Tramon Williams to keep up with either Diggs or Thielen.
While the Packers looked great against a quarterback that many expect to take a step back this year, Cousins is coming off a strong season of dominating the Packers.
With the Minnesota Vikings likely needing more through the air, this could be the breakout opportunity that Cousins needs to get his doubters off his back (for now).