Kirk Cousins had his best performance of the season against the Eagles last week. He was accurate with the football and also aggressive. He took deep shots down the field to Stefon Diggs and he played with a killer instinct.
It was the kind of game the Vikings expected from Cousins when they signed him to that massive deal last year. It was good to see him have that kind of game and while he protected the football well, he failed to protect himself.
It’s not often that Cousins scrambles for yardage. Usually, everything else has to break down and he’s got a couple of defenders chugging after him before he tucks the ball in and scampers.
The problem is when he does this, he doesn’t slide. Not only does Cousins not slide, he rarely even dives. He just runs into the tackler and takes a huge hit.
This happened against the Eagles and Cousins was met with all 240 pounds of Nigel Bradham right in his sternum. Luckily, for the Vikings and their starting quarterback, he popped right back up and wasn’t hurt.
No other quarterback in the league takes the kind of unnecessary hits the way Cousins does. He has to start sliding to avoid potential injury-causing contact. For whatever reason, sliding isn’t natural to him so it is something Kevin Stefanski and Klint Kubiak need to work on in practice with their quarterback.
Cousins needs to start protecting himself and being smarter when it comes to avoiding hits. If he goes down with an injury, Minnesota’s season goes down with him.
Hopefully against the Lions this week, we will see Cousins slide or at least step out of bounds instead of getting blasted by a defender when he doesn’t have to.