Cousins letting his play do the talking and it’s telling everyone to shut up

(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins
(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins /

A few weeks after some were hoping for the Minnesota Vikings to get rid of the quarterback as soon as possible, he’s reminding these people why the team paid so much to sign him.

Following each of the team’s first two losses of this season, Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins was taking the majority of the blame from people outside of the locker room.

Few were putting any blame on offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski, who hadn’t ever been a full-time play-caller prior to 2019. Even fewer were blaming the Vikings’ defense that allowed the Green Bay Packers to march out to an early 21-0 lead in Week 2 and let journeyman quarterback Chase Daniel help the Chicago Bears put Minnesota in a 16-0 hole in Week 4.

Everything was Cousins’ fault and some were calling for the Vikings to figure out a way to cut him after the season and just deal with his $31 million cap hit in 2020. All of this after just four games, two of which ended with Minnesota getting the win.

Then something happened for the Vikings in Week 5. Stefanski tweaked Minnesota’s offense to one that utilizes Cousins’ best traits as a passer and it’s resulted in three-straight outstanding performances by the veteran quarterback.

During the last three weeks, Cousins has arguably been playing the best football of his NFL career and a lot of his success has to do with the Vikings finally figuring out the right way to use him in their offense.

Cousins has never done well when he’s been asked to sit in the pocket and wait for his receivers’ routes to develop downfield. Minnesota had him doing this way too much during their first four games this season and they quickly learned that it wasn’t going to work.

So in the last three weeks, Cousins has been getting the ball out quicker and running more plays that call for him to move out of the pocket. Things he’s shown in the past that he can excel at during his time as a starting quarterback in the NFL.

After two dominating performances against a pair of very poor pass defenses in the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles, Cousins’ critics were waiting to see if his old habits would creep up against a better secondary when the Vikings took on the Detroit Lions in Week 7.

Unfortunately for them, the Minnesota quarterback continued his high level of play during the team’s win over the Lions on Sunday. Cousins threw for 337 yards and four touchdowns and he probably should have had another score added to his total if Stefon Diggs didn’t let a perfectly thrown pass sail right through his hands in the end zone.

Cousins has shown what he’s capable of during the Vikings’ last three games and he’s helping transform the team’s offense into one of the most lethal units in the league.

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His doubters are still going to be waiting to shout, “I told you so,” from the rooftops if he has an underwhelming performance later this year. But if Cousins continues to play like he has during Minnesota’s last three games for the rest of the season, the “I told you so” moments aren’t going to make very many appearances.