Kirk Cousins – QB
The Vikings season would be in serious jeopardy if Kirk Cousins was lost to injury for a stretch of games. He’s so vital to the success of the Vikings’ offense and was the spark that got the team going during quite a few games last year. He rallied the team to beat Denver and fought his tail off to try and get them the win in Seattle. Cousins became a true leader of the team last year, and losing a leader like that is never good.
Cousins has a great rapport with Adam Thielen, Dalvin Cook, and Kyle Rudolph. He puts the ball where only those guys can get it and can make clutch throws with angry defensive linemen breathing down his throat. He is one of the best quarterbacks in the league and still doesn’t get the credit he deserves.
Without Cousins under center, the Vikings’ offense would look very different. They’d run the ball even more than they did a season ago. An increase in runs would see more carries for Alexander Mattison and even Mike Boone. The passing game would go from a field-stretching one to a much more conservative approach. Short passes would be the norm, with Cook and the tight ends seeing an increase in targets. The offense would be a game clock controlling, move the chains type of attack, that would very rarely take shots down the field.
There is a slight chance the Vikings could still compete without Cousins under center, but their chances of having success without him are very slim.