5 reasons why Kirk Cousins is currently better than Aaron Rodgers

(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins
(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Aaron Rodgers /

Cousins has been more clutch than Rodgers in the past two seasons

Since Aaron Rodgers became a starter for the Packers in 2008, he has been the very best quarterback in the NFL on third down in terms of passer rating (105.8). Patrick Mahomes is temporarily, at least, outpacing that, but that is only based on a significantly smaller sample size.

When the timetable of Rodgers’ third-down performance is shrunk to the past two years, his ranking among all NFL quarterbacks dips to 16th (minimum 100 pass attempts) with a 94.1 passer rating. That is a tangible drop from the top of third-down power rankings to the middle.

It is a measurable dip and the variance is inarguable. Again, a 94.1 third-down passer rating is certainly not poor. But it pales in comparison to his contemporary peers and the high standard he set for himself during the first decade of his career.

In the last two seasons, Kirk Cousins has had a 99.5 passer rating during third-down situations. This is the seventh-best in the NFL on third down in the time frame and it outranks Rodgers by nine spots.

Put simply, Cousins has been more effective and efficient on third down than the Green Bay quarterback has during the last two years.

Additionally, the recent clutch performance difference between the two men is not limited to just third-down situations.

Since 2018, Rodgers has a passer rating of 91.4 in the second half of all games when the score margin of the matchup is within 10 points. This performance ranks 14th in the league among signal-callers with a minimum of 250 pass attempts. In the same situations, Cousins has a passer rating of 99.9, which ranks eighth in the NFL.

Oddly, Rodgers’ 91.4 passer rating is more in the vicinity of guys like Josh Allen (90.5) and Jacoby Brissett (88.4) in these second half, 10-point score margin situations. And to reiterate, these are not bad passer ratings from the Packers quarterback. They are just closer to good or decent instead of great.