3 reasons why Kirk Cousins is not a checkdown quarterback

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins /
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Minnesota Vikings - Kirk Cousins
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins – Minnesota Vikings /

What statistical areas prove that Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins is not a checkdown quarterback?

You’ve heard it from fans, Twitter, even fringe pundits. It’s the talking point that Minnesota Vikings signal-caller Kirk Cousins is a checkdown quarterback.

He’s not.

At a thirty-thousand foot view, Cousins has a higher yards-per-attempt in the last five seasons than Ben Roethlisberger, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and Matthew Stafford, to name a handful. And that will be as “broad” as it gets for this analysis.

For Cousins to excel in yards-per-attempt and also primarily checkdown, the case would need to be that Kirk Cousins is the luckiest man alive in dumping off to running backs that do the bulk of the yards-after-catch. It’s an easy narrative to type on a keyboard, but there is no evidence to underwrite the theory. And actually, the evidence undermines the clownish theory.

That’s what this analysis is for. Since he became the full-time starter of the Washington Football Team and then the Minnesota Vikings, Cousins is number five on the leaderboard in passing yards. He is only bested by Matt Ryan, Philip Rivers, Drew Brees, and Tom Brady (in that order).

Those 21,077 yards were not accrued in overwhelmingly fashion via checkdown and here’s why.