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 #8 of the Minnesota Vikings (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) /

It’s not just completions; it’s deep-ball touchdowns, too.

This is a testament to Cousins’ playmaking. Cousins is not only stretching the field consistently via pass completions–his receivers are scoring as well.

In the last five years, Kirk Cousins has 23 touchdown throws for 40 yards or more. This is second-best in the NFL behind Philip Rivers. This is surprisingly better than Russell Wilson (17), Drew Brees (17), Tom Brady (17), Matthew Stafford (13), and Aaron Rodgers (12). It’s sheer lunacy to suggest a checkdown quarterback would have the wherewithal to top this caliber of names.

Cousins’ propensity to deliver deep-strike scores is plastered all over the stat pages. He has more 60+ yard touchdown passes since 2015 than Wilson and Stafford combined. And, there’s more. No active quarterback has tossed more 50+ yard touchdowns in the last five seasons than Cousins.

It’s also imperative to note: this was not exclusively a Washington Football Team tendency. He’s done in it Minnesota, too. Last season, Cousins was the only signal-caller in the business to deliver more than three touchdown passes of 50 yards or more. He did this four times in 2019.

Much like the completions, it is mentally incongruent to suggest that the man topping deep-ball touchdown leaderboards is predominantly a checkdown machine.