2. High – The raw stats were sexy
Foremost, the Vikings did not pass the football all that much when compared to other NFL teams. Only two teams passed the ball fewer times — the Tennessee Titans and Baltimore Ravens. Yes, the two AFC Championship participants.
By far, Cousins threw the football fewer times last season than any other season throughout his career, and this likely had something to do with a mostly healthy Dalvin Cook. Cousins is the team’s offensive steering wheel while Cook is the engine.
In 2018, Minnesota asked Cousins to throw the ball 606 times under offensive coordinator John DeFilippo. With DeFilippo out of the way, Cousins only passed 444 times in 2019. Most NFL teams pass significantly more than they do run it in the modern NFL, but the Vikings were one of the few equanimous teams.
And when Cousins was asked to fling it, he was spectacular. Think that’s a strong adjective for his production? Cousins’ 107.4 passer rating in 2019 was better than Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson, Deshaun Watson, Aaron Rodgers, and Tom Brady.
Finally (and out of nowhere for many pundits), Cousins led the NFL in touchdown passes of 50 yards or more. He dimed four in 15 regular-season games.