There is at least one QB who shouldn’t be ranked ahead of Kirk Cousins
By Adam Patrick
For some reason, new Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford continues to be ranked ahead of Minnesota Vikings signal-caller Kirk Cousins by way too many people.
After years of taking him on in a Detroit Lions uniform, the Minnesota Vikings will be facing Matthew Stafford with a new team this season, the Los Angeles Rams.
Stafford was traded to the Rams earlier this year after spending his entire career with the Lions. The 33-year-old passer is hoping to be a part of a playoff-winning team for the very first time since he entered the NFL in 2009.
Will the change in scenery light a fire under Stafford next season, or will he just continue to fail to meet his expectations like he has for his entire tenure in the league?
A trade to the Los Angeles Rams doesn’t make Matthew Stafford a better quarterback than Minnesota Vikings passer Kirk Cousins
It’s getting close to the part of the NFL offseason in which there is very little to talk about. So around this time each year is usually when several notable online publications like to share their player rankings.
In way too many of these rankings, Stafford has wound up with a better spot than Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins.
CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco has Stafford at No. 88 and Cousins at No. 93 in his recent list of the Top 100 NFL Players of 2021. In his 2021 quarterback rankings, PFF’s Bruce Gradkowski has Stafford at No. 11 and Cousins in the No. 14 spot.
SB Nation’s James Dator has the current Rams signal-caller as the 14th-best passer in the NFL right now and he has Minnesota’s starting quarterback slotted at No. 17. Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox believes the Vikings’ current quarterback situation is the 15th-best in the league heading into the upcoming season and he has Los Angeles in the No. 11 spot with Stafford leading the way.
Listing Stafford ahead of Cousins in any of these rankings would be head-scratching. But in all four? What has the current Rams signal-caller done in the last few years to deserve this apparent unanimous preference over Cousins?
The dude hasn’t led a team to a winning record since 2017 and he hasn’t helped a team get into the playoffs since 2014. Cousins has helped lead two different franchises to the postseason since 2016, and during the last three seasons, Minnesota has finished with a winning record twice.
But wait, we’re not supposed to count quarterback wins as an actual stat since football is a team sport, right? Well, aren’t quarterbacks supposed to elevate the performance of the rest of the team and make up for some of the glaring weaknesses on the roster?
In addition to his squads being more successful with him under center than Stafford, Cousins has just out-performed the current Los Angeles quarterback since he signed with the Vikings in 2018.
During the last three years with Minnesota, Cousins has a better completion percentage, a better touchdown percentage, a better passer rating, more yards per pass attempt, and a lower sack percentage than Stafford.
It’s just incredibly difficult to understand how a quarterback like Stafford continues to get so much praise for doing so little during the last few years of his career. Is it because he was a No. 1 draft pick? Or because he threw for over 5,000 in one season when he had a Hall of Fame wide receiver to throw to?
Let’s get optimistic here though and say that maybe Stafford will achieve success with his new team in Los Angeles. However, until this actually happens, there is no reason for Cousins to continue to end up behind the new Rams passer in any 2021 rankings.