3 mistakes the Vikings cannot repeat from the 2020 NFL season

(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /
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Kirk Cousins – Minnesota Vikings (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Kirk Cousins – Minnesota Vikings (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

Protect Kirk Cousins

This is easily the biggest concern for many Vikings fans. There is a seemingly endless amount of people who simply do not believe Cousins has the fortitude, skill or desire necessary to close out games and lead a team to a championship.

At the same time, Cousins has had several moments of glory throughout his career and put up some respectable numbers on the stat sheet each year since becoming a full-time starter in 2015. Cousins finished closed out the 2020 season with 4,265 passing yards, 35 passing touchdowns and a top-10 completion percentage (67.6%).

These numbers appear impressive at first glance, but a deeper look into his season suggests he could have performed even better.

Cousins was the sixth-most sacked quarterback in the league, getting taken down in the backfield 39 times throughout the season. According to Pro Football Focus, the Vikings offensive line earned a 55.5 pass-blocking grade for the 2020 season. They also allowed the 11th-most pressures (214) in the league.

Keeping his jersey clean on the field will be a major concern throughout the 2021 season. As the StarTribune’s Chip Scoggins pointed out after the first preseason game, there are still some serious concerns with this new squad.

Dakota Dozier remains on the roster following a shameful performance in the preseason game against the Denver Broncos, first-round pick Christian Darrisaw is still recovering from an injury and starting centre Garrett Bradbury simply hasn’t been good enough yet. The starting rotation seems shaky at the moment, but at least Brian O’Neill continues to gain respect across the league.

Now, there is another concern with protecting Cousins. While his stance on vaccinations may be an off-field concern, the Minnesota Vikings currently have the lowest vaccination rates across the league. A COVID-19 breakout could result in key players missing games in throughout the Vikings difficult schedule, or even worse, forfeited games. It’s time to invest in plexiglass and hope for the best.

Brace yourselves for the longest season in NFL history, Vikings fans.