Numbers show Kirk Cousins is terrible in second half of games in 2021

(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins /

During the second half of each game this season, Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins has been one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL.

When taking a look at the numbers that Kirk Cousins has been putting up this year for the Minnesota Vikings, he is arguably having the best single-season of his NFL career.

Through 11 games, Cousins has completed 67.7 percent of his passes for 3,013 yards, 23 touchdowns, and three interceptions to generate a passer rating of 105.3.

So why are the Vikings sitting with a 5-6 record heading into Week 13 if their quarterback is performing like one of the best in the entire league this season? Well, a bunch of Minnesota’s lack of success this year has to do with Cousins vanishing during the final two quarters of each game this season.

Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins struggling mightily in the second half of games this season

There’s no arguing that the numbers that have been put together by the Vikings quarterback this year are impressive. However, the times when Cousins has actually accumulated these numbers is what has contributed to Minnesota’s struggles this season.

In the first half of games this year, Cousins has arguably been the best passer in the entire NFL. Just take a look below at his numbers in the first and second quarter this season and where they rank compared to other quarterbacks around the league that have attempted at least 30 passes in these two quarters.

First half of games in 2021:

  • 16 touchdowns (2nd)
  • 0 interceptions (1st)
  • 71.0 percent completion rate (6th)
  • 8.0 yards per attempt (3rd)
  • 123.4 passer rating (2nd)

Now take a look at how Cousins has performed during the second half of each matchup this year and where he compares to other signal-callers around the NFL. Spoiler alert, these numbers are not as impressive.

Second half of games in 2021:

  • 6 touchdowns (19th)
  • 3 interceptions (16th)
  • 64.3 percent completion rate (24th)
  • 7.0 yards per attempt (26th)
  • 88.2 passer rating (26th)

It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly why the Minnesota quarterback has struggled to continue playing at a high level in the second half of each game this season. But it’s possible that it has something to do with the lack of experience possessed by the coaches in charge of the offense this year.

In 2020, Cousins actually led the NFL in second-half touchdowns and he ranked second in second-half passer rating. So it’s not like he hasn’t performed well in the second half in the past. He’s shown that he is capable of doing it.

But with Cousins’ significant struggles after the first two quarters of games this year, it leads one to believe that opposing teams have been making adjustments at the half, and Minnesota’s offensive leaders have just stuck to the game plan they were using in the first half.

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The Vikings have to get better at making second-half adjustments on the offensive side of the ball sooner than later or they’re going to be left on the outside of the playoffs for the third time in the last four seasons.