3 popular misconceptions about Kirk Cousins in 2021

(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports) Kirk Cousins /

Cousins’ stats prove he’s elite

If you look at Kirk Cousins’ numbers this season – or really any season over his career – it will appear as if he’s one of the most influential quarterbacks in the league. He rarely throws interceptions, racks up tons of yards, and has a healthy amount of touchdown tosses to his name.

The problem, though, is that none of those big numbers are leading to wins. He threw for 244 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions in a Week 2 loss to the Cardinals. He also threw for 87 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception in a Week 15 win in Chicago.

Kirk puts up some big numbers in losses, but he also was clearly a problem in several losses this season as well. He racked up 340 yards in a loss to the Lions, but hey, at least he got his numbers. Don’t mind the fact that Minnesota didn’t score a touchdown until midway through the third quarter against the worst team in the NFL at the time.

Cousins was downright bad in the loss to Dallas, which was as winnable a game as the Vikings could hope for. He was also bad against the Steelers, 49ers, and Rams. Three very important games in the back half of the season and Cousins was nowhere near the player he’s paid to be.

The simple fact is Kirk needs help around him. Every quarterback is going to need playmakers to a degree, but Cousins needs a clean pocket, elite wide receivers, and a reliable run game to have any sort of chance.

This was a bad season for Cousins, at least by his own standards. The Vikings are not going to win anything meaningful for the next few years unless they heavily invest in the defense. Instead of throwing all of the money on a few big names (Danielle Hunter, Harrison Smith, and Eric Kendricks), the Vikings need to hunt for depth.