Is Vikings QB Kirk Cousins this year’s Matthew Stafford?

(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins
(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins /

After a strong performance for the Minnesota Vikings in Week 1, it may be time to think if Kirk Cousins is this year’s Matthew Stafford.

In Week 1, the role of Kirk Cousins with the Minnesota Vikings saw a promising kickstart against the rival Green Bay Packers where he dissected their secondary en route to a 23-7 victory. Cousins threw for 277 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions.

Aside from the monster performance by wide receiver Justin Jefferson, much of Cousins’ success in Week 1 was in part due to new Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell. O’Connell, who served as the Super Bowl-winning offensive coordinator for the Los Angeles Rams last year, saw similar success with veteran signal-caller Matthew Stafford in 2021.

Stafford had spent 12 seasons with the Detroit Lions, and in his first year with O’Connell and Los Angeles, he tied his career-high touchdown pass mark with 41. With a Lombardi last season, and a less-than-stellar showing in his first game this year, the argument can be made O’Connell was the mastermind behind Stafford and the Rams’ success last season.

Now, with Kevin O’Connell coaching the Minnesota Vikings, can Kirk Cousins serve as this year’s Matthew Stafford?

While it’s a slippery slope to upsell the whole season based on one game, Minnesota and Cousins have already created a reason for such an argument. Not only did the offense show a breath of fresh air in Week 1 compared to the previous run-heavy approach by former Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer, but the team’s defense also came to play, as well.

Holding reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers to no touchdown passes and an interception, as well as four sacks is no small feat. Needless to say, the Vikings’ switch to a 3-4 base defense has shown its worth early in the season.

With a Minnesota offense that’s now complimentary to Cousins‘ ability to air it out, as well as a coaching staff that seems prepared to bring the best out of the 34-year-old, it’s hard not to compare this to Stafford’s situation last season.

If the year continues to benefit Cousins and the Vikings the way Stafford and Los Angeles benefitted from O’Connell, Cousins could be this year’s Stafford. If he does indeed serve as such, Minnesota could see a trophy they’ve hardly had the privilege to dream of.

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