5 Bold Predictions: Minnesota Vikings vs. Washington Commanders – Week 9

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins /

Cousins will have his first 300-yard game of the year

Many expected Kirk Cousins to take off under Kevin O’Connell’s leadership, but while the Vikings have won more games, Cousins hasn’t seen an uptick in his stats. Cousins’ 90.7 passer rating is the lowest since he became a full-time starter during the 2016 season, and his yards per game have dropped to 247.7 from 263.8 last season.

This doesn’t mean that Cousins hasn’t been effective. By showing his trust in Jefferson, the Vikings have made big plays when they’ve needed them, and they should be available against a Washington secondary that traded top corner William Jackson III at the deadline.

The Commanders do not have a qualifying cornerback with a PFF coverage grade over 65 on their roster, and they had 25 percent fewer perfectly covered plays – a play where every coverage player earns a coverage grade of zero or better on a single play – than the Colts last week.

While Michael Pittman Jr. is an elite target, there weren’t many options for Sam Ehlinger to take advantage of. With Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, and now T.J. Hockenson in the mix, Cousins should have an opportunity to do damage and earn his first 300-yard passing game of the year.