Player No. 1
Kirk Cousins - QB
I have been giving Kirk Cousins the benefit of the doubt this season because he has been playing well despite an 0-3 start. However, Kirk was not great in the team's victory over the Panthers in Week 4, and he was far from himself in Week 5.
Cousins racked up 120 yards prior to the Vikings going down two scores late in the third quarter. From that point on, Kirk added 164 yards to make his box score look a lot better than he actually played. That's not to say he was stat-padding, but Kirk has been far better this season when the team is down multiple scores.
He dealt with some drops from his receivers, which I will cover in due time, but Kirk Cousins also missed a handful of easy throws that he's expected to make. Justin Jefferson was overthrown on a screen that would have resulted in a first down to open the fourth quarter. He also missed a wide-open Jordan Addison down the sideline in the second quarter before settling for a field goal.
Kirk also had a poor throw to Jefferson in double coverage that should have been intercepted, but the safety could not hang on. Cousins made some plays to keep the Vikings in the game, but he also missed plenty of layups.
On a fourth-down attempt to Jordan Addison late in the game, the officials picked up a flag for defensive pass interference due to an uncatchable ball thrown by Cousins. If he puts the ball anywhere close to Addison, it likely draws a penalty and gives the Vikings a chance to tie the game at 27. Instead, the Vikings turned the ball over on downs and ultimately lost the game.
He continues to struggle in the red zone and when games are tight. He does not have a signature moment this season, and that's a big reason why the Vikings are 1-4. Even if Kirk was playing better than he has been the past two weeks, the quarterback has to take some of the blame for a 1-4 start, given the talent around him.