‘Are Kirk Cousins Critics Silenced Ahead of 2020?’: NFL Writer Asks

Kirk Cousins

Getty Kirk Cousins NFC Wild Card round win over New Orleans and the best season of his career likely isn't enough to silence his critics.

Last season was a career year for Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins.

Not only were his 26-6 touchdown-to-interception ratio and 107.4 quarterback rating career bests, but he also picked up his first playoff win as the prevailing narrative surrounding Cousins was his inability to win in primetime.

But was outperforming Drew Brees and ousting the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Wild Card round enough to change his reputation around the NFL?

NFL.com’s Grant Gordon took a look at Cousins’ numbers from 2019 concluded that while it was a good start, “naysayers are most difficult to quiet” and “one good season isn’t likely to hush his most vocal critics.”

Here’s what Gordon had to say along with how Cousins ranked last year in several stat categories:

Kirk Cousins                2019 Season              NFL Rank

QB Wins                           10                                      T-7th

Comp Pct.                        69.1                                  4th

Pass Yds/Att                    8.1                                     7th

TD-INT                              26-6                                6th

Passer Rating                  107.4                                4th

“Cousins, the only QB in the league with 25 or more TD passes in five years running according to NFL Research, had his most successful season to date and now he will quarterback an offense with Kubiak as offensive coordinator. Past first seasons with Kubiak as OC have seen a windfall for his quarterbacks, such as John Elway (threw a then-career-high 26 touchdowns in 1995, per NFL Research), David Carr (led the NFL with a career-high 68.3 completion percentage in 2006), Joe Flacco (career-best 27 touchdown passes in 2014) and Peyton Manning (helped Broncos win Super Bowl 50).

Then again, naysayers are most difficult to quiet.

Cousins is still just 1-2 in the playoffs, 7-15 in prime time outings and 17-26-2 on the road. One good season isn’t likely to hush his most vocal critics.

2019 was a good start on turning things around, though – a collection of good starts, in fact.”

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Kirk Cousins Leads the NFL in Deep Completions Statistic

Kirk Cousins

GettyKirk Cousins completed the most passes of 30 or more yards over the past four seasons.

A recent knock on Cousins was his deep pass completions were largely to Stefon Diggs, but one stat has shown the former Washington Redskins quarterback had an aptitude for throwing it deep even before he joined the Vikings.

Cousins threw the most completion of 30 or more yards over the past four seasons, according to the Viking Age’s Dustin Baker.

Cousins accomplished this feat despite tying for the fourth-least amount of pass attempts among the group with 2,196. Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan had nearly 100 more pass attempts in that span (2287), followed by Philip Rivers (2252), who spent the past four years with the Los Angeles Chargers.

Tom Brady tied with Cousins, while Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson threw only 2,042 pass attempts and had the second-most completions. His 4.5 percent rate is the highest among the group.

Cousins has had the benefit of having one of the NFL’s best wide receiver duos in Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs over the past two seasons and will likely have to take another step forward by proving he can have the same deep-ball success without Diggs, who was traded to the Buffalo Bills in the offseason.

READ NEXT: Kirk Cousins the Vikings MVP of the Decade? PFF Says Yes

Follow Trevor Squire on Twitter: @trevordsquire

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