The Minnesota Vikings thought that the team was a mere one piece away from contending in a big way after making a serious run through the playoffs in 2017-18. However, despite signing veteran quarterback Kirk Cousins and luring him away from the Washington Redskins last offseason, the Vikings underwhelmed in a major way en route to missing out on the postseason.
Even with Cousins showing glimpses of promise at times throughout the 2018-19 regular season, the Vikings finished his first campaign in Minnesota at a nearly even 8-7-1. As a result of the team’s inconsistent and shaky play, the Chicago Bears surprisingly managed to win the division while becoming the only NFC North franchise to reach the playoffs last season.
Nonetheless, Cousins can deefinitely help the Vikings take a step in the right direction in 2019-20 while some stellar play and a postseason appearance will certainly help erase the forgettable memories from a season ago.
Throw for over 5,000 yards during the 2019-20 regular season
In his first season as a member of the Minnesota Vikings, quarterback Kirk Cousins notably threw for just under 4, 300 yards while working alongside two talented wide receivers in Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen. Although Cousins managed to put up some gaudy numbers at times, the Vikings offense wasn’t nearly as potent as it was under the direction of current Washington Redskins and former Denver Broncos quarterback Case Keenum — which is incredibly surprising, to say the least.
However, because of the steady presence of the aforementioned duo of Diggs and Thielen, the latter of which just signed a long-term extension to remain in Minnesota for years to come, Cousins can most definitely dial it up to 5,000 yards through the air come 2019-20. Not only do the Vikings have Diggs and Thielen as options out wide, but the NFC North franchise also has a veteran tight end in Kyle Rudolph and up-and-coming running back Dalvin Cook at their disposal as well.
With all of this in mind, in addition to Cousins already serving as the team’s starter under center for a season and gaining in-depth knowledge of the Vikings playbook, it is entirely possible that the former Redskins gunslinger eclipses the 5,000-yard mark sooner rather than later. It is also worth noting that Cousins have thrown for over 4,000 yards in four consecutive seasons with his single-season career-high mark of 4,917 yards coming back in 2016-17 as a member of the Redskins.
Throw less than 10 interceptions during the 2019-20 regular season
Despite throwing the football all over the field en route to producing both a ton of passing yards and touchdowns, Kirk Cousins has also turned the ball over quite a bit over the years. He has now thrown at least 10 interceptions in each of the last four seasons with Cousins tossing an even 10 picks in his first season as a member of the Vikings in 2018-19.
With 65 career interceptions — and 27 fumbles — already under his career, Cousins must limit the turnovers going forward in order to give his team a legitimate chance to contend past the regular season.
Although throwing 30 touchdowns against just 10 interceptions bodes well for Cousins and Minnesota, which he did just last season, the veteran signal caller has to be even better if the Vikings are going to upend the surging Chicago Bears in the NFC North standings.
Lead the Vikings to a postseason win in 2019-20
With Kirk Cousins needing to encounter a stellar campaign in 2019-20 in terms of individual performance, it remains all about the team for the Minnesota Vikings. After underperforming a season ago, the Vikings must reach the postseason in 2019-20 in order to justify both the contract of Cousins and the rest of his teammates that are slated to earn a hefty paycheck.
Because the Vikings were able to advance all the way to the NFC title game back in 2017-18 due in part to the play of Case Keenum, the pressure remains on in Minnesota — especially after a disappointing year in 2018-19.
Even though the Vikings technically finished above the .500 mark in 2018-19, the fans in Minnesota were surely unphased after watching the rival Chicago Bears march on to the postseason with such a young roster. If Cousins can lead the Vikings to playoffs and potentially the Super Bowl, all will be forgiven for the team’s struggles from a season ago.
Because the Vikings very briefly tasted success prior to the arrival of Cousins, everyone in Minnesota is now expecting such success to continue moving forward as many feel that the former Washington Redskins signal-caller became a major upgrade for the potentially dangerous NFC North franchise.