Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings were neck-and-neck all season long with the Green Bay Packers for the NFC North division title last season until late in the season. They were a threat in the NFC and even put together a huge upset win on the road against Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. Unfortunately, their season came to an end in the Divisional Round with a loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
Looking ahead to the upcoming 2020 NFL season, there are a lot of reasons to be excited about the Vikings. However, there are also quite a few questions that the franchise must answer.
Among those questions is the obvious situation they are dealing with surrounding star running back Dalvin Cook. He is prepared to hold out from the team until he receives a lucrative contract extension. Many believe the Vikings should pass on paying him big money, while others think they should pay up as soon as possible to get him on the field.
Stefon Diggs was also traded to the Buffalo Bills this offseason. That leaves Adam Thielen as the clear No. 1 target for Cousins and first-round rookie Justin Jefferson looking to fill some big shoes. Whether or not the rookie is ready to step up into Diggs’ role is another big question for the Vikings to answer.
As for the quarterback himself, Cousins put together a big season in 2019. He completed 69.1 percent of his pass attempts for 3,603 yards, 26 touchdowns, and six interceptions. There are still a lot of doubters, but he has done everything he can to silence them.
All of that being said, let’s dive in and take a look at three early predictions for Kirk Cousins in 2020 with the Vikings.
3. Cousins Racks Up 4,300 Yards, 32 Touchdowns
Even without Diggs, Cousins is going to take a big leap this season from a statistical standpoint. Going from 3,603 yards to 4,300 yards is a big step, especially with one of his star wide receivers being traded.
As for the 32 touchdown passes, that would be a career-high for Cousins. His current career high is 30 passing touchdowns, which came during the 2018 season with the Vikings. Cousins is ready to set a new milestone for himself in that category.
With these numbers, the Vikings’ offense will be just fine. Even if they have issues with Cook, the passing game will thrive. Cousins is more than capable of powering an offense and that is exactly what he will do.
2. He Is A Dark Horse MVP Candidate
Next up, there are some who believe that Cousins could end up being a dark horse MVP candidate in 2020. Count us in as one of those who believe he could make some noise.
Obviously, going up against names like Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson is never an easy task. It would take a huge season individually from Cousins and a very successful season for the Vikings to win the award. Expect to see both of those two things happen.
Cousins isn’t going to win the MVP award, but he will absolutely be in the conversation.
1. The Vikings Will Win The NFC North Under Cousins’ Leadership
Finally, the Vikings will get back to the top of the NFC North division in 2020. After coming up short to the Packers last season, Cousins and company will get the job done this year.
Looking at their schedule, it would be reasonable to expect the Vikings to finish the regular season with an 11-5 or 12-4 record. Green Bay will be a team to watch, but they have quite a few holes that may cost them a game or two.
Minnesota will end up squeaking out a division win this season.