Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins won a primetime game. Yes, it was against a Washington Redskins team that has really struggled this year, but this is the type of primetime game in years past that Cousins would have really struggled and found a way to lose.
Looking at stats for Cousins, he didn’t throw a touchdown, but that doesn’t paint the whole picture. Cousins was efficient, did what he needed to, and led the Vikings to a win.
Cousins was on his game all night, and the fact that he didn’t throw a touchdown wasn’t all his fault. Cousins completed 23 of his 26 passes for 285 yards. The 88.5 percent completion percentage is a Vikings franchise record and it could have been even higher. One of the incompletions was a drop by Dalvin Cook, and the other two were throwaways out of bounds. Completion percentage can sometimes be a misleading stat, but Cousins’ average pass was 11 yards.
Cousins also did a great job of making the smart plays and not turning the ball over. The offensive line wasn’t great in pass protection for the Vikings, and earlier this season Cousins might have fumbled when hit by defenders. He did a good job of stepping up in the pocket, and when he did go down, he wrapped up the ball.
The most impressive part of Cousins’ game against the Redskins and the last month in general is his ability to push the ball down the field. Earlier this season, it was clear that Cousins didn’t have confidence and he was afraid to throw it deep or try to fit it into a tight window.
According to NFL Next Gen stats research via ESPN, the 39-yard pass Cousins threw to Diggs in the third quarter on third-and-9 from the Vikings’ 10-yard line had a 24% completion probability, which was the second-most improbable catch of the season for Diggs.
Kirk Cousins connected with Stefon Diggs for a 39-yard DIME completion (44.4 air distance & tight window) on 3rd & 9 from their own 10-yard line.
The pass had just a 24.0% Completion Probability, the 2nd-most improbable catch of the season for Diggs.
— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) October 25, 2019
Earlier this season, Cousins wasn’t making those throws, but with the confidence he has right now, who knows where his season could go.
The play calling also seemed to be trying to not show too much, which could have had a big effect on Cousins, but he still did a great job with what plays were being called.
There is always room for improvement and it was against the Redskins, but this performance from Cousins earned him an A- grade. If this performance would have been against the Bears, this would have been an A+.