While some have been quick to label new Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins a bust. . .because durrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, I guess. . .most of us have come to the realization that he’s done a pretty darn good job for the Vikings thus far this season, particularly in light of how the other potential options they had to look at this offseason have fared. The folks from Pro Football Focus apparently lean more towards the correct opinion based on their latest list of NFL quarterbacks.
Through the first nine weeks of the season, PFF has Cousins coming in at #8 on their list of quarterbacks. Given that there are only 32 starting quarterback jobs in the NFL, #8 would seem to be a pretty solid ranking.
Cousins has found heaven in Minnesota in the form of Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen, as he has more than gotten his money’s worth from his two superstar wideouts this season, specifically when targeting the duo deep down the field. Cousins, Rodgers and Mahomes each have 18 big-time throws on passes of 20-plus air yards, but Cousins leads the trio in big-time throw percentage (48.6%) and ranks second among all quarterbacks in passer rating (136.5) on such throws.
PFF has Cousins at #8 in accuracy percentage and #10 in “clean pocket grade.” Given how infrequently Cousins actually has a clean pocket to work with, I’m a little surprised that number isn’t higher. However, he’s done a solid enough job under pressure, apparently, to elevate himself into that #8 spot.
By comparison, Case Keenum is down at #25 on this list, and Sam Bradford. . .well, he’s not even on it. Nor is Teddy Bridgewater or A.J. McCarron or most of the other options that the Vikings could have potentially brought in this offseason. The man that replaced Cousins in Washington, Alex Smith, is just ahead of Keenum at #24.
Not that we need it, necessarily, but there’s another bit of confirmation that the Vikings and Rick Spielman did the right thing at quarterback this offseason.