Over the past couple of weeks, Minnesota Vikings’ quarterback Kirk Cousins has made a few throws that have left everyone scratching their heads, such as the interception he threw on Sunday against the Detroit Lions. However, according to the folks from ESPN, he also threw what they’ve deemed the pass of the year thus far for the 2018 season, and when you think back about how great a throw it was, it’s tough to argue against it.
Over behind the great E$PN paywall, Bill Barnwell went through some of his midseason award winners, and deemed this pass from Cousins to Adam Thielen against the Green Bay Packers back in Week 2 as his “Pass of the Year” to this point in the season.
Barnwell breaks the play down further:
NFL Next Gen Stats estimates that Cousins has just a 12.4 percent chance of completing this one. It’s an inch-perfect throw on a post/wheel concept against man coverage with two deep safeties. Thielen isn’t remotely open when the ball is released -- he’s level with cornerback Jaire Alexander (23) at the 15-yard line -- but Cousins leads Thielen to the absolute exact spot on the field where he can catch the pass before being hit by safety Kentrell Brice (29). When you consider that was Cousins’ second regular-season game with Thielen, the touch and familiarity it took to make this pass is absolutely unreal. What a throw.
Honestly, not only is that the pass of the year this season, that’s as good a touchdown pass as any Vikings’ quarterback has thrown in about ten years, at least back to the Zombie Favre season. I have no idea how Cousins got that ball to Thielen, but he did get it there for what was a part of the tying score (along with Stefon Diggs’ 2-point conversion, which is in the video above as well).
In fact, Next Gen Stats has rated that particular pass the most improbable completion of the 2018 season thus far.
Kirk Cousins may throw the occasional pass that’s less than optimal. But, as we’ve seen through the Vikings’ first nine games, he throws a hell of a lot more good ones.