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If Kirk Cousins meets these projections, the Vikings will be quite happy

Yes, it’s projection season

NFL: Washington Redskins at New York Giants Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Hat tip to The Viking Age for digging up the numbers in this story.

Having signed what was the highest-paying contract in the history of the National Football League (at least in terms of guaranteed money) back in March, one would expect the expectations for quarterback Kirk Cousins in his first season in Minnesota would be pretty high. There are a few sites that have put together some projections for what they expect from Cousins in 2018, and while they’re pretty lofty, they’re also pretty reachable.

Keep in mind, Cousins has thrown for at least 4,000 yards and 25 touchdown passes in each of the past three seasons with the Washington Redskins. At the risk of angering our friends over at Hogs Haven, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that Cousins has better talent around him in Minnesota than he had in Washington, at least at the skill positions. So, what do the expectations look like thus far? Three different sites have put together their numbers, and here’s what they’ve come up with.

Fantasy Pros: 65.6% completion rate, 4,123 passing yards, 26 touchdowns, 13 interceptions

ESPN: 65.1% completion rate, 4,323 passing yards, 27 touchdowns, 14 interceptions

Bleacher Report: 64.7% completion rate, 4,281 passing yards, 29 touchdowns, 13 interceptions

If Cousins can match any of those three projections, he would put together just the third season in Minnesota Vikings history that saw a quarterback complete 65% of his passes and throw for at least 4,000 yards and connect on at least 25 touchdown passes. The other two seasons?

  • Daunte Culpepper in 2004 (69.2% completion rate, 4,717 passing yards, 39 touchdowns, 11 interceptions)
  • Brett Favre in 2009 (68.4% completion rate, 4,202 passing yards, 33 touchdowns, 7 interceptions)

Even if we took out the qualifier for completion percentage, any of the above projections would give Cousins just the fourth season in team history with 4,000 passing yards and 25 passing touchdowns, as Warren Moon’s 1995 season (4,228 passing yards, 33 touchdowns, 14 interceptions) would join the two seasons listed above.

It would appear that everything is in place for Kirk Cousins to at least meet, if not significantly exceed, the projections from the three sites listed above. We ought to start seeing preseason preview issues hitting the newstands here before too much longer. . .yes, some places still do NFL previews on actual paper with glossy covers. We’ll have to see if some of those projections are in line with what the three sites listed above have projected thus far.