We are officially one quarter of the way through the 2018 NFL season, so we have an opportunity to see what sort of “pace” a couple of the more prominent members of the Minnesota Vikings are on.
We’ll start with quarterback Kirk Cousins, who at his current pace is on track to shatter all sorts of Vikings’ passing records. Through the season’s first four games, he has completed 131-of-189 passes for 1,387 yards and 10 touchdowns. That means that, if he kept that pace up for an entire season, he would complete 524-of-756 passes for 5,548 yards and 40 touchdowns.
To see what kind of season that would be in the annals of Minnesota Vikings history, a season like that would give Cousins the Vikings’ single-season records for:
- Completions in a season (current record 395 by Sam Bradford in 2016)
- Attempts in a season (current record 606 by Warren Moon in 1995)
- Passing Yardage (current record 4,717 by Daunte Culpepper in 2004)
- Passing touchdowns (current record 39 by Daunte Culpepper in 2004)
His 69.3% completion rate wouldn’t be the best in Vikings’ history, as that record lies with Bradford’s 2016 season as well (71.6%). But, beyond that, it would be hard to argue that it wasn’t the single-best passing season in the history of Vikings’ football. I don’t know if he’s going to be able to keep that pace up, but he certainly has gotten off to a hot start. And hey, if the Vikings keep fielding one of the worst rushing games in the NFL, he could very well get his chance.
One of Cousins’ primary targets is, of course, Adam Thielen, and Thielen has also gotten off to a huge start to this season. He has 40 receptions in the team’s first four games, which is the second-highest total for a receiver through his first four games in NFL history. On those 40 receptions so far, he has racked up 473 yards, and has gone over 100 yards in each of the team’s first four games.
At Thielen’s current pace, he’s in line for 160 receptions, which would crush not only the Vikings’ record for catches in a season (which belongs to Cris Carter, who had 122 receptions in 1994 and 1995), but the NFL record for receptions in a season, which is currently held by former Indianapolis Colts’ star Marvin Harrison (143). He would also end up with 1,892 yards, which would beat the current Vikings’ top mark by well over 200 yards. Right now, Randy Moss’ 2003 season is the high-water mark, with Moss collecting 1,632 yards that season.
It’s not all sunshine, though, as far as potential records. With their woeful rushing output, the Vikings are currently on track to have their worst rushing output in a 16-game season in team history. Through the first four games, the Vikings. . .as a team. . .have rushed for just 252 yards, which would put them at just 1,008 yards for an entire season. As of now, the low-water mark in that category for the purple was set just two seasons ago, as the 2016 Vikings rushed for just 1,205 yards over 16 games. It’s been especially rough for Dalvin Cook, who has run for just 98 yards on 36 carries over the first four weeks (though he has missed about 1.5 of the team’s first four games).
Hopefully Cousins and Thielen will continue trending in the right direction for their potentially record-setting seasons. And, hopefully, the rushing thing will come around at some point here.