Cousins is best drafted as a No. 2 quarterback in the double-digit rounds, but he's one of the more reliable options you can say that about. Cousins has finished as a top-12 quarterback in five of the past six seasons. So why don't we draft him that way? For starters, it's difficult to compare 2015-18 Cousins to what he's been the past two years. The Vikings have morphed into one of the most run-heavy offenses in football, which is why Cousins missed the mark in 2019, and needed a career-best 6.8% touchdown rate to sneak into the top 12 in 2020. Even with the emergence of Justin Jefferson, you should expect Cousins to regress back towards his career norm in 2021, which means he won't crack the top 12 passers unless Mike Zimmer has a complete change of heart. Cousins' reliability does make him an excellent second quarterback in a two-QB league.
This could be a make-or-break season for Cousins with the Vikings, according to Arif Hasan of The Athletic. Cousins has thrown 91 touchdowns against 29 interceptions in his three years with the Vikings, but he's reached the playoffs just once and has a .543 winning percentage in the regular season. While a poor defense was the bigger problem in Minnesota last year, the team's selection of QB Kellen Mond at 66th overall in the 2021 draft suggests Cousins could be in trouble if he doesn't reach the playoffs this season. His two-year contract includes fully guaranteed base salaries in 2021 ($21 million) and 2022 ($35 million), so any financial incentive for moving on from Cousins would have to involve a trade. In any case, it's more of a concern for next offseason, as the Vikings are optimistic Cousins can lead them to the playoffs with the help of a seemingly improved defense. The soon-to-be 33-year-old QB has plenty to work with in the Minnesota offense, surrounded by RB Dalvin Cook, WR Justin Jefferson, WR Adam Thielen and TE Irv Smith.
Cousins completed 28 of 40 pass attempts for 405 yards and three touchdowns, adding a one-yard TD run during Sunday's 37-35 win against the Lions. Cousins' Vikings have missed the postseason for the second time in three years; however, the 32-year-old went on a statistical tear during the latter half of 2020. The $84 million man composed a 12:10 TD:INT over his first seven outings of the year, while the team stumbled to a 2-5 start. Weeks 9 through 17, Cousins registered an uber-efficient 23:3 TD:INT, posting six three-TD passing performances in the span of nine weeks while leading his team to a 5-4 mark. On Sunday he found three different receivers for scores, also collecting his first rushing TD all season. The veteran signal-caller is under contract through 2022, as Minnesota remains in search of its first Super Bowl title.
Cousins completed 27 of 41 passes for 291 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions in the Vikings' 52-33 loss to the Saints on Friday. He also committed a fumble that was recovered by the offense. Facing one of the best turnover-forcing defensive units in the league, Cousins was able to refrain from giving the ball away, a relatively rare feat for the veteran signal-caller. He actually put together an impressive performance that would have been good enough to topple many teams, had he gotten a better performance from the Vikings defense. The 32-year-old has now tossed multiple touchdowns in seven of the last eight games, an excellent stretch that's made him one of the best and most consistent fantasy assets at the quarterback position during the latter portion of the campaign. Now having thrown a career-high 32 touchdown passes through 15 games, Cousins will look to close out his ninth season in strong fashion versus the vulnerable Lions defense Week 17.
Cousins completed 24 of 37 passes for 225 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions in the Vikings' 26-14 loss to the Buccaneers on Sunday. He also gained 41 yards on five rushes, threw a two-point conversion pass and committed two fumbles, losing one. Cousins had a busy afternoon with the game progressively getting away from the Vikings, but even with a relatively elevated 37 attempts, he had a difficult time consistently connecting with top targets Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson. Part of the reason was a relentless Buccaneers pass rush, which dropped Cousins on six occasions and hit him 12 times overall. The veteran signal-caller connected with tight end Irv Smith for his one scoring toss from 14 yards out late in the third quarter, but he saw a streak of five games with multiple touchdown passes snapped. Cousins will look to bounce back in a tough matchup against the division-rival Bears in a Week 15 battle.
Cousins completed 28 of 43 passes for 305 yards, three touchdowns and an interception in Sunday's 27-24 overtime win over the Jaguars. He added 12 yards on three carries and lost a fumble. Cousins avoided a first-half shutout with a three-yard touchdown to Adam Thielen 2:50 before halftime. He threw a pick-six on the first play of the second half but rebounded on the ensuing drive, which Cousins capped with a 12-yard score to C.J. Ham. Cousins' Jekyll-and-Hyde performance continued on the next two drives, which ended with a 20-yard touchdown pass to Justin Jefferson followed by his fumble on a bad exchange with running back Dalvin Cook on Jacksonville's one-yard line. While the quarterback's mistakes gave Jacksonville a chance, Minnesota's defense stepped up with a clutch interception in overtime to seal the win. Cousins and the Vikings will continue their quest to work back into the playoff picture against the Buccaneers in Week 14.
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|10||11/14||@Los Angeles Chargers||25||22.63|
|11||11/21||Green Bay Packers||7||18.00|
|12||11/28||@San Francisco 49ers||9||18.25|
|16||12/26||Los Angeles Rams||1||15.56|
|17||01/02||@Green Bay Packers||7||18.00|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||69.0||4055||30||10||114||1||335|