Sept. 5, 2009: After appearing in five games as a redshirt freshman Kirk Cousins opens his sophomore year against Montana State splitting time with Keith Nichol. Cousins starts in the season-opener and completes 17 passes for 183 yards and three touchdowns in a 44-3 romp.
Sept 26, 2009: Cousins makes his fourth consecutive start but the Spartans lose their third straight game, this one 38-30 to Wisconsin at Camp Randall in the Big Ten opener. Cousins throws for 201 yards and two TDs but a costly interception led to a Badgers score. Nichol threw two picks but also a 91-yard score during one of his series. “We’re gonna have to check ourselves a little bit,” Cousins said.
Oct. 3, 2009: Michigan State defeats No. 22 Michigan 26-20 in overtime, but Cousins is hobbled by an ankle injury and does not play most of the fourth quarter or overtime.
Jan 3, 2010: Cousins caps his first full season as starter with an interception on the opening drive and another at the end to seal a 41-31 loss to Texas Tech in the Alamo Bowl.
Oct. 23, 2010: With Nichol now a full-time wide receiver, Cousins leads Michigan State to an 8-0 start with a top 10 national ranking after a 35-27 comeback victory at Northwestern.
Jan. 1, 2011: After leading the Spartans to a co-Big Ten championship Cousins is bruised and battered by Alabama’s defensive front and knocked out of the game in the third quarter of a 49-7 blowout in the Capital One Bowl.
Dec. 3, 2011: In the first ever Big Ten Championship Game, Cousins (22 passes for 281 yards and 3 TDs) and the No. 11 Spartans lose 42-39 to No. 15 Wisconsin.
Jan. 2, 2012: Cousins closes his college career in wild fashion, leading a 10-play, 85-yard drive to tie the Outback Bowl late then beating Georgia 33-30 in three overtimes. Cousins finished the game 27 of 50 for 300 yards and a touchdown, becoming Michigan State’s all-time leading passer with 9,131 yards. He also set records for completions (723), passing TDs (66) and wins by a starting QB (27).
April 28, 2012: The Redskins select Cousins with the seventh pick of the fourth round (102nd overall) of the NFL draft. “I was shocked,” Cousins said, noting he did not meet at length with Washington, which selected Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III No. 2 overall. He was the eighth of 11 quarterbacks drafted behind Andrew Luck, Griffin, Ryan Tennehill, Brandon Weeden, Brock Osweiler, Russell Wilson and Nick Foles.
Oct. 7, 2012: Cousins makes his NFL debut, completing five passes for 111 yards a touchdown and two INTs in a 24-17 loss to Atlanta.
Dec. 16, 2012: A week after coming off the bench and rallying the Redskins for an overtime win, Cousins makes his first NFL start and defeats Cleveland 38-21. He finished 26 of 37 for 329 yards and a pair of TDs filling in for in injured Griffin. “This isn’t my first rodeo. I did play a lot of football in the Big Ten,” Cousins said afterward.
Aug. 31, 2015: Cousins is named starter over Griffin.
Oct. 25, 2015: Seven games into his first full-time season at starter for the Redskins, Cousins orchestrated the largest comeback in franchise history. Down 24-0 in the second quarter Cousins ran for an 8-yard TD then threw three second-half touchdowns including the go-ahead 6-yard strike with 24 seconds left for a 31-30 victory. Cousins hadn’t thrown more than one touchdown in a game all season and memorably screamed “YOU LIKE THAT?!?” to a DC-based reporter.
Jan. 1, 2016: Cousins finishes his first season as starter in style. Three of his 12 completions against Dallas go for touchdowns in a 34-23 win over the Cowboys in the season finale. In the three games to cap the 2015 season, Cousins completed 65 of 89 passes for 860 yards, 11 touchdowns and no interceptions.
Jan. 10, 2016: The Green Bay Packers sack Cousins six times and force a fumble in their 35-18 NFC Wild Card victory.
March 1, 2016: The Redskins place a franchise tag on Cousins – a one-year, $20 million contract.
Oct. 30, 2016: Cousins throws for a career-high 458 yards and two touchdowns in a 27-27 tie with the Bengals at Wembley Stadium in London. Cousins would finish the season with career highs in attempts (606) completions (406) and yards (4,917)
Feb. 28, 2017: The Redskins place a franchise tag on Cousins, the first time a quarterback is tagged in consecutive seasons.
Nov. 12, 2017: Cousins completes 26 of 45 passes for 327 yards and a touchdown and rushes for two more scores in a 38-30 home loss to the Vikings.
Dec. 31, 2017: The Redskins limp to the finish line, losing 18-10 to the disappointing three-win Giants. Cousins throws for just 158 yards, three interceptions and no touchdowns for a 31.1 passer rating but the yardage is enough to chalk up his third consecutive 4,000-yard passing season.
Jan. 30: The Chiefs agree to trade Alex Smith to Washington for a third-round pick and cornerback Kendall Fuller.
Wednesday: Cousins, his wife Julie Hampton and son Cooper travel to Minneapolis to meet with the Vikings.
Thursday: Cousins is signed to a mega-deal that makes him the Vikings’ new franchise quarterback.