Tracking Kirk Cousins
We are tracking quarterback Kirk Cousins all year long in his inaugural season as the Vikings’ signal caller.
Inside the numbers
Passer rating 89.0
Grade: 2 out of 10
The Vikings’ lifeless passing attack again fell flat for a second straight road game. Cousins failed to complete a pass farther than 15 yards downfield until the fourth quarter, when he found receiver Stefon Diggs for a leaping 48-yard grab. But even when that play set up a critical red-zone series, Cousins missed what appeared to be an open Adam Thielen when he threw an incompletion to Kyle Rudolph from the Seahawks 1-yard line on fourth down. The ending — a Cousins fumble turned Seahawks recovery for a touchdown — was the punctuation on this dud.
“We didn’t score very many points tonight, didn’t score very many points last week. Part of it is being better on third downs, we haven’t really done a good job there. Part of it is being better in the red zone. We had the ball on the 2-yard line didn’t score. You keep doing things like that you’re not going to score many points.” — Vikings coach Mike Zimmer on his team’s offense
A solid pass: Cousins’ first pass was his best, when he found Diggs for a 15-yard strike over an outstretched Seahawks linebacker off play action. He didn’t get much help from his targets. Rudolph and Tyler Conklin dropped passes. Cousins was under duress in critical situations, taking seven hits (two sacks) by the Seahawks. A couple of Cousins’ longest completions, including the 35-yard pass to Thielen, came when the Seahawks defense backed off at game’s end.
Decisionmaking: It was a sign of things to come when the Vikings’ first drive included a delay-of-game penalty. The disconnect would continue throughout the loss. Cousins’ worst play came when he turned away from Diggs, who appeared to be open in his line of sight, and threw a backward pass to running back Latavius Murray. Cousins missed on simple throws — such as an incomplete check-down to Dalvin Cook in the first half — and difficult ones, such as an overthrow of receiver Aldrick Robinson on a third-and-long play.
The Vikings had just one meaningful drive travel farther than 27 yards in Seattle, and it was the series sparked by Diggs’ leaping 48-yard grab to start the fourth quarter. It was the only point in which the offense got to the red zone during a forgettable outing, especially considering the Seahawks defense entered Monday night allowing more than 360 yards per game. The Vikings had just 206 yards before trailing 21-0 in the final minutes of garbage time. Even the Seahawks’ public address announcer got into the trolling of the struggles, playing Prince after the Vikings’ late touchdown against soft defense to make the final score 21-7.