Tracking Kirk Cousins

We will track quarterback Kirk Cousins all year long in his inaugural season as the Vikings' signal caller.

inside the numbers

Attempts 41

Completions 31

Yards 359

Touchdowns 2

Interceptions 1

Passer rating 107.7

Turnovers 1

Performance

Grade: 5 out of 10

Cousins threw his way into a fast start, completing six of eight passes for 67 yards and a touchdown in the first quarter. But his, and therefore the Vikings', unraveling began just before halftime, when receiver Adam Thielen's red-zone fumble led to a 54-yard return by Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore and later a Saints touchdown. Cousins couldn't get the Vikings back on track in the third quarter, taking a sack that was initially ruled a fumble. His knee was down after review, but he would then throw his first career pick-six as the Vikings quarterback just four plays later.

Quotable

""Critical errors really end up determining outcomes of games and seasons, so we're always trying to avoid those while still being aggressive."

the good

Strong start: Everything was working to start the game. Cousins found Thielen for a ridiculous 14-yard grab, then threw a perfect touch pass to Stefon Diggs for a 1-yard score. That touchdown was set up by a 31-yard throw that found Diggs' back shoulder at the 1-yard line. Cousins later completed a flea-flicker pass to Thielen for 28 yards, which led to a touchdown run by Latavius Murray.

The bad

Rocky third quarter: First came an ill-advised pass into heavy traffic intended for tight end David Morgan. Cousins escaped that poor decision with only a deflected pass. Then came the scramble to his left, where Marcus Davenport chased him down and ripped the ball out of his hands. Upon further review, officials ruled Cousins' knee was down. Four plays later, Diggs stopped running a crossing route and Cousins threw to where he thought Diggs would run. Instead, Saints cornerback P.J. Williams took an interception 45 yards for the touchdown.

one analysis:

Coach's aggression spotty: Head coach Mike Zimmer picked his spots to be aggressive with the offense, giving Cousins a chance on three fourth-down attempts. The Vikings converted two of three attempts, including Cousins' two touchdown throws. However, Zimmer opted not to push the ball downfield just before halftime, when the Vikings had the ball with 30 seconds left and two timeouts. They instead ran out the clock.

Around the league

A quick look at former Vikings starters Sam Bradford and Case Keenum.

Bradford

Arizona Cardinals

Bradford has been replaced as starter by rookie Josh Rosen.

Result: Cardinals 18, 49ers 15

Keenum

Denver Broncos

Comp-Att 23-34

Yards 262

TD-INT 2-1

QBR 97.9

Result: Chiefs 30, Broncos 23

Andrew Krammer