Tracking Kirk Cousins
We will track quarterback Kirk Cousins all year long in his inaugural season as the Vikings’ signal caller.
Inside the numbers
Passer rating 87.0
Grade: 7 out of 10
Despite the win, it wasn’t always pretty. Cousins had seven of 34 passes batted away. He also took seven hits, including four sacks, and lost a fumble. But when the game was at its closest with a 13-10 lead, he put together a couple of third-quarter scoring drives that ended up being the difference on Sunday.
“In pregame he looked at me and just pointed and stared at me. That was enough for me to know I better bring it. I gave him the thumbs up, ‘I got it.’ ” – Kirk Cousins on Linval Joseph telling him to again break down the pregame huddle with a passionate speech.
Third-quarter hot streak: His four best throws happened during the first drive out of halftime in the third quarter. Cousins found receiver Adam Thielen on four completions for gains of 5, 13, 13 and 16 yards — including a 13-yard strike down the seam for a TD. The throw before, to set up third-and-1, came while a defender had him dead to rights.
A prayer: Cousins had the ball poked out by defensive end Chandler Jones on a strip-sack that led to an Arizona touchdown. He also had a handful of his passes batted down at the line of scrimmage. His worst play of the game came when Cardinals defensive end Benson Mayowa sprinted at him, leading to Cousins lobbing up a prayer of a pass that was intercepted by safety Tre Boston.
Cousins continues to have a fumbling problem. He has now lost a fumble in four straight games, the longest such streak of his NFL career. His 37 fumbles since becoming a starter in 2015 are the most by any quarterback in that span. Only once (2015) has Cousins previously put the ball on the ground in four straight games, but his team only lost two of those fumbles.
Around the league
A quick look at former Vikings starters Sam Bradford and Case Keenum.
Bradford has been replaced as starter by rookie Josh Rosen.
Result: Vikings 27, Cardinals 17
Result: L.A. Rams 23, Broncos 20