We will track quarterback Kirk Cousins all year long in his second season as the Vikings’ signal caller.
Passer rating 58.8
Rating: 3 out of 10
Cousins and the Vikings offense sputtered from the start during Monday night’s 23-10 loss to the Packers. He finished with 122 passing yards, his fewest since the 10-throw game in a Week 1 win vs. Atlanta. The key difference is Cousins attempted 31 passes against Green Bay, took five sacks and threw his third interception in the past four games. Cousins’ teammates did not help much as receiver Adam Thielen dropped a third-down pass, Stefon Diggs overthrew Cousins on a Philly Special-type trick play and the Vikings failed to eclipse 100 rushing yards for the fourth time in the past seven games.
One dime: Cousins was unable to evade pressure for much of the night, and the few plays he made came early in the game. On an early third-and-5 attempt, Cousins scrambled up the middle and found Diggs for a first down with a Packers defender barreling down behind him. The lone play for the highlight reel came on a 21-yard strike to Diggs for the Vikings’ only touchdown. Cousins’ 53-yard touchdown to receiver Olabisi Johnson in the fourth quarter was negated by a holding call on left tackle Riley Reiff, who had a night to forget against Packers edge rusher Za’Darius Smith (3.5 sacks).
Deep interception: Cousins’ worst throw was a deep ball to Diggs in the third quarter intercepted by Packers cornerback Kevin King, who also intercepted Cousins during the Vikings’ Week 2 loss in Green Bay. ESPN’s broadcast showed Cousins and Diggs talking the play over on the sideline. The Packers turned the takeaway into a 53-yard touchdown drive and 17-10 lead. Cousins had a lot of trouble on third down finding open receivers, pulling the trigger or staying clean long enough behind a porous line.
Struggles vs. Green Bay: Not getting as much attention as the 0-9 record as a starter on “Monday Night Football” is the fact Cousins particularly struggled against the Packers in two regular-season games this year. Cousins completed fewer than half of his passes (30 of 63) for 352 passing yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions against Green Bay in 2019. He also lost a fumble during the Week 2 loss at Lambeau Field. The Vikings clinched a playoff spot but will have to win in the first round in a tough road environment. Cousins’ record against teams with winning records is now 4-24.
“I’m not going to get into this Kirk Cousins on Monday night stuff. Offensively, we didn’t play as well as we can play.”
— Vikings coach Mike Zimmer
“They did a really good job of taking things away and stopping us in a lot of different areas.”