Number grade (out of 10) 1.59

Since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, only three Vikings quarterbacks have produced a worse passer rating while throwing at least 20 passes than Kirk Cousins’ 15.9 during Sunday’s loss to the Colts. It was a historically dreadful outing for the Vikings quarterback, who had a 0.0 rating entering the fourth quarter and looked out of sorts throughout the game. Between the first and last drives of the game, the Vikings managed just three first downs on seven possessions. While the blame shouldn’t solely be placed on Cousins’ shoulders, the quarterback was unable to be a consistent or uplifting player.

Good Kirk Opening drive

Once again, the Vikings offense’s best drive was the first of the afternoon. Coordinator Gary Kubiak came out of the gate calling three straight throws for Cousins, who found Adam Thielen for three grabs and 31 yards in the opening five plays. But Thielen did not catch another pass.

Bad Kirk Out of rhythm

Cousins struggled to hit open targets at times, admitting he was pressing when he forced the deep pass to Thielen into double coverage on a third-and-10 play with 1:01 before halftime. Cousins is hailed for his accuracy, but he threw behind Bisi Johnson, the ball bounced off his hands and turned into an interception, and overthrew Alexander Mattison on a screen pass. Cousins also sailed a pass out of the back of the end zone on third-and-goal on the first drive.

One analysis Where are the Tight ends?

The Vikings want Kyle Rudolph and Irv Smith Jr. to be big parts of the passing game. Yet both Rudolph and Smith have played bit parts so far, catching a combined four passes on nine targets for 42 receiving yards in two losses. Smith particularly struggled Sunday, when he was flagged twice and caught one pass for 3 yards on four targets.