Kirk Cousins

Minnesota Vikings
Quarterback #8
Minnesota Vikings
Quarterback #8
Photo: Icon Sportswire

Kirk Cousins News

Facing crucial year for future

This could be a make-or-break season for Cousins with the Vikings, according to Arif Hasan of The Athletic.

Analysis: Cousins has thrown 91 touchdowns against 29 interceptions in his three years with the Vikings, but he's reached the playoffs just once and has a .543 winning percentage in the regular season. While a poor defense was the bigger problem in Minnesota last year, the team's selection of QB Kellen Mond at 66th overall in the 2021 draft suggests Cousins could be in trouble if he doesn't reach the playoffs this season. His two-year contract includes fully guaranteed base salaries in 2021 ($21 million) and 2022 ($35 million), so any financial incentive for moving on from Cousins would have to involve a trade. In any case, it's more of a concern for next offseason, as the Vikings are optimistic Cousins can lead them to the playoffs with the help of a seemingly improved defense. The soon-to-be 33-year-old QB has plenty to work with in the Minnesota offense, surrounded by RB Dalvin Cook, WR Justin Jeferson, WR Adam Thielen and TE Irv Smith.

Jul 6, 2021 8:57 AM EST

Posts another three-TD performance

Cousins completed 28 of 40 pass attempts for 405 yards and three touchdowns, adding a one-yard TD run during Sunday's 37-35 win against the Lions.

Analysis: Cousins' Vikings have missed the postseason for the second time in three years; however, the 32-year-old went on a statistical tear over the latter half of 2020. The $84 million man composed a 12:10 TD:INT over his first seven outings of the year, while the team fell to a 2-5 start. Weeks 9 through 17, Cousins posted an uber-efficient 23:3 TD:INT, posting six three-TD passing performances in the span of nine weeks while leading his team to a 5-4 mark. The veteran signal-caller is under contract through 2022, as Minnesota remains in search of its first Super Bowl title.

Jan 3, 2021 2:15 PM EST

Strong numbers in loss

Cousins completed 27 of 41 passes for 291 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions in the Vikings' 52-33 loss to the Saints on Friday. He also committed a fumble that was recovered by the offense.

Analysis: Facing one of the best turnover-forcing defensive units in the league, Cousins was able to refrain from giving the ball away, a relatively rate feat for the veteran signal-caller. Cousins actually put together an impressive performance that would have been good enough to topple many teams, had he gotten a better performance from his defense. The 32-year-old has now tossed multiple touchdowns in seven of the last eight games, an excellent stretch that's made him one of the best and most consistent fantasy assets at the quarterback position during the latter portion of the campaign. Now having thrown a career-high 32 touchdown passes through 15 games, Cousins will look to close out his ninth season in strong fashion versus the vulnerable Lions defense in Week 17.

Dec 25, 2020 5:19 PM EST

Pair of TD passes in loss

Cousins completed 24 of 35 passes for 271 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in the Vikings' 33-27 loss to the Bears on Sunday. He also committed a fumble, but it was recovered by the offense.

Analysis: Cousins took another three sacks and was hit a whopping 11 times overall, but he hung tough and gave the Vikings a chance to win until failing to connect on a Hail Mary from the Bears' 33-yard line with seven seconds remaining. The veteran signal-caller connected with Adam Thielen and Tyler Conklin for his two scoring passes, but he enjoyed the most chemistry with Justin Jefferson, hitting the rookie on eight occasions for 104 yards. Cousins has now thrown for at least Sunday's 271 yards in five of his last six contests while throwing for multiple scores in six of the last seven, making him an above-average fantasy asset at a pivotal time of the season. The 32-year-old will look to keep up his strong numbers against the Saints in a Week 16 Christmas Day showdown.

Dec 20, 2020 2:05 PM EST

Under siege in loss

Cousins completed 24 of 37 passes for 225 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions in the Vikings' 26-14 loss to the Buccaneers on Sunday. He also gained 41 yards on five rushes, threw a two-point conversion pass and committed two fumbles, losing one.

Analysis: Cousins had a busy afternoon with the game progressively getting away from the Vikings, but even with a relatively elevated 37 attempts, he had a difficult time consistently connecting with top targets Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson. Part of the reason was a relentless Buccaneers pass rush, which dropped Cousins on six occasions and hit him 12 times overall. The veteran signal-caller connected with tight end Irv Smith for his once scoring toss from 14 yards out late in the third quarter, but he saw a streak of five games with multiple touchdown passes snapped. Cousins will look to bounce back in a tough matchup against the division-rival Bears in a Week 15 battle.

Dec 13, 2020 2:04 PM EST

Three TDs after slow start

Cousins completed 28 of 43 passes for 305 yards, three touchdowns and an interception in Sunday's 27-24 overtime win over the Jaguars. He added 12 yards on three carries and lost a fumble.

Analysis: Cousins avoided a first-half shutout with a three-yard touchdown to Adam Thielen 2:50 before halftime. He threw a pick-six on the first play of the second half but rebounded on the ensuing drive, which Cousins capped with a 12-yard score to C.J. Ham. Cousins' Jekyll-and-Hyde performance continued on the next two drives, which ended with a 20-yard touchdown pass to Justin Jefferson followed by a Cousins fumble on a bad exchange with running back Dalvin Cook on Jacksonville's one-yard line. While the quarterback's mistakes gave Jacksonville a chance, Minnesota's defense stepped up with a clutch interception in overtime to seal the win. Cousins and the Vikings will continue their quest to work back into the playoff picture against the Buccaneers in Week 14.

Dec 6, 2020 2:28 PM EST

Tosses trio of scores sans Thielen

Cousins completed 34 of 45 passes for 307 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions in the Vikings' 28-27 win over the Panthers on Sunday. He also rushed four times for 19 yards and lost a fumble.

Analysis: Playing without top target Adam Thielen (reserve/COVID-19), Cousins nevertheless managed to put together an excellent fantasy performance and capped off what proved to be a game-winning drive with a clutch 10-yard touchdown pass to Chad Beebe in the closing minute. Cousins also connected with Justin Jefferson for scoring tosses of 12 and 10 yards in the first and fourth quarter, respectively, leading to his fourth consecutive contest with multiple touchdown throws. Cousins also has no fewer than 292 passing yards in three straight contests, a streak he'll look to extend in a highly favorable home matchup versus the Jaguars in Week 13.

Nov 29, 2020 2:06 PM EST

Big numbers in loss

Cousins completed 22 of 30 passes for 314 yards and three touchdowns in Sunday's 31-28 loss to the Cowboys.

Analysis: As expected, the Minnesota offense erupted against a Dallas defense that has been among the most generous units in the league this season. Unfortunately, the Vikings defense proved to be even worse. Cousins has been locked in since the team's bye, posting a 9:1 TD:INT over the last four games with a 9.9 YPA, but he could be facing a tougher challenge in Week 12 against a Panthers defense that just shut out the Lions.

Nov 22, 2020 6:41 PM EST

Finally wins on Monday night

Cousins completed 25 of 36 passes for 292 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in Monday night's 19-13 win over the Bears.

Analysis: Cousins played well while finally winning his first Monday-night start in 10 career tries. The veteran began by tossing a 17-yard touchdown to Adam Thielen, and although the wideout dropped a pass that was then intercepted shortly afterward, Cousins went back to him for the game-winning, six-yard touchdown during the fourth quarter. In doing so, Cousins brought his season tally to 17 touchdowns -- nine of which have gone to Thielen -- and is now gifted with a Week 11 matchup against a Cowboys secondary that's allowed the second-most passing scores this season.

Nov 16, 2020 8:45 PM EST

Makes most of 20 attempts

Cousins completed 13 of 20 pass attempts for 220 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions in Week 9 against the Lions.

Analysis: Cousins was limited by game script yet again and has combined to throw only 34 passes in the team's past two games. Even so, he managed his third three-touchdown performance of the season while also racking up 11 yards per attempt. The entire Vikings' offense has benefitted from the return of Dalvin Cook, who has kept the Vikings offense moving and played a significant role on drives that were capped by Cousins' passing scores. Cousins will likely be stuck in another slow-paced matchup in Week 10 against Chicago.

Nov 8, 2020 5:26 PM EST

Quiet performance in win

Cousins completed 11 of 14 passes for 160 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 28-22 win over the Packers.

Analysis: Dalvin Cook did all the work for the Vikings, scoring three rushing TDs before taking a screen pass from Cousins 50 yards for the winning touchdown late in the third quarter. Still, the veteran QB didn't commit any turnovers, just the second time in seven starts this season he's avoided coughing up the ball. Cousins could be a little more involved in Week 9 against a Lions defense that just gave up three passing TDs to Philip Rivers.

Nov 1, 2020 2:10 PM EST

Three TDs, but turnovers galore

Cousins went 24-for-36 passing with 343 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions during Sunday's 40-23 loss to the Falcons.

Analysis: The 32-year-old signal-caller got off to a horrific start Sunday, committing three first-half interceptions for the first time in his NFL career. Cousins has logged three multi-TD outings thus far in the 2020 campaign, though he's already committed 11 giveaways. Last season he threw six interceptions across 15 regular-season appearances, but in 2020 he already has 10 through the first six weeks. The 1-5 Vikings get a chance to lick their wounds over the team's bye week, but a Nov. 1 matchup against division-leading Green Bay lingers on the other side.

Oct 18, 2020 4:19 PM EST

Falls short on SNF

Cousins completed 27 of 39 pass attempts for 249 yards, two touchdowns, an interception and also lost a fumble in Sunday's 27-26 loss to the Seahawks.

Analysis: Cousins did his best to keep his team in position for the win all the way up to the bitter end, but eventually fell short to a superior quarterback in Russell Wilson. The 32-year-old continues to be a fantasy disappointment with 1,132 passing yards and an 8:7 TD:INT ratio through five games despite being surrounded by talented position players. A shoddy offensive line (three sacks and two strip fumbles tonight) is likely the root cause of this offense's struggles, as Cousins was constantly met with pressure on five and seven-step drops. The good news for the veteran signal-caller is that a very favorable matchup lies ahead in the form of the Atlanta Falcons, so Cousins may be a smart budget play in DFS formats for Week 6.

Oct 11, 2020 11:36 PM EST

Leads team to first win of season

Cousins went 16-for-22 passing with 260 yards and one touchdown during Sunday's 31-23 win against the Texans. He added five rushing yards on four attempts.

Analysis: The 32-year-old QB avoided committing a turnover in a game for the first time this season, after he threw an average of two interceptions per game Weeks 1 through 3. Cousins still hasn't eclipsed the 260-yard passing mark in 2020, but at least he has multiple passing TDs in three of his four outings to this point. Next, Cousins will face a Seahawks defense that surrendered 362 combined passing and rushing yards to Miami's Ryan Fitzpatrick in Week 4.

Oct 4, 2020 4:33 PM EST

Bounces back in Week 3

Cousins completed 16 of his 27 pass attempts for 251 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions in Week 3 against Tennessee.

Analysis: Cousins bounced back from an abysmal Week 2 performance for his first three-touchdown effort of the 2020 season. The highlight came on a 71-yard deep throw to rookie Justin Jefferson midway through the second quarter to give the Vikings a 24-12 lead. However, Cousins didn't play mistake free as he threw two interceptions in the second half -- one on the team's first drive of the third quarter and another as the team was attempting to move down the field for the winning score late in the final quarter. Cousins and the Vikings' passing attack should be in a position to succeed in a Week 4 matchup against the Texans.

Sep 27, 2020 7:19 PM EST

Nightmarish outing against Colts

Cousins completed 11 of 26 pass attempts for 113 yards, throwing three interceptions during Sunday's 28-11 loss to the Colts.

Analysis: Indianapolis dominated Minnesota's front five in the pass rush, collecting seven QB hits and three sacks while deflecting nine of Cousins' pass attempts on the afternoon. The 32-year-old signal-caller was capable of putting up decent production against Green Bay last week with his team trailing throughout the second half, as he wrapped up with 259 passing yards and two touchdowns. Minnesota had only four offensive possessions throughout the entirety of the second half Sunday against Indianapolis, with the first three opportunities going interception, punt, punt on a combined 11 plays. Cousins looks to get back on track Week 3, with the Vikings taking on a Titans defense that gave up 339 passing yards and three touchdowns to Jacksonville's Gardner Minshew on Sunday.

Sep 20, 2020 5:06 PM EST

Deceptive numbers in Week 1 loss

Cousins completed 19 of 25 passes for 259 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in the Vikings' 43-34 loss to the Packers on Sunday. He also rushed four times for 34 yards and threw a two-point conversion pass.

Analysis: Fantasy managers were undoubtedly left mostly satisfied with Cousins' performance, considering he was involved in three scoring plays overall. However, in a real-world football sense, Cousins was less than effective with his trio of scoring tosses (including his two-point pass) to Adam Thielen all coming in the fourth quarter and the Vikings having little realistic chance to mount a successful comeback. Cousins did average an impressive 10.4 yards per attempt while completing passes of 22, 29 and 37 yards to Kyle Rudolph, Bisi Johnson and Thielen, respectively, but he'll look to keep Minnesota's offense on steadier footing in a Week 2 interconference battle against the Colts next Sunday.

Sep 13, 2020 2:31 PM EST

Getting more comfortable

Cousins has displayed increased accuracy as training camp has progressed, Arif Hasan of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: Cousins has a number of incumbent receivers to throw to, most notably Adam Thielen, but the offseason trade of Stefon Diggs to the Bills has opened up a significant number of reps. Rookie first-round pick Justin Jefferson likely is the long-term answer as the No. 2 WR, but 2019 seventh-rounder Bisi Johnson has been working ahead of him so far in camp. During two campaigns with Diggs on board, Cousins completed a healthy 68.7 percent of his passes and averaged 7.5 yards per attempt, marks that could be less stable as he incorporates Jefferson into what remains a run-heavy scheme.

Aug 25, 2020 3:49 PM EST

Signs two-year extension

Cousins is signing a two-year contract extension, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.

Analysis: Cousins signed a fully guaranteed three-year, $84 million contract during the 2018 offseason, and the Vikings have seen enough to know that they want him around past 2020. The 31-year-old quarterback has completed 69.7 percent of his passes for 7.5 yards per attempt in a Minnesota uniform, tossing 56 touchdowns against 16 interceptions in 31 regular-season games. Cousins will work with a new offensive coordinator in 2020, as the Vikings have promoted Gary Kubiak to replace Kevin Stefanski.

Mar 16, 2020 7:07 AM EST

Struggles in San Francisco

Cousins completed 21 of 29 passes for 172 yards and a touchdown with one interception in Saturday's 27-10 loss to the 49ers in the NFC divisional round.

Analysis: The Minnesota offense couldn't get much going either on the ground or through the air against one of the league's elite defenses, and while Cousins was accurate, he had little luck stretching the field aside from a 41-yard TD strike to Stefon Diggs in the first quarter. The 31-year-old QB finished his second regular season with the Vikings having completed 69.1 percent of his passes for 3,603 yards and a sharp 26:6 TD:INT through 15 games, as well as an 8.1 YPA that was a full yard better than last year's performance. Dalvin Cook figures to be the focal point of the team's attack again in 2020 barring a major shakeup in the coaching staff, but Cousins demonstrated this season that he's more effective when he isn't called upon to carry the offense himself.

Jan 11, 2020 8:02 PM EST

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