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Vikings May Struggle In Post Kirk Cousins Era

For the ninth time in franchise history, the Minnesota Vikings have started a season with a 1-4 record. The last time the team began a year with that 1-4 mark was in 2020 with losses to the Packers, Colts, Titans and Seahawks through five weeks.


When a team plays poorly, many blame the quarterback, and Kirk Cousins is no stranger to the criticism. Does he deserve it? Sometimes. Should the Vikings consider moving on? Maybe. But don't be surprised if things get worse before they get better.


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Appreciate Cousins For What He Is

I know people don't want to admit it, but Kirk Cousins is actually a good NFL quarterback. His numbers are great, and he puts the ball in the right spot more often than not.


Looking at his stats this season, Cousins leads the league with 137 pass completes, 204 pass attempts and 13 touchdowns. He is also second in the league with 1,498 passing yards and has thrown four interceptions.

Cousins has made the Pro Bowl two straight years (four times total) and has not shown any signs of slowing down. Rather than getting upset and nitpicking every move he makes, appreciate him for what he is. He's a good starting quarterback who will give you average to above-average play week in and week out.


Vikings Drafting A Quarterback

There's no doubt that drafting a rookie quarterback is fun and exciting, but will Minnesota actually be able to make a move for a legit rookie quarterback?


Minnesota is 1-4 as this is getting typed and would hold a top-ten pick in the 2024 NFL draft if the season ended today. But the season is far from over, and I doubt Minnesota finishes with a selection that high.


Let's say the club does have a nightmare season and ends up drafting somewhere in the eight to 11 range. Would the team be able to afford to trade up?


The Carolina Panthers had to give up their top wide receiver, plus an additional first-round draft pick (and two second-round selections) to trade up from the ninth overall pick last year. Not to mention that any of the teams drafting ahead of the Vikings may also want a shot at a rookie quarterback, which could drive up the price. Would Vikings fans be open to the team giving up so much for the first-overall draft pick? Maybe. But there's another issue with taking a rookie QB.


Recent Rookie Quarterbacks

I don't want to trash the recent rookie quarterbacks too much, but many of them have struggled to become the players the team drafted them had hoped.


The New York Jets took Wilson second overall in 2021, and two years later traded for a veteran quarterback Aaron Rodgers to potentially lead them to the Super Bowl.

In that same draft, the San Francisco 49ers took a big swing and traded up for Trey Lance, a move that would be getting some serious hate if they hadn't taken Brock Purdy with the final selection of the 2022 draft.


Carolina has really struggled through four Bryce Young starts. They're winless and without their first-round draft pick because they took that chance. Hopefully, it works out for Young, but it's been a tough start.

On the flip side, Patrick Mahomes, Trevor Lawrence, Joe Burrow and Josh Allen have all been able to give new life to their franchise. Even C.J. Stroud has been great in his rookie season with the Houston Texans.


Final Thoughts

The Kirk Cousins Era has had its ups and downs. I don't think it's fair to pin all of the Viking's failures on him. His play has been paired with poor offensive lines and shaky coaching.


This fanbase had Super Bowl expectations following the 2017 campaign, and they have not come anywhere close since. I believe that's why so many fans trash Kirk Cousins. Winning the Super Bowl is hard, and many great QBs have not reached the top of the mountain.

With all of that said, if Minnesota can trade up for Caleb Williams or Drake Maye, I think they should. However, it's naïve to think the team will suddenly become a Super Bowl contender with a fresh face at quarterback.


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