The Vikings are set to begin training camp on July 24th. However, as the football world lays dormant, fan bases are finding a way to argue. The argument ravaging Twitter now?
Is Kirk Cousins better than Derek Carr?
With just over three weeks away from seeing the team suit up for training camp, fans are in peak comparison mode. Of course, most of this is generated by media sorts looking for clicks. Or, in this case, FanDuel is likely looking for people to place bets on which quarterback will have the better season.
The tweet above by FanDuel is nothing more than an engagement tweet. Does it really matter which one of these guys has performed better over the last few years? Not really. Regardless, fan bases are always eager to defend their guy (well, not always the case for Cousins).
Fellow VikingsTerritory writer, Janik Eckardt, made some excellent points when comparing these two quarterbacks.
Objectively speaking, EPA/play and PFF grades are likely better indicators of overall performance than other stats like passing yards, completions, or 20+ yard pass plays. The reasoning is simple. The latter is primarily driven by the scheme.
For example, Derek Carr attempted 61 more passes than Kirk Cousins in the 2021 regular season. Carr also played all 17 games, while Cousins missed one due to Covid. Based on that alone, I would fully expect Carr to have more passing yards than Cousins.
However, here is where things get interesting. Regardless of Cousins missing a game, he still ended the year throwing 10 more TDs and seven fewer INTs than Carr in 2021. This is likely a major fact in Cousins ranking higher in EPA/play and PFF grades than Carr.
Of course, Football Outsiders tweeting the following did not help cool the argument that FanDuel started.
I am not sure what goes into making these Tiers, but something is definitely off here. It seems that Mac Jones and Trevor Lawrence are being heavily ranked based on their potential. Meanwhile, Cousins seems to take a hit due to the media narrative around him.
However, none of this matters. All that matters is what is going to happen in 2022. So, let’s focus on the road ahead
Looking at 2022 for the Vikings and Cousins
When looking into the future for both Cousins and Carr, they have similar situations. Both of them are entering the season with a new head coach and new offensive scheme. Additionally, they both have a top-5 wide receiver at their disposal.
We can sit here and argue about their past performances until we are blue in the face. However, the only thing that matters is the 2022 season. Their future performance is going to rely heavily on two new head coaches.
Therefore, the big question is, which offensive-minded head coach will get the most out of their quarterback?
This is a tough question, but historically the Belichick coaching tree has not done extraordinarily well after leaving New England. On the other hand, coaches from the McVay tree (Zac Taylor, Matt LaFleur, and Brandon Staley) have done pretty well for themselves. If this pattern holds, things are looking good for the Vikings.
If we go by DraftKing betting markets, the answer is Kirk Cousins and the Vikings again. The over/under win total for the Vikings is nine, and the Raiders is 8.5. Although this could be a result of the Raiders being a stacked AFC West division.
However, Cousins is projected to through more TDs but fewer yards than Carr.
Regardless of all of this, we cannot predict the future. We will have to play the games and see where the chips fall at the end of the season.
Both Carr and Cousins are good but not great quarterbacks. One of them will have a better season, and as Vikings fans, we will root for that to be Cousins.
Mitch Massman is a life-long Vikings fan. His first heartbreak was the 1998 NFC championship game. His full-time job is as an economic development professional in rural Minnesota. He fantasizes about the Vikings winning a Super Bowl one day, but until then he will write about the Vikings. Follow him on Twitter @skol_vikings3