Kirk Cousins is divisive. Even when his team is 12-3 through 15 games of a season, his performance is contentious.
This time, it’s NFL analysts. And they’re not doing anything utterly sinful; they’re just not intermingling Cousins in legitimate MVP conversations. Cousins has 4,117 passing yards and 29 total touchdowns through Week 16, numbers that would generate MVP chatter for most men.
Alas, those stats are doing no such thing for Cousins, and Good Morning Football‘s Kyle Brandt is calling it out. The NFL Network analyst sounded off Monday morning, using a Gettysburg-like speech [in NFL terms] to promote Cousins’ candidacy for MVP.
‘GMF’ Host Sick of the Kirk Cousins Slander
“It’s okay to talk about the Vikings and say, ‘Kirk Cousins is excellent.’ It’s okay,” Brandy insisted to viewers.
Brandt lambasted prominent NFL pundits for not including Cousins in the MVP race. He then listed a laundry list of stats detailing Cousins’ impressive 2022 campaign, “I’m not here for this prejudice that has existed — that is in our system — in our blood as football media people. It comes from a lot of things: the corniness of his personality, the size of his paychecks, years-old losses that he suffered in primetime, even with different organizations,” Brandt argued.
Heading into the 2022 season, Cousins owned a 59-59-2 “quarterback record,” which caused onlookers to affirm his status as a ‘mediocre’ or .500 quarterback. Of course, advancers of quarterback record as a legitimate statistic disregard the team aspect of football, but such is life. Yet, even with the Vikings at 12-3, Cousins isn’t receiving kudos that other quarterbacks leading 12-3 teams might receive.
“You will not see a quarterback playing better in the entire NFL this year in the biggest moments. The stats bore it out. The eye test bears it out. And there is still no love for him. I apologize for nothing. Kirk Cousins is excellent,” Brandt concluded.
Here’s the full video from Brandt:
Cousins leads the NFL in game-winning drives, tabulating eight after defeating the New York Giants on Christmas Eve. He needs one more to surpass Matthew Stafford from 2016 for the all-time record in a season. These are the performances Brandt is referencing — Cousins’ wherewithal to lead the Vikings back in crunchtime.
Vegas oddsmakers at least have the Vikings QB1 listed as a quasi-viable MVP contender, though. Cousins is tabbed with 300 to 1 odds to take home the award — which means he won’t win the thing but is in the same territory as Dak Prescott from the Dallas Cowboys and Christian McCaffrey from the San Francisco 49ers. So, you know, baby steps.
Cousins’ Vikings take on the Green Bay Packers on Sunday at Lambeau Field. The Packers must win to stay alive in the playoff chase. The game is effectively a postseason game for Green Bay. Vikings teams led by Cousins have defeated the Packers three consecutive times. The Packers are favored by 3.5 points.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).