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Kirk Cousins Returns to ‘NFL Top 100’ List


Kirk Cousins Returns to 'NFL Top 100' List
Jul 27, 2022; Eagan, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

After failing to make the cut in 2021, Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins has returned to NFL.com’s Top 100 Players rankings, released on Sunday as the first week of preseason concluded.

The list is significant and generally taken seriously because players vote on the pecking order. Cousins was sandwiched between San Francisco 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk (#100) and Chicago Bears tailback David Montgomery (#98).

Quarterbacks Mac Jones (Patriots, #85) and Derek Carr (Raiders, #65) notably placed ahead of Cousins.

NFL.com’s Quang Lam wrote about Cousins at #99, “The gritty 10-year veteran earned his third career Pro Bowl selection in 2021. Cousins’ 103.1 passer rating ranked fourth last season, and his 98.6 career passer rating ranks sixth among active QBs.”

Kirk Cousins to Miss Vikings Preseason Opener
Kirk Cousins

Lam also mistakenly mentioned, “The durable Michigan St. product hasn’t missed a start in eight years.”

Cousins missed a start in 2021 at the Green Bay Packers due to COVID, an ailment he contracted again last week, causing his absence in Sunday’s preseason game at the Las Vegas Raiders.

Returning to the Top 100 after a year off from the rankings in 2021, Cousins produced the most impressive touchdown-interception ratio of his career as the Vikings finished 8-9 in former head coach Mike Zimmer’s final season. He dimed 33 touchdowns to just seven interceptions — the same touchdown-interception split provided by Brett Favre with the Vikings in 2009. But, of course, the 2009 Vikings ranked fourth leaguewide in total defense. The 2021 version of the team checked in 30th — or third-worst — in the same metric.

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Sep 8, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. Mandatory Credit: Ben Ludeman-USA TODAY Sports.

Overall, Cousins is no stranger to the NFL.com list, visiting the Top 100 in six of the last seven years. This is history with the rankings:

Kirk Cousins’ NFL Top 100′ Ranking,
Since 2016:

2016 = 85th
2017 = 70th
2018 = 94th
2019 = 78th
2020 = 58th
2021 = Unranked
2022 = 99th

Cousins should also get a boost in 2022 with a new head coach in control of the franchise. The Vikings fired the aforementioned Zimmer in January, along with Zimmer’s boss Rick Spielman, after a combined record of 15-18 (.454) in the last two years. Minnesota hasn’t had a winning record in 960 days.

Kevin O’Connell was tapped to replace Zimmer, bringing a pass-happy approach to Minnesota from the Los Angeles Rams. Sean McVay, Matthew Stafford, and O’Connell won a Super Bowl in 2021, so the Vikings ownership evidently wanted to implement some of the “unlocking Stafford” voodoo from Los Angeles.

No other Vikings appeared in the first wave of the rankings (numbers 51 through 100). Justin Jefferson and Dalvin Cook are expected to place in the Top 50.

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 Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

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