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Surprising Viking among NFL’s “Most Liked” Players


Surprising Viking among NFL's "Most Liked" Players
Vikings Helmet. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski).

While constant debate persists about the man, generally speaking, folks actually do like Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, according to a September Morning Consult poll.

The polling outfit scientifically surveyed adults as the 2022 regular season began, and Cousins was classified the NFL’s sixth-most-liked player, with a 22% net favorability rating.

Cousins has been Minnesota’s quarterback for five seasons, joining via free agency in 2018 after the Vikings came within a whisker of reaching the Super Bowl in 2017.

Ex-Vikings QB Sharpens Longstanding Criticism of Kirk Cousins
Aug 27, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports.

Since joining the franchise, Cousins ranks as follows in various quarterback metrics:

  • 4th in Completion %
  • 5th in Passing TDs
  • 6th in Passer Rating
  • 7th in Passing Yards
  • 8th in TD-Pass-Attempt %
  • 10th in Lowest INT %
  • 16th in EPA+CPOE

And that’s enough for the general population to hold a favorable opinion of the 34-year-old. Poll responders hold only Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson, Tom Brady, Matthew Stafford, and Matt Ryan in higher regard.

Image Courtesy of Morning Consult

Cousins and the Vikings raced to a hot start in 2022, handily knocking off the rival Green Bay Packers in Week 1, 23-7. But in an equal degree of surprise, Philadelphia dismantled Minnesota on Monday Night Football in Week 2. Cousins was terrific against the Packers, totaling 277 passing yards and two touchdowns. Against the Eagles, though, he authored what fans call a “bad Kirk game,” tossing three interceptions to just one touchdown and a paltry 17.5 QBR.

The poll results were also unexpected because Vikings fans spend an inordinate amount of time discussing whether Cousins is good at all. During each offseason since 2020, onlookers of the Vikings debate Cousins’ pros and cons and his trade worth. But those tendencies must be uniquely Minnesotan, as the Morning Consult poll paints a different picture.

The Vikings take on the Detroit Lions in Week 3, carrying point-spread favorite status into a game for the first time in 2022. Minnesota was an underdog versus the Packers and Eagles in Weeks 1 and 2.

In August, NFL players voted Cousins as the league’s 99th-best player.

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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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