In the past, Kirk Cousins has been unafraid to be brash and arrogant when things are going well. The phrase, “you like that,” surely comes to mind. But after a troubling loss to the previously winless Falcons in Week 6, dropping the Minnesota Vikings to 1-5 on the season, even Cousins had to admit he’s been a disappointment and that his starting job could be in jeopardy.
Cousins threw three interceptions against the Falcons, all of which came in the first half, contributing to the Vikings trailing 30-7 at halftime. Even after throwing a couple of garbage-time touchdowns to make it a 40-23 final and give him three touchdown passes and 343 passing yards on the day, Cousins couldn’t escape blame for the inexcusable picks or concern loss.
Through six games, Cousins has thrown a league-high 10 interceptions, putting him on pace for 27 picks if he were to play 16 games. Oddly enough, the rest of his numbers look good. He’s on pace for close to 4,000 passing yards and nearly 30 touchdowns while averaging 8.4 yards per pass. However, his team is 1-5 and is already facing a near-impossible journey to reach a playoff spot.
The silver lining for Cousins is that Minnesota head coach Mike Zimmer said he wasn’t considering a change at quarterback after Sunday’s loss. It helps that backup Sean Mannion has just 74 career pass attempts and no touchdown passes. He’s also under contract through the 2022 season, so the Vikings appear to be stuck with Cousins for the immediate future. However, that can change quickly if the 1-5 Vikings keep spiraling and Cousins keeps throwing interceptions. Fortunately, Cousins knows it and has pledged to turn things around.
“The reality is if the pace I’m on in terms of the interceptions, if that were to continue, I won’t finish the season,” Cousins said after Sunday’s loss. “That’s what the rest of the season will be about for me, is trying to protect the football as best I can because when you turn the ball over, it really hurts your chances to win. I know that. I just need to improve as we look ahead to the rest of the season.”