The Minnesota Vikings won the Kirk Cousins Sweepstakes. The reason I write won in italics is because, at least from my perspective, winning the Kirk Cousins Sweepstakes might not be what it’s all cracked up to be.
Will the Vikings Break Through After Signing Kirk?
— 1500 ESPN (@1500ESPN) July 7, 2018
Before getting into that, let’s check the Minnesota Vikings’ odds to win Super Bowl LIII before and after they signed Kirk.
Minnesota’s odds before signing Kirk Cousins were +900. After signing Kirk Cousins, Minny’s odds remained at +900. Today, June 18, their odds are at +1000 on MyBookie.
Super Bowl future bettors haven’t jumped on the Minnesota Vikings, that’s for sure. There could be a reason that has nothing to do with Kirk, though. The L.A. Rams, Philadelphia Eagles, Green Bay Packers, and New Orleans Saints are all legitimate contenders to win the NFC.
Winning the NFC is the only way to stamp your ticket to Super Bowl LIII if you’re the Minnesota Vikings. That means, the Vikings must beat the Rams, Eagles, Packers, and Saints just for the right to play in Super Bowl LIII.
Now that we’ve established that Minnesota’s odds aren’t necessarily related to Kirk Cousins, let’s dig a bit deeper. Games aren’t played in sportsbooks. They’re played on the football field. Is Kirk Cousins the answer for the Minnesota Vikings to finally get to and win that elusive Super Bowl?
Why Kirk Cousins Might Not Be the Answer in Minnesota
Last season, Cousins was good enough for a 93.9 QB rating. He completed 64.3% of his passes. He threw 27 TDs to 13 INTs. He also threw for 4,093 yards. The man that Cousins replaces, Case Keenum, had a decent season as well.
Keenum threw for 3,547 yards. He threw 22 touchdowns to 7 interceptions. His QB rating ended up at 98.3. There aren’t many differences between Kirk Cousins and Case Keenum stat wise. Why, then, did Cousins sign a 3-year $84 million contract with the Vikings per Spotrac while Keenum signed a 2-year, $36 million dollar contract?
Who knows? No, seriously, who knows?
I don’t know. I fully admit that I don’t know. Not only do I not know not a single person I’ve had a serious conversation with about the subject has given me any indication that they know.
What makes Kirk Cousins so much more valuable as a starting quarterback than Case Keenum? There’s nothing there to imply it. Washington decided to let Kirk go in free agency. The Vikings ponied up $84 million, all of which is guaranteed, for Kirk to go to Minnesota. And, apparently, there doesn’t seem to be any reason why.
I’m not saying Kirk’s a bad quarterback. I’m saying that he might not be the answer in Minnesota. Unlike the NBA, you can’t win NFL games with a single player. A quarterback can’t take over an NFL game because he doesn’t play defense. Put simply, there is no answer in the NFL. It takes an entire organization to get to the playoffs much less the Super Bowl.
Also, Minnesota’s schedule is ridiculous this season compared to last season. San Francisco, Buffalo, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Seattle, and New England are all on the schedule in addition to their NFC North rivals. That’s a list of some strong NFL squads.
So, what’s the answer? Will the Minnesota Vikings break through after signing Kirk? Nope. Not even close.