Kirk Cousins might be one of the most highly criticized players in all of sports. Whether it’s his record in primetime games or his inability to beat teams with winning records, fans and media love to scrutinize his play.
Despite consistently putting up statistics that would suggest that he is a good or even great quarterback, people still love to dissect and break down his play. Even a player like Matthew Stafford, a quarterback who Cousins leads in almost every category, gets much more love.
Recently, Deion Sanders took a shot at Cousins, saying, “I know this game… I ain’t crazy about your quarterback,” when talking to rookie wideout Justin Jefferson on an episode of Versuz, a web series where players debate one another on who is better.
Well, Jefferson has had enough of the Cousins slander. He defended his quarterback in his appearance on the Jim Rome show earlier this week.
“He definitely takes a lot of heat. He takes way more heat than he really deserves.” Jefferson said. “If you look at the numbers, he’s top of the league. He’s been doing a lot of things for this team and for this offense. I don’t really understand why he gets so much criticism.
“All of those losses that we had wasn’t on him. Of course, we would like to take some plays back and redo some plays, but that’s just how it is. You don’t play perfectly, especially in this league, and to see the things that he has done, I really don’t know why he gets so much criticism. He’s the reason why I had 1,400 yards.”
These statements come after a season where Cousins struggled to get going in the first two weeks and posted atrocious numbers before the bye week. Jefferson was the brightest spot in the offense, totaling 1400 yards and shattering both the franchise rookie receiving record and the NFL rookie receiving record. He became a reliable target, and it was evident that Cousins and Jefferson built a rapport over the season.
His defense of Cousins comes at an interesting time. After the Matthew Stafford trade netted the Lions two first-round picks, fans theorized that Cousins could be on his way to the San Francisco 49ers, potentially letting the Vikings off his contract.
While Cousins is far from a perfect quarterback, he has provided stability to the quarterback position in the last three seasons, something that the Vikings have sorely lacked in the past.
He has averaged 25 passing touchdowns in the last five seasons and is the second-most accurate quarterback in that time span, completing 68% of his passes. He even dispelled some of the myths of him being “unclutch” after winning a road playoff game in New Orleans last season and winning his first-ever Monday Night Football game against the Chicago Bears.
Despite taking a step in the right direction, the fact remains that after signing him to be the final piece of the puzzle, they haven’t been back to the NFC Championship and have missed the playoffs in two of his three seasons.