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How does Kirk Cousins stack up against MVP frontrunners?

Cousins has the 6th-best odds to win MVP.

Kirk Cousins may have gotten off to a shaky start to start the season, but over the last two months he's been playing out of his mind.

In 11 games, Cousins has 21 touchdowns, 3 interceptions, 2,756 passing yards, 8.6 yards per attempt and a 114.8 passer rating. Those are video game numbers.

However, Cousins is still behind the eight ball to win NFL MVP, according to the Sportsbook in Las Vegas, which favors the likes of Dak Prescott, Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson and Lamar Jackson ahead of Cousins. 

How do Cousins' numbers stack up against those guys?

Prescott vs. Cousins

  • Prescott: 21 touchdowns, 9 interceptions, 3,221 yards, 8.8 yards per attempt, 104.1 passer rating.
  • Cousins: 21 touchdowns, 3 interceptions, 2,756 yards, 8.6 yards per attempt, 114.8 passer rating.

Prescott has Cousins beat on passing yards and yards per attempt but Cousins has taken care of the football better and has a far better passer rating.

Mahomes vs. Cousins

  • Mahomes: 18 touchdowns, 1 interception, 2,626 passing yards, 9.0 yards per attempt, 114.1 passer rating.
  • Cousins: 21 touchdowns, 3 interceptions, 2,756 yards, 8.6 yards per attempt, 114.8 passer rating.

Last year's MVP in Mahomes missed two games but has still strung together insane numbers. It wouldn't be surprising to see him win it again despite not playing a full season. Still, Cousins is playing as good Mahomes right now, which is a sentence I never expected to write this season or maybe ever.

Rodgers vs. Cousins

  • Rodgers: 17 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, 2718 yards, 7.8 yards per attempt, 102.7 passer rating.
  • Cousins: 21 touchdowns, 3 interceptions, 2,756 yards, 8.6 yards per attempt, 114.8 passer rating.

Cousins has played one more game than Rodgers but the Green Bay quarterback is getting more recognition for his name alone. Even though the numbers say Cousins has been the better quarterback by nearly every metric.

Wilson vs. Cousins

  • Wilson: 23 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, 2,737 passing yards, 8.4 yards per attempt, 114.9 passer rating.
  • Cousins: 21 touchdowns, 3 interceptions, 2,756 yards, 8.6 yards per attempt, 114.8 passer rating.

Wilson started the year red hot but Cousins managed to catch up with him because of the last two months. Both are now neck and neck in nearly every major passing statistic, which is another testament to how good Cousins has been.

Jackson vs. Cousins

  • Jackson: 19 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, 2,258 passing yards, 8.1 yards per attempt, 106.3 passer rating.
  • Cousins: 21 touchdowns, 3 interceptions, 2,756 yards, 8.6 yards per attempt, 114.8 passer rating.

If we're just looking at traditional passing numbers, Cousins has been better but Jackson is a dual threat with his legs. He's already rushed for 788 yards and six rushing touchdowns on the season. So it make sense why he's now considered the favorite win MVP.

For Cousins to leapfrog as the favorite, it would probably take the Vikings winning out, keeping up the pace he's on and others falling back to earth.

The NFL is a quarterback-driven league and running backs rarely win the award even though Dalvin Cook should be in the conversation too.

Regardless, Cousins is now elevating his play to the next level in his second season with the Vikings. 

If this is the type of quarterback he can be, then the Vikings might be wise to keep him around after 2020, which is the final year of his contract.

Related: How Dalvin Cook compares to past MVP running backs

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