It was nearly a month ago when I wrote on this very blog that Kirk Cousins may not be the answer at quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings. The thing is, I was right. Cousins was essentially being mothballed by his own coaching staff and with Mike Zimmer wanting to throw things back to 1996, our $84 million man was playing as if Kevin Stefanski was walking him around on a leash.
Fast forward to today and Kirk Cousins is the freaking man for the Minnesota Vikings.
Yes, Dalvin Cook has probably been the MVP for the Vikings, but in this league, there is always a microscope on the quarterback position and after the first four weeks, many were thinking that the Vikings were going to have to hit rock bottom to get Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert or Joe Burrows in this year's draft to fix the quarterback position.
Just as we were about to set our Cousins jerseys on fire (that is, those that actually have them), Cousins has responded with an Undertaker GIF that is normally reserved for internet trolls like myself.
The Vikings have won their past four games after starting 2-2 and Cousins has been a big reason why. After making amends with Adam Thielen on his radio show and begging Stefon Diggs not to leave, Cousins has been unconscious and not in the way Xavier Rhodes is when he gets burned repeatedly by a rookie wide receiver.
In the past four games, Cousins is completing passes at a 78.4% clip and averaging 10.8 yards per attempt. In addition, the 31-year-old has looked like the guy worthy of the ridiculous sum of cash the Vikings gave him by throwing for 1,261 yards, 10 touchdowns and one interception.
Those numbers sound impressive even if they were against the slumlord defenses of New York, Philadelphia, Detroit and Washington, but his overall body of work this season has been on the same level of Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes during his 2018 MVP season.
Don't take my word for it. Ask NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, who tweeted on this subject on Friday morning.
Let that sink in. KIRK COUSINS IS PLAYING ON THE SAME LEVEL AS PATRICK MAHOMES!!! THIS IS NOT A DRILL!!!
Now, there are some key differences to point out here. For starters, Mahomes had double the touchdowns (26 to Cousins' 13) and more yards (2,526 to Cousins' 1,997) during his first eight games of 2018. However, Andy Reid knew not to completely throw away the passing game in this era of modern football, so Cousins has thrown 75 fewer passes than Mahomes did at this point last season.
We can also mention that Cousins' stats check out as comparable to that as Aaron Rodgers.
The national media has been slobbering over the NFC North's new hot power couple with Matt LeFleur and Rodgers doing the whole "Did we just become best friends?" thing, but Rodgers' has also had his stats boosted after throwing for five of his 13 touchdowns against the Oakland Raiders' awful defense.
So, should Cousins be mentioned for the MVP award? Only if he and the Vikings can keep this up.
The next two weeks will tell where this team is going to go as they'll head to Kansas City for a meeting with Mahomes (assuming he gets cleared from his knee injury) before heading to Jerry World to square off with the Dallas Cowboys.
With Cousins' weakness stemming from playing teams with a pulse, we'll see if this is a matter of him wailing on bad defenses or a lightbulb going off to not play like Spurgeon Wynn.
If Cousins can get past that, the Vikings seem to control their own destiny for a playoff spot with three divisional games at home in the final four weeks and games against the 2-5 Denver Broncos and San Die...damn it...Los Angeles Chargers mixed in.
We've all had fun teeing off on Cousins during the early part of the season, but he's playing like he could potentially lead this team on a long playoff drive. History says he probably can't keep playing with lasers coming out of his eyes and fireballs shooting out of his ass, but Joe Flacco once destroyed the field on the way to a Super Bowl title once. So, why not Kirk?