Wide Left: Cousins over Keenum was still the right choice for Vikings

On Thursday night, these two paths will cross as both quarterbacks will face their former employers for the first time.
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Kirk Cousins

Blair Anderson is a Vikings superfan who convinced BMTN to give him a blog. Thankfully, the Vikings are 5-2. If their record was reversed, we're fairly sure we'd have to fire Blair because, you know, he's a little crazy. Anyway, here's his latest blog. 

Going back to the spring of 2017, the Minnesota Vikings had an important decision to make at quarterback. Case Keenum had just led the Vikings to the NFC Championship Game and achieved cult hero status by heaving the pass that resulted in the Minneapolis Miracle. 

With the Vikings unsure of Teddy Bridgewater's knee (We miss you, Teddy.) and knowing that Sam Bradford's was a pile of dust, the Vikings needed to make the choice of whether Keenum's 2017 season was sustainable enough to throw a large pile of cash to convince him to stay.

Instead, the Vikings opted to bring in someone on the outside in Kirk Cousins, who has unintentionally pissed off the fan base ever since thanks to a fully guaranteed contract and throws that make him look like he's been drinking a case of Grain Belt Premium before games.

On Thursday night, these two paths will cross as both quarterbacks will face their former employers for the first time since that offseason and Joe Buck will use the opportunity to drool over Aaron Rodgers. It's a matchup that has little significance on the NFC standings with the Vikings at 5-2 and the Washington Redskins at 1-6, but it's also one that might get two halves of this fan base heated.

Let's check the tale of the tape by starting with Cousins. There are certain things that Minnesotans just don't like about him, including the fact he unknowingly walked into the Joe Mauer complex. For those of you unaware, the Mauer complex is when a Minnesota athlete signs for a large sum of cash that is fully guaranteed, which triggers all Minnesotans to expect him to never make a mistake.

While there have been games that have been perfectly reasonable to be angry at Cousins (last year's Buffalo game, this year's trips to Green Bay and Chicago), Cousins has turned it around after a rough first year in Minnesota. 

After Stefon Diggs threatened to walk out on the team and Adam Thielen was close to challenging Cousins and offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski to a street fight, Cousins has responded by throwing for over 300 yards in each of his past three games and throwing 10 touchdowns to one interception (that bounced off Diggs' helmet).

In other words, Cousins has produced a stretch that Keenum didn't come close to in his two years in Minnesota.

Many loved Keenum because he's the opposite of Cousins. Cousins was a fourth-round pick by the Washington Redskins in 2012 and Keenum went undrafted in 2013. While leading his high school team to a state title a friend of Keenum's vowed to pee his pants in front of his high school teammates and Cousins might have peed his pants playing behind the Vikings' offensive line last season. There are plenty more, but I've made my point.

The thing is that Cousins was the quarterback the Vikings should have chosen over Keenum all along (if we're not including Teddy because I freaking love that guy). While Keenum has put up decent stats with 27 TD and 15 INT since leaving Minnesota, he's also compiled a 7-15 record as a starter and has been benched twice in the past calendar year.

That means Keenum's peaks and valleys have been there, but he hasn't been good enough to overcome them. While Cousins has driven fans mad, he's at least compiled a winning record at 13-9-1 and has shown flashes of being the quarterback the Vikings need to get to the Super Bowl for the first time in over 40 years (I'm not going as far to win one, because that's a totally different fantasy.)

What I'm getting at is that Thursday is going to be a tough one to swallow for the Keenum truthers. Keenum will come into U.S. Bank Stadium with a depleted Washington offense and have to try to compete with a defense that has been lights out at home this year. In addition, the head coach on the other side is Mike Zimmer, who knows every flaw that Keenum has. In other words, this should be a bloodbath.

This is not to say I hate Keenum or what he did for the Vikings in that magical 2017 season. But to think he was the long term answer for the Vikings is a thought that just doesn't make sense.

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