Monday Impressions: Kirk Cousins, MVP?

What a game. The Seahawks always play us tough, so it was great to finally take them down. For the most part, the team in its entirety played pretty well, but Kirk was the star of the show. There’s now some MVP chatter surrounding Kirk Cousins, Minnesota’s controversial QB.

Let’s dive into the Monday impressions.

The Offense

1) 30/38, 323 passing yards, 3 TDs. Those were Cousins’ stats from yesterday. For the season, Cousins has a 73.9 completion % to go alongside 918 yards, 8 TDs, and 0 INTs. More importantly, he has put his team in a position to win all three games. If this continues, he’ll have a legit shot at MVP.
2) Credit to Lil’Kub: he has done an excellent job. The opening game was super discouraging, but his side of the ball has rebounded. He kept Arizona and Seattle off balance. He has also found a way to move the ball in both the run and passing game. DCs may start to figure him out, but they haven’t yet. Cleveland’s pass rush will present another test.
3) Tyler Conklin was really good yesterday: 7 catches, 70 yards, and a TD. Don’t expect that kind of production every week. He’s still our fifth option in the passing game.
4) Justin Jefferson had his breakout game for the 2021 season. He got open whenever he wanted to; Seattle’s secondary just didn’t have an answer for him. Perhaps the most encouraging part of his game was how hard he ran following the catch. He is far tougher than people give him credit for.
5) Alexander Mattison deserves a ton of credit. Here is what Zim had to say about his backup RB: “Yeah, he always runs hard. He got many opportunities today. Alex is a good back. He’s good in protection. He does a nice job in the run game, but the offensive line deserves a lot of credit, as well.” Mattison finished with 112 yards rushing and 59 receiving.

The Defense

1) It was awesome seeing Everson Griffen looking so explosive. Having him back makes the defense look different. Take a look at the video below for a classic Griff pass rush move.
2) It was a really nice game for Kendricks. Per PFF, he had a team-leading 10 tackles and a sack. He wasn’t without fault, but he had a nice game. Now let’s hope we can get Barr back.
3) Bashaud Breeland is a major problem in coverage. Here is what the aforementioned PFF article had to say: “Breeland didn’t fare any better, as he gave up nine catches on nine targets for 102 yards, a touchdown and seven first downs.” He might be the worst corner in the NFL right now.
4) Seattle ended up going 3/8 on third down and 0/1 on fourth down. I certainly wouldn’t have predicted that outcome after watching the opening half.
5) I’m of the opinion that Zim is still a really good defensive mind. The defense didn’t play too bad yesterday, but the overall stats look better largely because of the offense’s dominance in the second half. Moving forward, the secondary will need to be a lot sharper. It’s getting increasingly difficult to justify having Breeland in there, so I’m looking for Dantzler to start sooner rather than later.

The Special Teams

1) Greg Joseph bounced back. We put up 30 points yesterday; he accounted for 12 of them, nailing all three of his XPs and FGs. His longest FG came from 43. It was a nice day for the purple kicker.
2) Jordan Berry didn’t have too much work to do yesterday. Berry had two punts for a 47 yard average. Take a look at how he ended the game for us: