Dear Kirk Cousins: Stop Fumbling
You’re killing us, man. Sure, through six games you’ve got the big yardage and two great receiving targets in Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, but you have to stop putting the ball on the ground. Like, right now. Because every time you fumble, you do it on Minnesota’s half of the field.
- Two first-quarter fumbles against Buffalo set up the Bills on the Vikings’ 15 and 25. Buffalo turned your sloppy ball-handling into 10 points.
- Your fumble against the Rams came at the Vikings’ 44 with 1:29 left in the fourth quarter and the good guys down by eight points. Any chance the Vikings had to tie and win left when your hand let go of the ball.
- Against Philadelphia, your fumble at the Minnesota 30 came with 10:14 left in the fourth quarter. Philly did nothing after that recovery, but still, there’s nothing like stressing your team’s defense when they are on the road trying to maintain a late lead against the outfit that won the Super Bowl a season ago.
- And Sunday against the punch-less Cardinals, you fumbled yet again and Arizona did a scoop-and-score after picking up your latest gift at the Vikings’ 36. The donation you gave to Budda Baker tied the game at 10.
You had 37 career fumbles when you signed with the Vikings, Kirk, and now you have 43. Five of the six times you coughed up the ball wearing the Minnesota jersey the other team recovered. You are on track to lose 13 fumbles this year. It’s unacceptable. Sure, Minnesota’s offensive line isn’t great, but they’re getting better game-by-game. Your ball handling is not.
How to Stop Fumbling
Protecting the ball is the quarterback’s number one job, and preventing fumbles is rudimentary: This is high school stuff.
When you feel pressure coming, Kirk, with your right arm parallel to your torso and your right elbow hitting the bottom of your rib cage, hold the ball high and tight to your chest near your right shoulder with your throwing hand. Heck, put both hands on the ball, look for daylight and step forward to leave the pass rush behind you. Make yourself skinnier, don’t hold the ball out or low and away from your body. It invites catastrophe.
As you quickly step forward, Kirk, keep your eyes downfield and look for an open receiver.
If you see a receiver, throw it. If no one is there, run and slide or simply fall down.
Anything is better than what’s been happening.
You’re a good guy, Kirk, and overall, you’ve been good for the Vikings. But I have a feeling you don’t want to be a good quarterback, you want to be a great one, so fix your fumbling. It’d be a big step for you as a quarterback and the Vikings as a team.
Cover Photo Credit: (John Autey / St. Paul Pioneer Press)
Roger Dier covers the Minnesota Vikings for Full Press Coverage. Follow him on Twitter @rogerdier
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