In week six, the Vikings earned a double-digit victory behind stellar play from the defense. With Kirk Cousins and the offense in a supporting role, Cousins was more of a game manager than previous weeks. Cousins made a few mistakes, but great plays from Adam Thielen elevated the offense.
Box Score Statistics
Cousins completed 24 of his 34 attempts for 233 yards and one touchdown. He threw one interceptions, was sacked four times, and had one fumble. He scrambled once for five yards. Cousins was responsible for 11 first downs, and he converted three of 13 third downs through the air. His completion percentage of 71 percent was great, and his 6.9 yards per attempt was solid.
The film reveals a more negative performance of Cousins than his stats suggest. Despite being pressured on only 12 of his 34 qualifying dropbacks, a lower rate than his season average, Cousins was responsible for two of the four sacks he took. While his lost fumble that went for a Cardinals defensive touchdown was not on a sack he was responsible for, he did throw an awful interception. Until this point in the season, Cousins had performed remarkably well against pressure. There was some regression to be expected, and that happened this week. Cousins did have one elite throw, and Thielen converted a few inaccurate passes into successful plays. With the defense playing at a much higher standard than it had previously this season, the Vikings were still able to earn a victory despite Cousins uneven performance.
Cousins had an uneven start to the game, as he was accurate on 16 of 26 passes, with multiple sacks, a fumble, and an interception. Despite that, the Vikings were able to grab a 13-10 lead going into the half behind a strong performance from the defense.
In the second half, the Vikings had one long touchdown drive. Cousins wasn’t the story on this drive though, Adam Thielen was. On this drive, Thielen saw four of Cousins five total targets. Of the four targets to Thielen, Cousins was only accurate on two of them. Despite that, Thielen caught all four, totaling 47 yards and a touchdown. The touchdown was a combination of great route running and an elite throw from Cousins, his only of the day, which is the final clip in the link below. After that touchdown, the Vikings defense forced a turnover. The Vikings offense got a short field and Cousins used a read option look to get his first rushing touchdown of the season. With the score now at 27-10, the Vikings relied on their defense to finish out the day, with Cousins only throwing five total passes over the last 17 minutes of the game.
4 routes from adam thielen, who if you google, the definition of separation comes up.
— KP (@KP_Show) October 16, 2018
On the day, Cousins was accurate on 20 of his 34 qualifying attempts for an accuracy percentage of 59%, ranking as least accurate performance this year. I’ve mentioned Cousins’ performance against pressure was likely unsustainable throughout the course of the season. This week demonstrated that. On the positive side, the Vikings were marginally better this week in pass protection, and the run blocking was improved. If the supporting cast starts to play better, Cousins won’t have to perform as consistently well against pressure. Assuming the Vikings can handle the Jets, Cousins and the Vikings look poised to be again be the Super Bowl contender they were expected to be. And if Adam Thielen continues to produce at his historic pace, he should be in serious consideration to be the first ever wide receiver to be named Most Valuable Player.
Week 6 – Film Breakdown Statistics
|Accuracy %||59%||Pressure %||35%|
|Touchdowns||1||Play Action %||29%|
|Completed Air Yards||158||First Downs||11|
|Yards After Catch||84||Target Leader||Thielen- 16|
|Yards After Catch %||36||3rd Down Conversion %||23%|
Year-to-Date Film Breakdown Statistics
|Accuracy %||68||Pressure %||39%|
|Touchdowns||12||Play Action %||22%|
|Completed Air Yards||995||First Downs||86|
|Yards After Catch||945||Target Leader||Thielen – 83|
|Yards After Catch %||49%||3rd Down Conversion %||38%|
For more information, on the “Charting Cousins series” please check out Charting Cousins in his week one game against the 49ers.