Kirk Cousins As The Savior Is A Stretch

June 17th, 2024


Finally, someone is using reason and logic in their analysis. You know, like when did Kirk Cousins become Tom Brady?

Joe already mentioned a YouTube spat between former Bucs beat guy and current PFF Tribe analyst Trevor Sikkema and one of the high priests of the tribe, Sam Monson.

The latter mocked Sikkema as a Dixie Chicks “hater” for his take that Atlanta didn’t improve more than the Bucs. Joe would suggest anyone picking Atlanta over the Bucs is a Baker Mayfield hater — and there are many of those lurking.

Sikkema typed a piece for the tribe earlier this month where he just doesn’t see other teams in the division with the ammunition to overtake the Bucs in the NFC South this fall.

What blows Joe away is how many folks think Cousins is the magic elixir for the Dixie Chicks. But as Sikkema pointed out, Cousins’ numbers before he suffered his blown Achilles were down.

(If someone were to say Atlanta would win the division because fired Artie Smith was such a joke of a head coach, Joe would buy that before putting so much stock into Cousins.)

But last year, before his injury, Cousins put up career lows in both average depth of target and big-time throw percentage. He will also be 36 years old and coming off an Achilles injury.

The latter element is what Joe has been harping on all offseason. An Achilles is a major injury. Expecting a 36-year old quarterback to bounce back from that like it was a sprained ankle is a bit of a leap for Joe.

And like Sikkema also mentioned, those claiming Mayfield has a new offensive coordinator, while accurate, overlook that Cousins does, too. At least Mayfield has a history with new Bucs offensive shot-caller Liam Coen.

Maybe because “this Joe” is sitting on social media at least half the day finding whatever morsels of news on the Bucs that exists. It sure seems like the very same NFL smarty-pants who mocked Cousins for years as being a choke artist and not being clutch are all of a sudden jumping on his bandwagon.

Maybe they think an average quarterback can win in Atlanta? Joe gives Friend of Ira, Judy Battista of, credit for having maybe the smartest take on Cousins saying he should be good enough for two wins and that’s why she’s picking Atlanta.

Still, that fully overlooks Cousins’ injury last year. And his trending-down numbers.

Joe actually thinks the Bucs may have improved with their offseason moves and with all the rookies who contributed now being one year older and wiser, and perhaps better.

39 Responses to “Kirk Cousins As The Savior Is A Stretch”

  1. Lt. Dan Says:

    Maybe with all the offensive weapons at his disposal, Cousins only has to adequate to shine? Is an Achilles injury a huge deal for a non mobile QB?

  2. Hodad Says:

    Cousins was supposed to beat us at home in the opener last year wasn’t he? Minn with Cousins were heavy favorites to whip the Brady less Bucs with woeful Mayfield at QB. Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Fact, Baker is in the prime of his career. Cousins career is nearing it’s end. Why do you think they drafted a 1st round QB? Even they know the end is near. Yet they still pissed away 180 mill. I give them an A as in A holes!

  3. Beeej Says:

    He doesn’t have Jefferson anymore either

  4. stpetebucfan Says:

    HODAD FTW. Exactly!

    We’ve seen this show before and most of us here believe the Bucs are better this year. Are the Falcons better than last years Viking team? Doubtful. Whatever it won’t be Cousins making the difference.

  5. Buc4evr Says:

    Think Coen will bring an offense that uses the WRs more and has a lot more play options than Canales had. The O line will be better and Baker will get a lot more time in the pocket. I think the experts are expecting the same offense as last year and they are going to get a big surprise. My only concern is the defense’s ability to put pressure on the opponent’s QB.

  6. Bucnjim Says:

    Only three of the top 15 ranked QBs from last year ran for less than 100 yards. Out of those 3 one made the playoffs. Seems like the days of the true pocket passer are over unless you have one of the best offensive lines in the league like the Lions. The point is is Cousins going to be able to scramble or even move the pocket?

  7. Dude Says:

    He’s the closest thing to Matt Ryan the Falcons will get since Matt Ryan left, but he’s yet to beat a Bowles lead Bucs defense in 2 tries since 2019 and he’s 1-2 against Tampa all time.

    Cousins coming to the division just gives us the chance to build on the last 2 losses we’ve handed him. I hope he gets ATL more wins this season, so it looks a little better when we win the division this time around.

  8. HC Grover Says:

    What about the stinkin Stainks.

  9. Dude Says:

    @HC Grover

    That’s still our division nemsis, being able to sweep them is going to come down to answering whether our offense can/cannot be better/runaway from their defense. Screw those guys though, seriously

  10. Beejezus-belt Says:

    Let’s not forget Cousins has always had the best receiver in the league to throw the ball to. There is no Jefferson or Diggs on this team. He has a receiver and tight end that are billed on hope and potential. We see how hope and potential has worked for the Bucs pass rush. I just don’t get the love affair every year with the Falcons.

  11. Defense Rules Says:

    All your articles about how so many others are picking Atlanta to win the NFC South this year got me thinking. Why do they expect that Cousins will be such a difference-maker? Did a little look-see on their 2023 stats vs ours, and several interesting things popped out.

    o Falcons had a MINUS 8 Turnover Differential (28 giveaways vs 16 takeaways). Bucs had a PLUS 8 Turnover Differential (18 giveaways vs 26 takeaways). That all by itself explains the difference in our 7-10 vs 9-8 records for last year IMO.

    o Falcons scored 321 points last year (17 passing TDs, 14 rushing TDs, 27 FGMs, 1 Pick-6) to rank #26. Ridder went 6-7 on the season, completing 64.2% of his passes. Bucs scored 348 points (28 passing TDs, 8 rushing TDs, 29 FGMs, 1 Pick-6) to rank #20. Mayfield went 9-8 on the season, completing 64.3% of his passes.

    o Falcons allowed 373 points on the season (24 passing TDs, 11 rushing TDs, 39 FGMs, 1 Pick-6) to rank #18. Bucs allowed 325 points on the season (23 passing TDs, 11 rushing TDs, 29 FGMs).

    o A noticeable similarity between the teams was the number of big-play TDs allowed (covering 10 yards or greater). Falcons allowed 17 such TDs (all passing TDs), while the Bucs allowed 16 big-play TDs (15 passing & 1 rushing). IOW both teams got burned regularly with big-play passing TDs (roughly two-thirds of the passing TDs they allowed). Not a good look.

    Overall doesn’t look like Cousins will be the difference-maker this year for Atlanta. Their biggest area needing improvement is turnovers (MINUS 8 Turnover Differential normally leads to a losing record). They turned it over 2 or more times in 9 games … and they went 3-6 in those games. Flip that around (via fewer TOs) and they would’ve probably won the division.

  12. Defense Rules Says:

    Oops, Falcons had a MINUS 12 Turnover Differential last season (even worse). Too early in the morning for math.

  13. geno711 Says:

    Bucnjim Says:
    June 17th, 2024 at 7:31 am
    Only three of the top 15 ranked QBs from last year ran for less than 100 yards.

    There are two ways to rate quarterbacks. QBR that was made up by ESPN and has been known to favor running quarterbacks over pocket quarterbacks. Examples of over rating include Tim Teboe and Justin Fields. QBR underrates the effect of turnovers.

    You can use QBR for some reference. But better look at passer rating that has been around since the 1950’s. Personally, I feel it is a better indicator of a quarterback.

    Perfect example of this from last year is Josh Allen. Allen was 3rd in QBR last year and 16th last year with QBR. QBR did not take off enough off for his 6 lost fumbles or 18 interceptions. Passer rating did not give him enough credit for his rushing yards gained or rushing TDs.

  14. geno711 Says:

    In 2020 Vegas predicted Bucs would have 9 wins. That was with Brady.
    That was with way better receiving options.

    In 2024 Vegas win total for the Falcons is 9.5 wins. That is with Cousins off a surgery. That is with Cousins with cr*p for receiving options and a much worse defense.

    The prognosticators were wrong in 2020. They seem wrong in 2024.

  15. aleyz2020 Says:

    I still say if Cousins makes it to the regular season he’s just one nasty sack away from ending his career. Some one is going to plant him in the turf at some point!

  16. realistic-optimistic Says:

    C’mon Joe. You’re not even trying anymore. Just spend 30 minutes digging into their careers and it becomes crystal clear who the better QB has been.

    [BM] 86 starts; 40-46-0; 130 TDs; 74 INTs; 228.8 YPG
    [KC] 145 starts; 78-67-2; 270 TDs; 110 INTs; 263.1 YPG

    That works out to:

    [BM] 1.51 TD/Start; 0.86 INT/Start
    [KC] 1.86 TD/Start; 0.76 INT/Start

    What about consistency?

    Seasons with QB Rating of 95+
    [BM] 1 Season
    [KC] 8 Seasons

    Now for the dirty truth – Low Production Games:

    Games Under 250 Yds:
    [BM] 61; 71% of all starts
    [KC] 58; 40% of all starts

    Games Under 225 Yds:
    [BM] 45; 52% of all starts
    [KC] 23; 16% of all starts

    Games Under 200 Yds:
    [BM] 34; 40% of all starts
    [KC] 25; 17% of all starts

    Finally, – High Volume Games:

    Record When Attempting 35+ Passes:
    [BM] 7-22; 24% Win Rate
    [KC] 32-45; 42% Win Rate

  17. Scott Says:

    I think Atlantas o line is leaps and bounds better than the Vikings as well

  18. realistic-optimistic Says:

    Sorry, one correction.

    Games Under 225 Yards:
    [BM] 45; 52% of all starts
    [KC] 42; 29% of all starts

  19. heyjude Says:

    Great heading, Joe. It is a stretch!

    Cousins is the biggest wild card right now and definitely not the magic ticket. He has no SB rings. Brady has seven. Six from the Patriots and one from the Bucs. The only two teams he played for. Big difference from Cousins.

  20. Fan of the South Says:

    Choose a couple of stats to prove your point is about as stupid as Mayfield looks in the Pic you chose.

    Justin Jefferson was down for the beginning of the Viking season. When he came back he put up over 1000 yards in the 10 games he did play in and averaged over 15 yards a catch.

    That is the reason Cousins yards per throw and big time throws were down and not him being washed?

    As far as and Average QB winning? 9-8 technically proves that an Average QB can win @ Tampa so why not ATL?

    Maybe this proves Cousins was playing terrible in 2023 before the injury.

    Cousins was 24th in passing and only played 8 games.

    Perhaps Joe believes passing at a clip of over 4900 yards, 38 TD’s and a 69.5 Completion Percentage being Down?

  21. BucU Says:

    I think we’re good enough to win the division again but our schedule compared to Atlanta is brutal.

  22. Dude Says:

    “Games Under 200 Yds:
    [BM] 34; 40% of all starts
    [KC] 25; 17% of all starts”

    Bakers’ teams are a combined 14-20 in a games Mayfield didn’t pass for > 200 yds in his career. We had 5 of those games last season in weeks 1, 3, 11, 13, & 17. To have 34 games like that when your career started in 2018 is crazy to me.

  23. realistic-optimistic Says:

    Just want to clarify, @Dude, so the nomads don’t cry too hard. The stat you quoted was incorrect. I amended it a couple comments down. Sorry, I pulled from the wrong column. Although, the results don’t change much.

  24. realistic-optimistic Says:

    Nvm, read the wrong stat. Need more coffee.

  25. Dude Says:

    Gotcha @realistic-optimistic

  26. Scotty Mack Says:

    The two game differential may not have anything to do with Cousins at all, but rather, their super easy schedule. I have the Falcons at 2 games easier than the Bucs when comparing their schedules.

  27. Booger Says:

    I totally get that ATL basically had no QB at all last season. But that’s SUCH a great point tho, how these very same people ‘pumping him up’ now, use to SLAM Cousins every bit as much as they still do Baker! What has HE really DONE to change this perception, other than tearing his achilles at 35-36 years old!? I can’t see-it. Now, if they had taken Odunze with that #8 overall pick like they should’ve, then my eyes would be wide-open. With a ‘healthy’ Cousins, then that offense would COOK. They would’ve been REALLY TOUGH to stop with London-Odunze-Pitts-Bijan Robinson-Allgeier-Mooney-Rondale Moore… Maybe, Unstoppable. But, They Didn’t.

  28. Paul Says:

    Hmm “Cousins’ numbers before he suffered his blown Achilles were down” Really?? Through Week 8 [the last week he played], he was tied for 1st in touchdowns, 1st in pass attempts, 1st in pass completions, 2nd in passing yards, 3rd in QB rating, and 5th in completion percentage. At the end of season, he was still 2nd in QB rating and 3rd in completion%. That’s not what I would call being “down”.

    Kirk has had a different play caller every season of his career except for 2015-2016 and 2022-2033 and Kirk is still consistent….throws 4000+ yards and 30+TDs like clockwork.

    In 2022 with yet another new play caller in O’Connell, Kirk led the Vikings to a 13-4 season with his arm despite having a 28th ranked run game and a 31st ranked defense and the greatest comeback in NFL history.

    The point is, no matter the circumstances, Kirk is consistent every year which can’t be said for most other quarterbacks. That’s why he gives Atlanta the edge.

    But more importantly, before this injury, Kirk had never missed a game due to injury in 12 seasons. In fact, the last time he had a serious injury (a broken ankle) was way back when he was a junior in high school. Kirk takes care of his body better than Brady does and uses Brady and Brees as his inspiration on how to play excellent football into his 40’s.

  29. Don'tBmad Says:

    Foulcans will be 6-11 or worse

  30. Richard Allen Says:

    Cousins numbers were not down last season, prior to injury he threw for 18 TD’s and 5 Ints with a 103.8 QBR. That’s pretty solid QB play.

  31. D-Rok Says:

    “Paul Says:
    June 17th, 2024 at 12:47 pm
    Kirk takes care of his body better than Brady does and uses Brady and Brees as his inspiration on how to play excellent football into his 40’s.”

    I believe Brady pioneered how to take care of his body, so I’m not sure declaring Kirk takes better care of his body is a sane, lucid, or cogent argument.
    I do think you made good points about Cousins being a consistent QB.

  32. ATLBuc Says:

    The Bucs are the most stable team in the NFC South. The Saints overhauled their entire offensive coaching staff’ The Panthers and Falcons have new head coaches. The Falcons have an old QB who finished last year injured. The Panthers will be trying to retool their 2nd year QB who didn’t play good last year.
    Meanwhile, the Bucs just keep on chugging along proving haters wrong and winning the division

  33. Rod Munch Says:

    Cousins is a 2nd rate QB for sure – however the Falcons had the worst starting QB in the NFL last year. I’d take Zack Wilson any day of the week over Ridder (although I’d rather throw myself off the Skyway than have to play either).

    Anywho, even with terrible QB play last season, the Falcons still were a 7-win team. That Falcons offense is stacked if they can get good QB play.

    Cousins doesn’t need to be Tom Brady – and certainly the Falcons are not a SB-caliber team. But to win the NFC South, you don’t need to be either of those things.

  34. William Walls Says:

    Will the Falcons be better than last year? Absolutely.

    Will they be better than the Bucs? GTFOH…

  35. anyhony Says:

    I think Cousins had better talent around him with the Vikings.

  36. Capt Ahab Says:

    Kirk was having a great year prior to injury, suggesting he was slowing down is not doing your homework, proper research. His QB rating was his third best prior to injury in his 13 year career. 18 TD, with 5 ints is not shabby. He’s 35 years old and coming off an injury. If his arm still works knowing he’s a pocket passer, he’s going to be a dramatic improvement at QB for the Falcons. I’m certain the analyst that most here criticize are thinking just this.
    To think because he’s 35 and suggest he may not be 100% and not play well is wishful thinking. The Falcons should be much improved with a decent supporting cast and will be the Bucs primary threat in the division.
    Kirk Cousins is not the greatest QB to play the game, he is pretty damn good.

  37. garro Says:

    The thing that amazes me about alot of the so called experts is that they seem to think that it all starts and ends with the QB, and only the QB.

    Despite Roger Goodell’s best efforts Football remains a team sport. Atlanta’s roster is not even close top to bottom. I would take Mayfield over Cousins any day either way.

    Go Bucs

  38. Paul Says:

    @D-Rok Says:
    “I believe Brady pioneered how to take care of his body” Yes….Brady did that, but Kirk takes it one step further. Kirk was an aspiring doctor at Michigan State, He approaches his training like a meticulously planned science project — fact-based and leaving nothing to chance.

    Example #1 : Kirk sleeps in a hyperbaric chamber as did Brady…but Kirk takes it one step further and had stem cell therapy earlier this season.

    Example #2: Notoriously meticulous in his approach, Kirk did more than simply try to adopt Brady’s TB12 diet. Kirk sought out a scientific explanation of the way his body processes food based on bloodwork analysis. The test identified the type of food the body is sensitive to and, as a result, must expend extra energy to process.

    Example #3: Brady does pliability training as does Kirk….But Kirk also trains for all three planes of motion in his body: the sagittal plane, frontal plane and transverse plane. The goal is to build strength, stability, power, endurance and mobility in each, all of which are taxed by the quarterback position.

    So there is your sane, lucid, or cogent argument.

  39. Mark Alstott Says:

    Defense Rules Says:

    “o A noticeable similarity between the teams was the number of big-play TDs allowed (covering 10 yards or greater). Falcons allowed 17 such TDs (all passing TDs), while the Bucs allowed 16 big-play TDs (15 passing & 1 rushing). IOW both teams got burned regularly with big-play passing TDs (roughly two-thirds of the passing TDs they allowed). Not a good look.”

    Ugh… I was unaware of this stat. You are correct here, this is a horrible look. I knew we got burned deep a time or two, but 16!?! baaarf..