Is Kirk Cousins an elite NFL quarterback? | The Tylt
Is Kirk Cousins an elite NFL quarterback?
Kirk Cousins' gamble on himself is about to pay off. Cousins performed at a high level last season, throwing for 4,917 yards and 25 touchdowns with a 97.2 quarterback rating. By most measurements, Cousins ranked somewhere in the top 10 for NFL starting quarterbacks last year. And in a league defined by quarterback play and a finite number of quality starters, Cousins could easily land a contract in excess of $100 million.
The flip side is Cousins' year ended with an interception, the second year in a row disappointing quarterback play ended the season prematurely for the Redskins. Cousins also ended his Pro Bowl appearance with yet another interception. (Sensing a pattern here?) Cousins' record as a starter in games against teams with 9 wins or more is just 2-11. In big game situations, when you need an elite quarterback to step up, Cousins seems to buckle under pressure.
So is Kirk Cousins really an elite quarterback?
Look, Kirk is going to get paid. Out of NFL starters who played more than 4 games in 2016, Cousins ranked third in yardage, eighth in completion percentage, eighth in quarterback rating, thirteenth in touchdowns and fourth in Pro Bowl voting. He is arguably the best quarterback in the NFC East. He has led the Redskins to meaningful football games in late winter for the second year in a row.
In a league where there are only 32 quarterback jobs available, most teams would take Cousins over their current starter. He's an elite player and deserves to be paid like an elite player.
“He’s made progression in every area of his game, and he’s continuing to do so. You can see it,” Gruden said. “It’s eye in the sky don’t lie, so to speak. He’s going through progressions, he’s hanging in there.
Kirk Cousins is overrated. The Redskins have one of the worst red zone offenses in all of football. Cousins has never thrown more than 29 touchdowns in a season. And he just can't win the big game. We've seen how this plays out over and over. If you put Cousins in front of a good defense and a good team, he collapses. He throws picks—even at the Pro Bowl.
He's not worth elite money because he's not elite. He's just good. But good doesn't win Super Bowls, greatness does.
Cousins, by the time he retires, will have been known as a good backup quarterback who could come in, fill in for the starter and ensure the team doesn’t lose too often.