The curious case of Kirk Cousins

John Errico (@MikeZimmersEars) Blogger, Podcaster, Author

By John Errico //@MikeZimmersEars

**Disclaimer:  This article was written prior to the Vikings/Cowboys game on Sunday Night Football**

In the 2012 NFL draft, the Washington Redskins chose Robert Griffin III with the second overall pick. “RG3” was a dual-threat QB out of Baylor and was pegged to be the team’s franchise leader for years to come. Then in the fourth round of the same draft, Washington made an interesting pick, taking Kirk Cousins, a quarterback out of Michigan State.

Cousins threw for over 9,000 yards with 66 touchdowns against 30 interceptions in his college career. Maybe the Redskins were just covering their bases in case RG3’s style didn’t work well in the NFL. The Cousins pick turned out to be a prudent one. In 2015 after RG3’s three injury-marred seasons, Jay Gruden made Cousins his starting quarterback. Up to that point Cousins was 2-7 in his limited starts. Once installed as the regular starter, Cousins put up solid passing numbers. He completed 67% of his throws amassing over 13,000 yards with 81 touchdowns against 36 interceptions. Despite his numbers, the Redskins managed just a 24-23-1 record and Cousins got the reputation for being unable to win the big games.

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NFC North: the roundup

Sonja Greenfield, Senior NFL Reporter NFC North, NFC East

By Sonja Greenfield // @Mom23RN

It was a good week 3 for the NFC North.  Everybody won, and you can’t get too much better than that.

Though to be fair, I’m sure fans of each team wanted the others in the division to lose, but that didn’t happen.

They all got the win and just about solidifying that the division is going to live up to its nickname of the Black and Blue division this year.  Which is always fun.

Let’s head around and check in on the teams!

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NFC North: the roundup

Sonja Greenfield, Senior NFL Reporter NFC North, NFC East

By Sonja Greenfield // @Mom23RN

This is it, people.  The regular season is right around the corner!

We’re done with the dress rehearsal, and now it’s onto the last game of the preseason where we watch those trying to make the team.

Let’s go around the division, recap last week and see what’s going on with the teams heading into the last week of preseason games.

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Checking in on the NFC North quarterbacks

Sonja Greenfield OTFB Reporter

By Sonja Greenfield //@Mom23RN

It’s been a pretty eventful offseason for the NFC North teams.  Free agency has brought some good players into the mix, as my fellow reporter Wanda Wiedman has mentioned.  New coaches and coordinators have been hired, and the teams are looking to solidify themselves with a successful draft.

But one thing that stayed consistent in the division where all of the coaches names start with M, are the quarterbacks.  Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford, Kirk Cousins, and Mitchell Trubisky have the honor of quarterbacking in the Black and Blue division.

Today I ask the question, What will 2019 look like for these quarterbacks?

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Once again the team no one wants to face, Seattle is one win from the playoffs

Seattle Seahawks Reporter

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

Vikings 7 – Seahawks 21

Let’s be honest, it wasn’t a pretty win… but it was my favorite kind of win. It was a win that could have easily gotten away from Seattle. But it didn’t, and now the Seahawks are one win away from clinching a playoff berth. In a year where they weren’t expected to win more than four or five games, they are the team no one wants to face.

Lisa Johnson and I argue about this all the time on the OTFB podcast. Defense or offense, which is more important? But it’s not just a shtick we do for the show. She truly believes offense wins games, I say, quite adamantly, the defense is most important.

What last night’s Monday Night Football game against the Minnesota Vikings showed was that what truly wins games is a balance. What makes the Seahawks so dangerous right now is that balance, and it’s alive and well in Seattle.

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Packers vs Vikings: Win, Lose or DRAW

Lucy Rendler-Kaplan
Official Reporter Green Bay Packers

By Lucy Rendler-Kaplan // @LUCYrk78 

Green Bay Packers 29 – 29 Minnesota Vikings 

Sunday’s Minnesota Vikings vs Green Bay Packers game sure lived up to the hype! It was certainly an exciting game, but exciting can mean good and bad. There were a few bits of excitement I could have lived without Sunday.

I might be in the minority here, but I’m okay with the tie. Coming into the game, I knew Minnesota had an overall better team, and I wasn’t sure how effective Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers would be playing with that huge brace on his sprained knee.

Once again, Rodgers proved that as long as his arms are fine, he can play on one leg. He was surprisingly mobile and was able to move when he needed to. I hate to say that we lost this game to the refs and a few questionable calls, but I largely feel like we did. That being said, the defense needs to figure out how Vikings QB Kirk Cousins was able to lead such a comeback, and what we can be done to prevent that the next time we play the Vikings.  Continue reading “Packers vs Vikings: Win, Lose or DRAW”

The Quarterback Matrix: Who will be The One

Official Chicago Bears Reporter

By Wanda Wiedman //@WandaW63

Last season it was about defenses and backup quarterbacks. It was calm, cool, collectiveness of backup QB Nick Foles who lead the Philadelphia Eagles to a long overdue Super Bowl trophy. All 31 teams were put on notice after that and the QB carousel has been in full swing since the start of free agency.

Just in case some of you have been under a rock, here are the QB changes that have occurred in the past two-weeks of the quarterback matrix.

After a lengthy, but meticulous process, former Washington Redskins QB Kirk Cousins is now a Minnesota Viking. Washington traded with the Kansas City Chiefs for cornerback Kendall Fuller and a 2018 third-round draft pick, making QB Alex Smith a Washington Redskin. Smith signed a four-year, $94 million extension with Washington, while Cousins signed a three-year $84 million fully guaranteed contract.

Is your head spinning yet?

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QB or No QB: That is the Question Confronting the Bills

 By Mary Pesarchick // @HeyMom418 

For the Bills, finding a franchise quarterback has been as epic a quest as the one for the Holy Grail. Since QB Jim Kelly retired in 1996, eleven different players have been at the position for Buffalo. That means, except for Drew Bledsoe (three seasons) and Ryan Fitzpatrick (four seasons), Bills’ starting QBs have lasted no more than one or two seasons each.  

 And the quest continues. Despite leading the team to the playoffs for the first time in seventeen years, current QB Tyrod Taylor is no lock to be the starter next season. Many NFL analysts believe the Bills will be looking to replace Taylor either through free agency or the draft.

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Will Denver Get Their Quarterback?

OTFB Broncos Reporter

By Julie Dixon //@ABroncoNole

Let’s talk about the quarterback situation.  If quarterback Kirk Cousins were to take a leap of faith and sign with Denver while under construction, keeping QB Trevor Siemian would be a smart move. He’s super cheap, has experience and knows the new playbook.

Plus, no fan would spend their life on Twitter trashing Cousins to get Siemian. This would be the lone exception to keep him.  If Denver drafts a quarterback, there is no way you want Siemian around.  If the rookie fails, the fans will be calling for Siemian.  Hopefully, Denver has learned from the past.  As long as Trevor Siemian is on the team, the fans are always going to want him under center.

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Shad Khan Doubles Down on His Staff with Big Contracts.

OTFB Jaguars Reporter

By Julie Dixon // @ABroncoNole

Some people think the Jacksonville Jaguars flipped their team in one season. Wrong. When Shad Khan hired General Manager Dave Caldwell, he began four year long journey.

Caldwell drafted Blake Bortles, then went about the next three years drafting talent while removing older players with big contracts. In 2015 Bortles threw 35 touchdowns, but a ton of interceptions and the defense wasn’t good.

In 2016, the defense started taking hold, but Bortles was playing with two dislocated shoulders and a bum wrist. Doug Marrone, who had been hired that season to fix the OL, was moved up to head coach when Gus Bradley was fired.

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