Is Kirk Cousins the answer in Minnesota in the 2018-19 season?

 

Written by National Football League Expert Analyst Greg Nelson.

Charliessports.com produces it for Football Betting. NFL Point Spread Predictions are the best in the industry and will continue through the Super Bowl in February of 2019. After a miracle win over New Orleans at the first ever playoff game at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis fans believed it was their Vikings year, but a week later they were blown out at Philadelphia who hoisted the Lombardi Trophy in the Twin Cities to rub it in more. Head Coach Mike Zimmer has the endorsement of owner Zygi Wilf and General Manager Rick Spielman. Journey signal caller Case Keenum led the charge last season with a superb play which led teammates as well as fans to get behind him like no other in football: it’s hard not to root for an underdog. However, a bad performance on a big can change everything which it did, and Minnesota signed former Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins on an $84 million contract in the offseason. Nothing is for sure in life as well as professional sports, and with Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford, and Philadelphia in the conference, the enormous amount paid to Cousins is no exception, but it’s a start.

As good as Minnesota was straight up their 11-5 ATS record was even more impressive, Las Vegas won’t sleep on Minnesota this season you can bet that. The Vikings
(356.9) Yards of offense per game ranked eleventh in the league last season, but those numbers should improve with Cousins at the helm. Offensive Coordinator John DeFilippo takes over for Pat Shurmur who’s the new head coach the New York Giants: he understands it’s Super bowl or bust in 2018-19 and accepts the challenge. Running Back Dalvin Cook is healthy after missing most of his rookie campaign with a knee injury, but all indications are he’ll be better than ever. All-Pro wideouts Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen proved they are a dynamic duo: the unit could be even more explosive if former top draft pick Laquon Treadwell play’s to his potential. Tight end Kyle Rudolph is one of the best in football providing a safety net for their new franchise quarterback. Former Lions All-Pro offensive tackle Riley Reiff proved his worth from day one as did center Pat Elflein in his rookie campaign. There is little doubt that the pressure will be on Cousins immediately but he’s got weapons at his disposal.

Defensive coordinator George Edwards along with Zimmer had the number-one defense in football last season even though their playoff performance was one to forget. Defensive End Everson Griffen, tackle Linval Joseph welcomes their newest star Sheldon Richardson into the mix, and they should wreak havoc even more than a season ago. Linebackers Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks are All Pro’s plus Ben Gedeon performed admirably in his rookie season. The three are young, instinctive, durable and can fly to the football. The Vikings secondary came to play last season, especially the play of cornerback Xavier Rhodes and safety Harrison Smith, both were named to the pro bowl. Former University of Central Florida defensive back Mike Hughes was drafted in the first round to provide competition for aging Terrance Newman, Trae Waynes, and Mackensie Alexander. Zimmer is known for developing cornerbacks, a lot of his schemes depend on coverage skills. Bovada.Lv, list the Minnesota Vikings at 6/1 to win the 2018-19 National Football Conference Championship.

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Would you rather have Kirk Cousins or Jack Reacher under center?

Would you rather have Kirk Cousins or Jack Reacher under center?

So, because free is good and so is the view, we’re sitting in the seventh floor Creation Station at the Main Library. Our workspace could be a booth at a posh restaurant: high-backed soft chairs, a large table between us with room for two laptops, two cellies, our beverages of choice and whatever else we need. There’s floor-to-ceiling windows with a northern view from downtown. It’s not a big downtown but luxury apartments are springing up like zombies in Fallout when you’re down to your last few hit points.  Like I said, it’s a good view.

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The one difference between the Creation Station and a Longhorns, other than having to bring your own food and drink, is that the soft, comfy chairs come with outlets and USB ports. You can work after you tire of looking at all the people and traffic scurrying around seven stories below, or of waiting for another helicopter to land on the helipad atop the library’s parking garage. Most of the choppers are picking up or dropping off cash for the various banks with branches nearby. I’m just thinking there’s a Lee Child novel waiting to be written here when Charlie Red speaks up.

“What do you think about Minnesota?”

“Huh?”

“The Vikings. Do you think they’ll be any good?”

I shrug, playing for time to transition from Jack Reacher to Kirk Cousins. Safe to say, it requires taking a few steps down.

“They got Kirk Cousins now, you know.”

“Yup.”

“He’s no Teddy Bridgewater.”

“No. Odd how he’s replacing a second talented quarterback with a f***-ed up knee, though. Who’d have thought that was a thing?”

Charlie laughs. “Yeah, but I just don’t think he can do it. He doesn’t have the talent.”

Teddy Bridgewater opted to go to the New York Jets after the Minnesota Vikings signed Kirk Cousins.

“Well, there’s two things. One, everybody else jumped ship. Well, not Bridgewater. He left after Cousins arrived. Probably thought he had a better chance of taking Josh McCown’s job with the Jets.  Sam Bradford signed with Arizona as soon as he could. Case Keenum was on his way to Denver at the same time. Second, Cousins is that reliable guy everyone except the Redskins likes. The safe bet. He’ll underthrow the deep ball every time, but he’ll make the right read and accurate throws underneath. Get rid of the ball when nothing’s on, too.”

“That’s what I’m talking about. Although the Vikings could go all the way if that kid Dalvin Cook can stay out of trouble.”

“You think he’s the next Ezekiel Elliott?”

“What I’m sayin’. They just can’t expect Cousins to do it on his own.”

“Well, an elite running back can cover up for a secondhand quarterback. So can a great defense. Mike Zimmer’s got that in Minnesota.”

“He does.”

“Trent Dilfer won a Super Bowl with Baltimore.”

“He sure enough did.”

“Trent effin’ Dilfer.”

“I’m sayin’.”

“Mm-hm.”

“So, whaddya think? Will Minnesota go all the way?”

“Man, I don’t know. I’m trying to write the great American novel.”

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Martin Palazzotto is a freelance writer and author of strange bOUnce, a collection of sport fiction.