December 20, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousin. Compulsory Credit: John Durr – USA Today Sports.
A typical narrative among NFL and Vikings fans is that Kirk Cousin throws lots of checkdowns, which he can only throw, instead of the ball going deep. However, the statistics do not support this theory.
A good way to see if a quarterback throws deep is to look at the air yard in every effort. Air yards are defined as the difference between the scrimmage line and the yard line where the ball reached the receiver. It does not matter how far the passer-by retreats, nor does it include the yard after capture.
According to pro-football-reference.com, Kirk Cousin’s 8.2 airy per-pass effort put him eighth in the 2021 season.
- Russell Wilson: 9.9 AY / PA
- Justin Fields: 9.8 AY / PA
- Lamar Jackson: 9.3 AY / PA
- Jalen Hearts: 9.0 AY / PA
- Baker Mayfield: 8.6 AY / PA
- Matthew Stafford: 8.5 AY / PA
- Josh Allen: 8.2 AY / PA
- Cork cousin: 8.2 AY / PA
The number of its airyards in the pass attempt is more than some high-profile names. Tom Brady, Joe Barrow, Justin Herbert, Aaron Rogers, Duck Prescott, and Patrick Mahoms all have low airyards to their name. The Cousins threw the ball almost all over the yard, 0.9 yards in an attempt to be accurate, far beyond Patrick Mahoms, known as a great deep ball passer.
In previous years, the cousins placed him in the middle of the pack for the purpose of the air yard in every effort. It’s not great, but it’s not bad either, because he still had that yard more than some notable travelers. Cousins are improving – Vikings fans should be excited.
Airyards are a more analytical way of looking at deep throws, where the number of 30-yard races is a calculated statistic. However, it shows that a quarterback consistently takes risks and throws deeply or does not. For those who watch Cousins play, the following status, who have completed at least 30 yards of passes since 2016, is not going to be a big surprise.
- Cork cousin (135)
- Tom Brady (135)
- Russell Wilson (135)
- Aaron Rogers (132)
- Matthew Stafford (128)
The other four quarterbacks are seen as quarterbacks who take risks and throw deep. Why should cousins be an exception?
Depth of target 20+ yards
This state is like an air yard. How far the players can be noticed on the field. In this case, we look at the players who noticed 20 yards or more below the field. Statistics will be available in the 2022 edition of the PFF Quarterback Annual.
% Of 20+ yard passes
What was the percentage of passes thrown by players in the 20+ yard downfield? All eligible passers who have made at least 30 such attempts.
- Russell Wilson (20%)
- Jalen Hearts (18%)
- Justin Fields (17%)
- Kyler Murray (16%)
- Lamar Jackson (15%)
- Taylor Heinick (14.44%)
- Baker Mayfield (14.29%)
- Aaron Rogers (14.07%)
- Cork cousin (13.98%)
Another list is where Kirk Cousins took place in the top ten. He throws much deeper than those who watch football. Notable walkers who did not make the list were Tom Brady, Joe Barrow, Josh Allen, Patrick Mahoms and Justin Herbert.
% Of target
After realizing how often Cork cousin throws deep, it’s time to find out if he’s really good at it. To the PFF, the number of passes the receiver had at least 20 yards downfield in 2021 was actually accurate. Again, only quarterbacks are eligible who have attempted at least 30 throws.
- Matt Ryan (53%)
- Cork cousin (52%)
- Justin Herbert (52%)
- Kyler Murray (51%)
- Patrick Mahomes (50%)
- Tom Brady (49%)
- Postal Prescott (49%)
- Matthew Stafford (49%)
The Kirk cousins not only try to get a much deeper pass but are also extremely accurate in that throw. A dangerous combination for defense.
For reference, Aaron Rogers ended the season with 41%, Joe Barrow with a record 44%, and Russell Wilson, known as a great deep ball thrower, with 40% of on-target throws of 20 yards or more. The goal
Which quarterback gave the most touchdown passes to players who had a goal depth of at least 20 yards?
- Joe Barrow (14)
- Cork cousin (10)
- Matthew Stafford (10)
The Vikings’ quarterback, Kirk Cousins, has thrown more for this deep touchdown pass than Aaron Rogers, Patrick Mahoms, Tom Brady and Justin Herbert.
Highest passer rating
The pass parameters remain the same. Only pass counts, on which the receiver was at least 20 yards below the field.
- Davis Mills (123.5)
- Cork cousin (120.7)
- Patrick Mahomes (116.7)
- Josh Allen (116.4)
- Kyler Murray (115.6)
The league’s average passer rating on passes with a goal depth of 20+ yards is 92.7. Kirk Cousin is second on the list and tops all ‘elite’ quarterbacks. Two of them, Brady and Rogers, by about 20 points.
Timmet is fisting
Whenever a receiver leads the league in a particular division, he always needs quarterbacks to throw the ball. This is Kirk’s cousin in Jefferson’s case, and he couldn’t break the record without the Vikings passer. His great skill with deep balls makes statistics possible. They are a great pairing and a perfect match, and therefore the credit goes to both of them and not just the recipient.
How many times does Kirk Cousin actually check down?
For every PFF, Kirk Cousin checks out 7% of his passes. The league average is exactly 7% as well. Ironically, even at his checkdown, the average depth of goal (0.9) is higher than the league average (0.4).
The Vikings quarterback is not a perfect quarterback by any stretch of the imagination and has some flaws. However, he is one of the elite throwers in the NFL. Very few quarterbacks throw deeper than that more frequently. Therefore, it is really wrong to call him a checkdown merchant or anything close to him. The Cousins are set to become one of the NFL’s most underrated players.
Janik Eckardt is a football fan who has a myth of numbers and statistics. Despite Christian Ponder being a quarterback at the time, he chose the Vikings as his favorite team. He has a walking football encyclopedia and his favorite music genre of classic rock. Arguing about the Vikings on Twitter is one of his favorite things. If you like Vikings, follow him on Twitter: িকJanicEcard