Place your MVP bets folks, Kirk Cousins has a great opportunity to shock the NFL world. He might be one of the best sleeper picks to win the award. The only Minnesota Vikings quarterback to earn the honor was Fran Tarkenton in 1975. Finally, after over 40 years, the Vikings could have another MVP QB in Cousins.
The frontrunners to win the 2023 NFL MVP are not surprising. Last year’s winner, Patrick Mahomes, is +650 to win, followed by Buffalo’s Josh Allen (+750), Los Angeles Chargers’ Justin Herbert (+900), and Philadeplhia’s Jalen Hurts (+1100). Interestingly, Kirk Cousins is tied with Trey Lance and Kenny Pickett at +5000. Per usual, Kirk Cousins receives shockingly little respect. All he did was lead his team to a 13-4 record in 2022 while delivering an NFL-record 8 game winning drives with arguably the worst defense in the league.
This season could be Cousins’ best in purple and gold. This will be his first time in Minnesota with the same offensive system as the year before. HC Kevin O’Connell and OC Wes Phillips’ scheme worked wonders for Cousins in 2022. An extra offseason with the same playbook should give Cousins even more command over the offense. He should be able to put up massive numbers, and maybe even help Justin Jefferson pass the 2,000 yard receiving mark.
There will be more continuity with the offensive line to protect Cousins. He can be the most lethal QB from a protected pocket, and all five starters return.
— NFL (@NFL) January 5, 2020
The interior offensive line that was often troublesome could become a strength if former 1st-round pick Garrett Bradbury can continue from where he left off last year and Ed Ingram makes a sophomore season jump.
Kirk Cousins will also be playing with what should shape up to be an elite receiving corps. The ability to throw the ball to Justin Jefferson, the NFL’s best receiver, will obviously be beneficial. The front office’s additional investment in the passing game with 1st-round pick Jordan Addison will be a boon for Cousins. The Cousins-Addison connection already looks tremendous through training camp. Moreover, T.J. Hockenson will have a full offseason to develop with Cousins after being thrust into action after a mid-season trade in 2022.
Jordan Addison is TOO shifty 😳
Addison has reportedly been giving DB’s “trouble” early in training camp with his route running ability.
Addison and Kirk Cousins have reportedly shown signs of an “early chemistry” connection multiple times during 11-on-11.
Addison has been… pic.twitter.com/g9qCrV0d6a
— NFL Rookie Watch (@NFLRookieWatxh) July 31, 2023
Kirk Cousins likely didn’t receive a tremendous amount of respect last year because of the team’s 31st-ranked defense. The fact that the Vikings finished 13-4 was a testament to Cousins’ leadership and ability to score in clutch moments. He can comfortably take the next step with continuity and new offensive weapons. Playing in a contract year will surely elevate the importance for him as well. There is no reason not to think Kirk Cousins can cement his legacy as a league great QB this year. He has there perfect opportunity to set the NFL world on fire this season and win an MVP in the process.