From: Altadena, CA
ORIGINAL: Rob Viking
ORIGINAL: Bruce Johnson
Still boggles my mind that the 2020 Vikings ranked:
● 29th in Defense
● 29th in Pass Blocking per PFF
● 32nd in Special Teams DVOA
● 4th in Offensive Yards Gained
..and we spent all this time bitching about Gary Kubiak, Kirk Cousins, the Diggs trade, and "archaic offense."
(Dustin Baker on Twitter)
Kirk was 2nd in the league in YPA at 8.3, which is a very good number. Watson was at a staggering 8.9, Rodgers 8.2 and Mahomes 8.1. YPA is one of the best measures of a QB's performance. Kirk left a lot to be desired in crunch time in some crucial games vs Cowboys, Bears and Titans. But he did also make plays down the stretch vs the Panthers and Jags. With an average defense, this team is probably in the 11-5 or 10-6 range.
Randall 8.7 in '98
George 8.6 in '99
Culpepper 8.3 in '00
Culpepper 8.3 in '04
Favre 7.9 in '09
Keenum 7.4 in '17
What exactly did Kirk do wrong against the Cowboys and Titans on the final drives? He's not Joe Montana, but Joe's not winning those games with that line, those routes, and the key drop vs the Cowboys. At the same time, the stats like the ones above are grossly misleading given when a lot of the yards came. Kirk is who he is, and he's not winning without at least an adequate line and a very good or better defense, which is on Zimmer and Spielman to deliver. Spoiler alert: they haven't.
The real issue is the current regime. Zimmer won't deviate from his precious system on defense and three yards and a cloud of dust on offense, and Spielman hasn't delivered on acquiring personnel that can make these schemes work, namely the interior OL, DL, and DBs. They hang onto guys who aren't worth their large contracts and cannot get special teams right even after using draft picks and roster spots on specialists (including a designated gunner who can't tackle!!!). Yes Kirk's contract is difficult to work around, and so are Barr's and Rudy's given what each delivers. Moving from mid-second to late-third for six games from a guy that was never going to fit your scheme in a season where you were never going anywhere is also a massive fail.
And yet they were rewarded with new contracts to perpetuate their shitshow for another few years. The ultimate failure is the Wilfs', who seem content to bump along as long as we make the playoffs every other year and occasionally deliver a miracle win.
But keep focusing on Kirk, for fukk's sake, who is what he is and has maximized his not-quite-good-enough talent. Until the Wilfs sell and someone cleans house, he is actually the perfect QB for this franchise.