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Lunchbreak: Kirk Cousins Among NFL's Top QBs Early in 2021

There are a plethora of stats and qualifiers available to measure quarterback play in 2021.

But no matter what metric you use, there's no denying how well Kirk Cousins is playing early on this season.

Kevin Cole of analytics website Pro Football Focus recently looked at a few pieces of data, compiling it all before landing on composite rankings through two games.

The result? Cousins is currently ranked as the league's No. 4 quarterback entering Week 3.

Cole used a formula called Bayesian Updating, which combined PFF grades along with various other measures of success.

He explained

With Bayesian Updating, we can use the dynamics of the historical quarterback market and individual results to project their PFF grades andexpected points added(EPA) per play.

You can find details of how Bayesian Updating is implemented here, including a primer on how we build a posterior belief (or projection) based on historical quarterback results and then update the beliefs (projections) for each quarterback with their actual NFL results on a play-by-play basis.

Cousins has an overall PFF grade of 85.9 grade through two games, which ranks fourth among all quarterbacks.

The data also shows Cousins has performed well with a clean pocket, something that is usually true of him (and most quarterbacks) in any given year.

Tom Brady leads the league-wide rankings, followed by Jalen Hurts, Matthew Stafford and Cousins.

Cole wrote:

Matthew Stafford and Kirk Cousins round out the top four. Most would expect to see the first name that high and probably not the latter, but Cousins has been excellent from a clean pocket this year while struggling somewhat under pressure.

Cole's full article can be found here.

Davis: Vikings have best playoff chance among 0-2 teams

It's Week 3, and yes, the Vikings still have a goose egg in the win column.

But of the seven teams that are currently 0-2, the Vikings shouldn't be counted out just yet.

Nate Davis of USA TODAY Sports recently ranked those seven teams in terms of best playoff chances, and put Minnesota at the top of the list.

He wrote:

They're a wayward 37-yard field goal attempt and an overtime fumble away from being 2-0 – and that's despite a 28th-ranked defense. History suggests good things for the Vikes, who have been a postseason participant in every odd year since Mike Zimmer became head coach in 2014. And after opening with a pair of road games, the Vikings will only play away from U.S. Bank Stadium once more before November. A lot of encouraging factors for a team with an exceptional quartet of offensive skill players in QB Kirk Cousins, RB Dalvin Cook and WRs Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen.

The Vikings have the smallest point differential among the seven winless teams and actually lead the NFC North in that stat, too.

Green Bay and Chicago are both 1-1, while Detroit is also winless thus far.