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Lunchbreak: Cousins ‘Perhaps Most Effective Deep-Ball Thrower’ in NFL

This week’s quarterback rankings are in, and Kirk Cousins is in the top 10 once again.

NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal placed Cousins at No. 7 on his list and spoke highly of the Vikings QB’s ability to get the ball downfield. Rosenthal wrote:

Cousins has thrown for 12 touchdowns with no interceptions on passes that have traveled more than 10 air yards, according to Next Gen Stats, making him perhaps the most effective deep-ball thrower in football this year.

Through seven games, Cousins has completed 70 percent of his passes. He is 210-of-300 passing for 2,162 yards, 14 touchdowns and three interceptions with a passer rating of 101.8.

Drew Brees, whom the Vikings will face at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday Night Football, was ranked No. 1 by Rosenthal after his performance against Baltimore.

The Ravens called the perfect blitz against the Saints on a number of occasions, and Brees still managed to make play after play against the NFL’s top-ranked defense, often with a free rusher right in his face.

Listed after Brees were Patrick Mahomes (Chiefs), Aaron Rodgers (Packers), Philip Rivers (Chargers), Jared Goff (Rams), Matt Ryan (Falcons), Cousins, Tom Brady (Patriots), Andrew Luck (Colts), Carson Wentz (Eagles), Cam Newton (Panthers), Russell Wilson (Seahawks), Andy Dalton (Bengals), Ben Roethlisberger (Steelers) and Matthew Stafford (Lions).

Hunter’s development no surprise to former coach

Chances are, Saints fans are quite familiar with Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter, who before starting his NFL career was a standout at Louisiana State University.

Christopher Dabe of The Times-Picayune wrote about Hunter and his progression as a player. He spoke with longtime LSU strength and conditioning coach Tommy Moffitt, who said that Hunter was all business, all the time.

“A lot of guys come here, college athletes in general, they don’t always do well in school, they’re partying,” Moffitt told Dabe in a phone interview. “This guy worked his rear end off at a very young age. You could tell he was serious about his development.”

Hunter was drafted by the Vikings at just 20 years old. Now in his fourth NFL season, he leads the league in sacks with 8.0.

Dabe wrote:

Hunter, whose 24th birthday is Monday, has [33.5] career sacks, the fourth-highest total before age 24 since the sack became an official statistic in 1982. Ahead of him are Shawne Merriman (39.5), Aldon Smith (38) and Robert Quinn (34.5). He’s tied with Terrell Suggs.

To say nobody saw this coming would be incorrect. Hunter arrived at LSU with the same willingness to work that Moffitt saw from the likes of Patrick Peterson, Craig Steltz, Kyle Williams, Andrew Whitworth and Glenn Dorsey.

“There’s a handful of guys that are like that when they come to LSU,” Moffitt said.

Sherels, Morstead teaming up again for good cause

Following Minnesota’s defeat of New Orleans in the Divisional Round of the playoffs in January, Saints punter Thomas Morstead was blown away by “Minnesota Nice” when Vikings fans recognized his show of sportsmanship at the end of the game and in turn donated more than $400,000 to Morstead’s foundation, “What You Give Will Grow.”

Morstead was so impressed that he donated $221,000 back to Minnesota Children’s Hospital in February, and Sherels helped him present the check.

Now, the two opponents are teaming up again for a good cause. Morstead became aware of the Minnesota-based nonprofit Best Christmas Ever, which the Vikings have partnered with since 2015 to bless families in need around the holidays.

As the Saints and Vikings prepare to face off on the field Sunday, Sherels and Morstead are encouraging fans of their respective teams to donate to What You Give Will Grow, and the organization will split the donations between the Minnesota and New Orleans markets, each to their respective BCE programs.

Click here to support Sherels and Morstead in their sportsmanship and endeavor to positively impact families in Minnesota and New Orleans.

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