News | Minnesota Vikings – vikings.com

Presented by

Lunchbreak: Cousins Facing 'Scrumptious Matchup' with Lions Defense

NFL.com's quarterback rankings for the week are up, and Kirk Cousins landed at No. 7 overall.

The rankings are compiled by Ali Bhanpuri, Gennaro Filice, Tom Blair and Dan Parr; each analyst weighs in, and their rankings are averaged to create the final list.

So far this season, Cousins has 3,032 passing yards with a completion percentage of 69.3, 23 passing touchdowns and just four interceptions. His passer rating through 12 games is a career-high 111.9.

Parr wrote the following of Cousins, who is in his second year with Minnesota:

Cousins and his receivers were just a little bit off on Monday night. They couldn't get anything going downfield until the fourth quarter against the Seahawks – for much of the game, Cousins didn't even try to test a Seattle secondary that has given up its share of chunk plays this season. He wasn't awful. He just wasn't great, a rarity for him this season, as he has the best passer rating in the NFL since Week 5.

Parr added that "the good news is he has a scrumptious matchup with the Lions defense this weekend.

Cousins has averaged the longest time to throw in 2019 (2.97 seconds), and he's been tremendous when he has 2.5-plus seconds to throw (18 TDs, 3 INTs). Why do I mention this? Because Detroit has given opposing QBs 3.05 seconds to throw this season, making it the only team to allow more than 2.9 seconds to throw. Seems like the perfect time for Kirk to heat right back up.

Ranked ahead of Cousins by the quartet of analysts were Baltimore's Lamar Jackson, Seattle's Russell Wilson, Houston's Deshaun Watson, Kansas City's Patrick Mahomes, Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers and Dallas' Dak Prescott.

Interestingly, the Vikings have faced four of NFL.com's top six ranked QBs this season.

Several Vikings players recently unboxed their cleats for the NFL's "My Cause My Cleats' initiative.

Vikings have 'trustworthy swing tackle' in Rashod Hill

When Vikings left tackle Riley Reiff left Monday night's game with a concussion, Rashod Hill stepped in and played the remainder of the evening. And if Reiff doesn't go on Sunday, Hill will start in his place.

It isn't a new role for Hill, who joined the Vikings in 2016 from the Jaguars practice squad. He has played in 39 games for Minnesota and made 15 starts. SKOR North's Matthew Coller took a look at Hill's role and the positive impact he makes for the Vikings. Coller wrote:

When the Minnesota Vikings came out of halftime without veteran left tackle Riley Reiff, there was cause for concern.

Not only has Reiff put together a strong season at one of the most valuable positions in the sport, but his assignment was largely former No. 1 overall pick Jadeveon Clowney. But experienced swing tackle Rashod Hill came off the bench and allowed zero sacks, zero QB hits and zero pressures (per PFF) in the second half.

Coller pointed out that in 85 snaps this season, Hill "has yet to give up so much as a QB hurry."

Coller quoted Vikings Offensive Coordinator Kevin Stefanski, who spoke with Twin Cities media members on Thursday.

"I think Rashod has proven to be very versatile," Stefanski said. "He's our swing tackle, so he has to be ready to go in on the right side, on the left side. You saw in that game he came in, and I thought performed pretty well.

"Rashod is certainly a guy that we've leaned on," he added. "He's come in during a game before. He's come in during the week. He's really taken the bit as being a player that is always ready to go."

Coller said that swing tackles "who can be trusted on both sides against good competition" are difficult to find at this level, and that Minnesota's decision to sign Hill back in 2016 "could pay dividends" if he's needed down the stretch.

View photos of the Vikings 53-man roster for the 2019 season.

Bradbury's recent play earning attention from PFF

Vikings center Garrett Bradbury received some praise from quarterback Kirk Cousins earlier this week.

"I just texted Garrett [on Tuesday] and told him I think he's done a really good job for how much we've put on him, being a rookie," Cousins said. "He's been tremendous."

Cousins said he believes the Vikings "drafted a player who was ready to play at this level" when they selected Bradbury 18th overall in April.

"The impressive part would just be all that we've put on him from a protection-identification, front-identification, run game, checks in the run games – his ability to see all that – and then obviously after the snap, all that could happen with defensive linemen twisting and going against some pretty good nose guards," Cousins said. "So. I think just handling all that's been thrown at him has been impressive – to do it as a rookie."

Bradbury has gone through ups and downs during his first pro season, and Analytics site Pro Football Focus hasn't shied away from criticizing the young center. But PFF's Mark Chichester recently highlighted more consistent play from Bradbury.

In an article evaluating all 32 first-round draft picks, Chichester wrote the following of Bradbury:

The Vikings center held up well enough on Monday Night Football, allowing just a single hurry from 39 snaps in pass protection. Over the last three weeks, Bradbury has allowed just one pressure across 120 pass-blocking snaps, and he has earned pass-blocking grades of 69.4, 72.1 and 67.9, respectively.

Advertising