There were a few weeks last November where Kirk Cousins was legitimately a sneaky MVP candidate. After a shaky first four games of the season, the Vikings' oft-criticized quarterback played the best football of his entire career in October and November. Late in the season, he was leading the NFL in passer rating and had his team headed to the playoffs.
Cousins wound up coming back to earth with a merely decent month of December, and even though the Vikings made the playoffs, his time as an MVP contender was short-lived. Lamar Jackson of the Ravens ran away with the award, becoming just the second unanimous MVP in league history.
But 2020 is a new year, and Bleacher Report thinks Cousins should be considered one of the top dark-horse candidates to steal the award from Jackson and Patrick Mahomes. Those are the past two winners and the obvious frontrunners for the upcoming season.
The other dark-horse candidates named by B/R's Chris Roling are Philip Rivers, Matthew Stafford, Ben Roethlisberger, Josh Allen, and Nick Chubb.
Cousins lost his top weapon from last season in Stefon Diggs, who will be catching passes from Allen in Buffalo in 2020, but he should have a full season of healthy Adam Thielen. Plus, the Vikings drafted a replacement for Diggs in the first round.
Here's a portion of what Roling wrote about Cousins.
Cousins did lose Stefon Diggs this offseason, but the Vikings swapped him out with rookie Justin Jefferson. He'll be able to help right away, and the hope is Adam Thielen will be on the field for more than 10 games, his total last season. If so, Cousins could be an unexpected MVP contender.
With Thielen and Jefferson, not to mention Dalvin Cook, Kyle Rudolph, and Irv Smith Jr., Cousins should have plenty of weapons. If he can play all season like he did last October and November, especially if the Vikings surprise people and win 11 or 12 games, he might just have a chance at garnering some MVP consideration.
Still, losing Diggs is going to be difficult to replace immediately. He was a perfect fit for Cousins last year as a field-stretching deep threat. Perhaps more importantly, there's just too much talent at the top of the QB position – Mahomes, Jackson, Russell Wilson, Drew Brees, etc – for Cousins to have anything more than a longshot chance.
If you're feeling bold, you can get Cousins' MVP odds at +9000 at Bovada.
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