NFL Week 5
Photo Credit: USA Today

Kirk Cousins: 37.57

It has been a rough season for Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. After a dismal performance against the rival Chicago Bears, he has received even more criticism from both fans and the media than usual.

And his overall OSM grade through the first four weeks of the season reflected his poor play. At just 15.88, his grade was seventh-worst among qualifying quarterbacks through the first four weeks. If anyone needed a bounce-back game, it was him. Fortunately, this week against the New York Giants, Cousins had easily his best game of the season.

His in-game statistics were excellent, as he went 22/27 passing for 306 yards and two touchdowns. But his advanced metrics were even better. His grade of 37.57 made him the fourth highest-graded quarterback so far in Week 5. Easily the biggest contributing factor to this grade was his completion percentage. According to the NFL’s Next Gen Stats, Cousins should have completed 61.2% of his passes against the Giants. His actual completion percentage was 81.5%, second-best among the quarterbacks that have played so far.

That number is even more impressive than it seems. According to the NFL’s Next Gen Stats, Cousins’ completion percentage was a full 20.3% higher than expected, a differential that is easily the highest so far, six percent higher than the next best, Deshaun Watson, who had a phenomenal game in his own right.

Overall, Cousins had a great game both in terms of his conventional metrics and his advanced ones. If he is able to continue playing at this level, in tandem with one of the league’s best ground games, the Vikings will become a legitimate threat in the NFC playoff race.