By Nick Shook
Around The NFL Writer
Read full post on NFL.com
The anointed man under center looked every bit as advertised in his lone drive versus the Denver Broncos, completing all four of his pass attempts for 42 yards and a touchdown for the Minnesota Vikings in their 42-28 win. The yards and perfect completion percentage don’t quite jump off the page, but the tape will, length aside.
Cousins was confident, precise and looked as comfortable as a new quarterback will ever look. Buoyed by two 20-plus-yard runs by Latavius Murray, Cousins was free to test things out with Stefon Diggs, and all three worked out. Cousins first found Diggs for six yards to open the drive, and then made a key completion, connecting with Diggs on a perfectly placed pass over the shoulder of Bradley Roby for a 28-yard gain. It was the first throw that showed why Minnesota handed the keys and a fully guaranteed contract to Cousins.
He capped the possession with an equally impressive completion, firing a dart into the chest of Diggs, who beat Isaac Yiadom on a quick slant for a touchdown. From there, it was a ballcap and Gatorade for the rest of Cousins’ night.
“[Diggs] makes plays,” Cousins said. “He makes plays and gives you the motivation to give him the ball more and more. To trust him and throw him open and make the contested catch. Once again tonight, he proved me right.”
Last season, the Vikings won with their defense first and offense second over the majority of their run to the NFC title game. Case Keenum — now starting for the team on the other sideline Saturday in Denver — was impressive at times, but not a world beater. Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr explained to me in June how a Cousins-led offense will take some pressure off the defense “because we know the offense we’ll have is capable of putting up points.”
It sure looked like that on Saturday night with Cousins leading the way.