Kirk Cousins’ Stats versus Film
On the surface, Kirk Cousins’ career numbers would suggest the Niners would be landing a perfect weapon to helm the offense.
Two years ago, Cousins led the NFL with a 69.8 completion percentage and had 4,166 passing yards, 29 touchdowns and a passer rating of 101.6. Last year, while not quite as dominant, Cousins earned a Pro Bowl nod and had a 67.0 percentage, 4,917-yard, 25-touchdown and 97.2 passer-rating line.
Football Outsiders’ Cian Fahey wrote an interesting article about Cousins back in 2016, highlighting some of the notable issues with Cousins’ game.
Just take a look at some tendencies not necessarily reflected in the common stats:
It’s important to note these interceptable passes, not shown in standard stats, are thrown with relatively clean pockets.
And Fahey elaborates more, citing some of the real problems:
"As a weak-armed passer, Cousins can’t throw with precision downfield. He has to force passes more to get them there on time, which takes away from his placement. … Cousins was propped up by the talent around him and the absence of talent across from him. To what degree and for how long this is sustainable is unclear."
Two of Cousins’ favorite receivers in Washington, DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon, are no longer at his disposal.
While Garcon’s offseason signing with the Niners might make a Cousins-to-San Francisco deal seem smart, Fahey also pointed out how these two weren’t exactly on the same page last year either. Especially in the red zone:
We’ll get a better idea what Cousins will look like without these two prolific receivers this season. If he continues on an upward trend, a signing by the Niners might make a bit more sense. But any regression, which wouldn’t be surprising, could raise some red flags.
Cousins may be a better option under center than what San Francisco will field in 2017. But considering the likely financial obligations, is it truly worth the move?
Speaking of the money…