Vikings Film Room: Kirk Cousins is trusting Justin Jefferson more

The Minnesota Vikings have a top-five receiver on their team in Justin Jefferson and he hasn’t always been used as such.

What does that mean exactly? Well, quarterback Kirk Cousins hasn’t always been willing to throw the 50/50 balls to his receivers. They aren’t always the safest plays in the world and he has a history of preferring conditions that are close to perfect.

This season, he has changed his tune somewhat.

The addition of Kevin O’Connell has helped Cousins feel more comfortable in throwing those 50/50 balls. There were two instances against the Washington Commanders on Sunday and they display all sides of the spectrum.

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Justin Jefferson touchdown

T.J. Hockenson motions to make this a 2×2 set. Hockenson runs an out and Jefferson runs a corner route. The coverage is relatively good from Benjamin St. Juste. Being draped all over Jefferson makes this a tougher throw, but he also doesn’t look back. Jefferson uses his great body control to get around St. Juste and get the touchdown

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Kirk Cousins interception

Another 2×2 set from the Vikings. This play was at the end of the first half which limited what the Vikings could do without letting the clock expire. They run a simple four verticals into the end zone and Cousins throws the ball a tad short. Jefferson has to jump and get around St. Juste and Danny Johnson gets the interception on a tip drill.

The throw itself could be a tad better. You’d like to see it more towards the pylon to keep it away from the defender to prevent the tip drill from happening.

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This is a good thing

Nov 6, 2022; Landover, Maryland, USA; Injured Washington Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz (L) hugs Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) after their game at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

You don’t want Cousins to throw interceptions but sometimes, it’s the cost of doing business with the best receiver in the NFL. When you have a great receiver, you need to give them a chance to make big plays. We have asked for Cousins to make these types of throws more regularly and he is starting to do just that. The Vikings continue to show growth on offense and it’s overall a great thing moving forward.

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Story originally appeared on Vikings Wire