Kirk Cousins: Throwing 10 times in win 'really unique'

The Minnesota Vikings made their $84 million quarterback a hand-off machine en route to a bulldozing 28-12 victory over the Atlanta Falcons.

Cousins attempted just 10 passes in the win, completing eight for 98 yards, one touchdown -- he also fumbled twice, both recovered by the Vikings. Meanwhile, Minnesota called 32 handoffs, and Cousins also rushed six times, for 172 combined yards and three TDs in the victory.

"Throwing it 10 times is really unique. I probably haven't had a game with that few attempts since literally, Pop Warner. It was what the game called for," Cousins said, via FOX 9 Minneapolis-St. Paul. "I have no problem with being conservative as long as we win the football game. That's all that matters to me. We found a way to get the win, so the approach was a great approach."

Unique is one way of putting it. Odd might be another. The 10 passing attempts are the fewest in a start in Cousins' career -- previous low was 15 attempts in a Week 17 win versus the Cowboys in 2015.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, NFL teams had attempted 10 or fewer passes in a game exactly twice over the last decade: The Broncos only attempted eight passes in a win over the Chiefs in 2011 and the Bears threw only seven in a win over the Panthers in 2017.

Minnesota hadn't won a game passing 10 or fewer times since a 13-6 victory over the Packers at Lambeau Field in 1977. In that tilt of an era far gone, Bob Lee completed 5 of 8 passes for 68 yards and a TD.

Sunday, with the defense dominating, and the Vikings up 28-0 deep in the third quarter, Minnesota kept its foot on the running pedal. Dalvin Cook led the way with 21 carries for 111 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Cook's 23 touches were his most since Week 3, 2017 (rookie season). The running back looked as spry as he has his entire career. If he can stay healthy, we might expect more heavily-tilted running ratios like Sunday from the Vikes.

Employing a pummeling D and a grinding ground game, the victory was the type of performance coach Mike Zimmer fantasizes about when he's slumbering in his offseason ranch in Kentucky.

"I never thought we'd be throwing it 10 times, but the score of the game dictated that. You get midway in the third quarter and the clock is our friend, we really had no reason to throw the football being up 28-0," Zimmer said. "The faster that clock goes, the better it is."