5 QBs who deserve to be benched after NFL Week 1

  • An AFC and NFC veteran who may be toast
  • Why is this guy starting in the first place?
  • Two franchise QBs who played horrendously
Cincinnati Bengals v Cleveland Browns
Cincinnati Bengals v Cleveland Browns / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages
5 of 5

1. Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings

Congratulations, Kirk Cousins -- you just led the Minnesota Vikings to a Week 1 loss to Baker Mayfield and the zombie Buccaneers.

Even with everyone expecting regression from the Vikings after their Charmin-soft 13-win regular season a year ago that led to a blowout playoff loss to the Giants, they still expected Minnesota to pretty easily dispatch a Tampa Bay team that has a bleak outlook for 2023. Instead, Cousins looked to be the worst version of himself.

The counting stats showed up for Cousins, as they often do. He finished the day going 33-of-44 for 344 yards and two touchdowns. The issue was the costly mistakes, highlighted by his three turnovers on the day, two fumbles and an interception. Two of those turnovers killed would-be scoring drives deep in Tampa Bay territory. The other directly resulted in a Bucs field goal. At minimum, that's a nine-point swing directly tied to Cousins.

Cousins is another player who is undoubtedly not going to get benched. There's too much talent on this roster to not have a proven commodity under center -- even if we know the defined ceiling for Kirk Cousins. Even still, a game like this only furthers the notion that, with the Vikings not planning to extend the QB unless he earns it this season, that we could see a changing of the guard in Minnesota in the 2024 offseason.

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