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Aqib Talib on Kirk Cousins: He’s a real NFL quarterback

The Denver Broncos defense isn’t used to seeing real NFL quarterbacks, so appear to be in awe with Kirk Cousins.

NFL: Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Think the Denver Broncos defense doesn’t appreciate elite quarterback play when they see it? They are doing more than gushing over Kirk Cousins, they are calling him a real NFL quarterback.

Aqib Talib didn’t mince words when talking about Cousins. The comments were odd in that he kept repeating the same phrase “real NFL quarterback”, which seems like a direct shot at the current Broncos quarterback situation.

“He runs the show, he’s a real NFL quarterback,’’ Talib said. “There’s a difference if you really look around the league, [a] handful of guys who really run their offense. He gets the ball out of this hand, he’ll create time in the pocket, man, he’s very accurate. He plays like a real NFL quarterback.’’

If the Washington Redskins are dumb enough to let Cousins hit the open market, then John Elway and the Broncos should drive a dump truck full of cash to Kirk’s front porch.

On a team with a poor defense, 15 of 23 losses Cousins has had as a starter have come in games where the other team scored over 30 points. Meanwhile, he has put together a string of consistency that puts him into a Top 10 elite category. With pass ratings hovering near 100 in each of the last three seasons and breaking the 4,000 yard passing mark every year. He also hasn’t missed a game, which is something no Broncos quarterback has done in years.

Situationally, Cousins has some eye popping numbers that would be worth every penny of the massive contract he will get in March. Here is what he has done in 2017 while the Redskins were having their own down season.

  • When he has the ball in opponents territory: 111/184 60.3% for 1348 yards, 22 TD and just 2 INT.
  • When the game is TIED: 73/105 69.5% for 952 yards, 10 TD and just 1 INT and a 125.6 rating.
  • With a LEAD: 107/155 69.0% for 1278 yards, 6 TD and 2 INT for a 101.5 rating.

Imagine a quarterback playing like this when the Broncos are tied or have a lead. Do you think the defense is going to lose faith out there? Even when trailing, Cousins numbers don’t drop off too far. His interceptions go up, but that is to be expected as the Redskins were often down multiple scores due to poor defensive play this season.

Even Broncos head coach Vance Joseph sees the talent and the elite physical traits Cousins possesses.

“I think he’s a special guy," Joseph said. “Numbers-wise he’s top 10 in all the QB categories. Watch the guy play: He’s poised, he’s smart, he’s got a really strong arm; I wasn’t sure about that, but as I watch more tape, he can make every throw on the field. He’s a tough guy also. He’s been hit a lot this year and he hasn’t blinked at all.”

No first round 2018 NFL Draft pick will come out and make the Broncos an instant contender next year. The window is closing on the defense despite the fact the unit is still the number one ranked defense in the NFL again this season.

It’s time for Denver to go get that quarterback that will make them competitive again, which will also free up Elway to select the best overall player in the first round instead of potentially reaching for a quarterback.

March is going to be fun. I hope.