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Inspired Vikings Get Victory After Cousins' Passionate Pregame Speech

PHILADELPHIA — That's how you finish.

And deliver on a fiery pregame message from your leader.

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins delivered a passionate 25-second speech to his team in the pregame huddle, driving home the message that Minnesota would need to make some plays in crunch time against the Eagles.

Cousins charged into the pregame huddle, ripped off his helmet, clutched it in his right hand and delivered the following:

"Hey! Change it up today … I got it, guys. Hey! Every one of you is here for a reason, for a purpose, alright? You're not here by accident. We wanted you here, we brought you here. You have a gift … bring that gift to the table today, men. Bring it to the table! We talked all week about finishing … finish every block, finish every tackle, finish every play and finish the damn game!"

The Vikings did just that, as Cousins guided a late drive for a Dan Bailey field goal that helped the Vikings build a nine-point lead in an eventual 23-21 win in Philadelphia.

"The message was heard and received," Cousins said after the game. "But it was also, as most NFL games [are], was very important this week because of the nature of getting out with a lead and making sure we stayed with the course and finished.

"We found a way to finish," Cousins added.

The quarterback completed 30 of 37 passes for 301 yards and a touchdown to finish with a passer rating of 109.1 Cousins became the first player in NFL history to record 30-plus completions in four consecutive games.

But Cousin's biggest drive came late in the game with the Vikings holding a 20-14 lead with just over nine minutes left.

The offseason free-agent signing calmly led an 11-play, 55-yard drive that chewed up 6 minutes and 24 seconds off the clock. He completed all six passes for 34 yards on the series.

That led to a 52-yard field goal from Dan Bailey, whose kick silenced the crowd at Lincoln Financial Field and gave the Vikings a two-score lead with just 2:47 remaining.

"I can't really add anything to what he said … he hit the nail on the head," Bailey said. "Obviously, he's a great competitor and great leader, and it was right on.

"We have a great group of guys in this locker room that will fight to the end," Bailey said.

Cousins said the idea for the speech came from the biggest man on the Vikings.

"It was important because Linval [Joseph] asked me to," Cousins said with a smile. "And you don't say no to Linval."

Joseph also made his mark on the game, returning a fumble 64 yards for Minnesota's first touchdown of the game.

Cousins' clutch performance helped the Vikings climb to 2-2-1 to cap off a wild five-game stretch to open the season.

"That's a guy that we look up to, and seeing his fire and seeing that tenacity that he plays with and his energy, that's contagious," said Vikings tight end David Morgan. "He's not the most, he's not a crazy screamer like that, but when he does that, you know they're ready, so it was something we needed, and it definitely got us going."

Added Vikings right guard Mike Remmers: "I absolutely love it, because he's a great leader, and when that guy is in front of the team, he brings out the best in everyone. I really appreciate it. Personally, it helped motivate me."

Minnesota will now return home for a Week 6 matchup against the Arizona Cardinals (1-4), who got their first victory of the season on Sunday against San Francisco.

The Vikings goal in that one will be simple: finish.

View images as the Vikings take on the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday.