MINNEAPOLIS — On Friday, Eagles linebacker Zach Brown called Kirk Cousins the “weakest part” of Minnesota’s offense.
The Vikings quarterback was anything but on Sunday, as he had a season-high 333 passing yards and four touchdowns, leading the way with an aerial attack that picked apart the Philadelphia defense time and time again.
After a convincing 38-20 Minnesota win, Cousins said he hadn’t heard of the comments by Brown, was who teammates with the quarterback in Washington for one season in 2017.
“I just found out about 20 minutes ago,” Cousins said. “I didn’t he know what he said. Zach was a teammate in Washington, and he was one of the better linebackers I’ve played with or against … I have a lot of respect for him.
“I just put my head down and try to work every week,” Cousins added. “Just ride the roller coaster.”
Cousins’ teammates and coaches heard the chatter though, and weren’t surprised with how Cousins played Sunday against Philadelphia.
“As far as former teammates and stuff like that, their personal opinion doesn’t matter,” said Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs. “At the end of the day, you’ve gotta play football out there, and I guess Kirk answered all your questions.
“He went out there, he played his [butt] off, and he did everything he did,” Diggs said. “Every game is a statement game … you have to check the boxes every game.”
Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer, who spoke before Cousins, said: “Maybe that linebacker popped off … ticked him off.”
Cousins had his best game of the season Sunday against a fellow NFC contender, as he completed 22 of 29 passes for his second consecutive game with 300-plus passing yards and multiple touchdowns.
Cousins threw three touchdowns to Diggs — of 62, 51 and 11 yards — and added a 6-yard touchdown pass to Adam Thielen on the game’s opening drive.
The four touchdown passes matched Cousins’ highest output with the Vikings, tying a total from Week 2 of the 2018 season against Green Bay.
The quarterback credited an aggressive game plan from Vikings Offensive Coordinator Kevin Stefanski and those under him.
The quarterback attempted 12 passes that were 15-plus yards down the field on Sunday and had nine completions that gained 15 or more yards.
“It was an aggressive, creative game plan, and credit Kevin for the way he just kind of kept it unpredictable,” Cousins said. “I think we were very multiple in the way we moved the ball today, and much of it was effective.
“I think it was great to have positive plays on first and second down to stay in situations where we were ahead of the chains,” Cousins added.
View game action images as the Vikings take on the Eagles at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday.
Cousins has now put together back-to-back big games against the Giants and Eagles — both teams in his former division — as the Vikings have won back-to-back games for the first time in 2019.
In these two wins, Cousins has completed 44 of 53 passes (83.0 percent) for 639 yards with six touchdowns and an interception.
“That’s just the kind of guy he is. He’s going to learn from each week, he’s going to go back and watch that film and figure out what he needs to do better, just like we all do,” Thielen said. “You go back after a win or a loss, and you look and say, ‘What can I do better?’
“He’s a guy that we trust every week is going to give us his all, and he’s going to keep getting better,” Thielen added. “He’s going to prove that he’s a top quarterback in this league and he can play at a high level. You saw that today.”
Added Zimmer: “I thought the protection was pretty darned good today. He was sacked once, but when he did get a little bit of pressure, he moved in the pocket. He made some great throws, whether it was on the move or out of the pocket. You know, he completed 22 passes, so he was pretty darned good today.”
Cousins made plays all day long Sunday, but a pair of his linemen had the feeling early on that it was going to be a special performance from No. 8.
“It’s always good to see him come in the huddle and command it. He was feeling it,” said guard Dakota Dozier. “You give him some time, and it’s fun to watch him work.
“He just comes in and commands your attention,” Dozier added. “You look in his eyes, and he’s ready to go to work. It makes you want to play even harder.”
Added center Garrett Bradbury: “We trust Kirk and all the decisions he’s going to make. He’s an unbelievable leader for this team. When you see completion after completion after completion, anyone is going to be in a groove. Kirk was awesome today, and it’s fun to protect for someone like him and see him throw the ball all over the field.”
Minnesota’s win moved the Vikings to 4-2 ahead of a Week 7 game against the Lions, which will be the Vikings final road game in division play.
Cousins has delivered big-time performances in back-to-back weeks, and could called upon again in Detroit.
“It’s important … I don’t know one that isn’t,” Cousins said. “So we just keep going. They all count as one, and divisional games obviously carry some extra weight.
“This one on the road against a really good team will be a great challenge, and our preparation will reflect that,” Cousins added.