After weeks of criticism, Kirk Cousins ‘went out there and played his balls off’ against Eagles

Ryan YoungYahoo Sports Contributor

Kirk Cousins has been the target of immense criticism in recent weeks, both from others around the league and even from his own teammates after a rough start to the season.

That, it seems, is now firmly a thing of the past.

Cousins went 22-of-29 for 333 yards and threw four touchdowns while leading the Minnesota Vikings to a dominant 38-20 win against the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium.

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Cousins connected repeatedly with wide receiver Stefon Diggs on Sunday, too. Diggs — who just two weeks ago was missing practices, didn’t deny the trade rumors swirling around him and expressed frustration for their offensive struggles — had seven receptions for 167 yards and a career-high three touchdowns in the win.

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Diggs wasn’t the only one inside the Minnesota locker room speaking out about Cousins. Fellow receiver Adam Thielen lit his quarterback up following their rough loss against the Chicago Bears in Week 4, in which their passing game was essentially nonexistent. He later walked back his comments, and Cousins apologized to his receiver, too.

But now after a pair of solid outings — Cousins went 22-of-27 for 306 yards and two touchdowns in their win against the New York Giants last week — it appears that Cousins is back on his receivers’ good side.

“Kirk answered all the questions,” Diggs said after the game, via Chad Graff of The Athletic. “He went out there and played his balls off.”

There was one moment in the game, though, where Cousins missed Diggs on a post route that would have likely ended up giving the receiver another touchdown on the day.

“I thought about apologizing to him, but apparently that’s not the way to do things around here, so I guess my days of apologizing to people are over,” Cousins joked, via Norman Seawright of WCCO.

After slamming Cousins, Eagles LB won’t discuss former teammate after loss

Eagles linebacker Zach Brown added to the Cousins criticism earlier this week, calling his former Washington Redskins teammate the “weakest part” of Minnesota’s offense.

“Cousins, I think every defense is going to want that guy to throw the ball,” Brown said Friday. “For me, that’s probably the weakest part of their offense is him. … You just want them to pass the ball. You want Kirk Cousins to get it in his hands.”

Clearly, those comments didn’t translate well.

Brown — after his defense let up 447 total yards and five touchdowns — wanted nothing to do with his comments in the locker room, either.

“I’m here to talk about the game, not about that,” Brown said when asked about Cousins.

A reporter followed up, pointing out that Cousins’ big day was in fact a big part of the game on Sunday.

“Any other questions besides about Kirk Cousins?” Brown replied, clearly a bit agitated.

Even though Brown wasn’t willing to talk about it after the game, the Vikings weren’t going to let the opportunity go to waste.

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