Zach Brown: Kirk Cousins is 'weakest part' of Vikings O

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  • By Grant Gordon NFL.com
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Any afterglow from Kirk Cousins' finest performance this season has quickly been dimmed.

No stranger to criticism, Cousins was dealt more by a former teammate ahead of the Vikings' matchup with the visiting Eagles on Sunday.

"Cousins, I think every defense is going to want that guy to throw the ball," Eagles linebacker Zach Brown said Friday per ESPN.com's Tim McManus. "For me, that's probably the weakest part of their offense is him. Everything else is good. They've got a good running game, probably one of the best in the league. They have real good receivers. You just want them to pass the ball. You want Kirk Cousins to get it in his hands."

Teammates for all of one 2017 season with the Washington Redskins, apparently Cousins didn't leave the most pleasant of impressions upon Brown, who's in his first season with the Eagles and playing for the fourth team in his eight-season career.

"I realized when I was in Washington, he was kind of careless with the ball. But at the same time, hey, you make the bed you sleep in," Brown said. "I was at the Redskins with him so I know about him. That's my viewpoint on him."

A week ago against the Giants, Cousins was 22-for-27 (81 percent) for 306 yards, two touchdowns and 11.33 yards per attempt -- all of those statistics season-highs. So, he's coming off a terrific performance - which led the way for a season-high 490 yards of total offense for the Vikings.

Facing the Eagles isn't all that bad a proposition, either, as Cousins has a 5-3 career record versus Philly with four 300-plus yard games, including the last two, and 17 touchdowns to five interceptions.

Nonetheless, Cousins' travails are well-known and until he wins a big game, the criticism is likely to linger.

Questions about the Minnesota offense, voiced in particular by receivers Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen, still remain, as well, despite Cousins' delightful day in the Week 5 win over the Giants.

And with a league-leading 14 fumbles lost since 2017, Brown believes the game plan is clear.

"Make him frustrated back there," Brown said. "First we have to stop the run, and then make him frustrated back there. Our main concern is stopping the run, because if they can run the ball, they're going to win."

Above all else, this is an important NFC game between the Eagles (3-2) and Vikings (3-2) as they vie for postseason spots and to remain contenders in their divisions.

Brown, like Cousins a one-time former Pro Bowler, has 24 tackles in five games and is looking to curtail an offense on the heels of its best performance.

Whether he inspired Cousins or simply spoke the harsh truth will come into focus on Sunday.

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