MINNEAPOLIS -- Zach Brown saw the reporters gathering around his area in the visitors’ locker room at U.S. Bank Stadium, and he knew what was coming.
The first question was general, the second was about Minnesota quarterback Kirk Cousins, and Brown was not happy.
“I’m here to talk about the game. Any other questions, besides about Kirk Cousins?” Brown demanded.
His questioners were not going to be deterred, though.
“He did a great job today. He played good, you know? Hats off to him,” Brown said after the Eagles’ 38-20 loss to the host Minnesota Vikings, in which Cousins completed 22 of 29 passes for 333 yards, four touchdowns, and a 138.4 passer rating.
In fact, Cousins was masterful, despite barely being mentioned in the Eagles’ preparation for what they characterized as a run-based Vikings offense. But Dalvin Cook, the NFL’s second-leading rusher going into the game, got just 41 yards on 16 carries, 2.6 yards per carry.
Brown last week described Cousins as “the weakest part of their offense,” and said opposing teams want him to throw the ball. He added that his 2017 Washington teammate was “careless with the ball” and that in giving Cousins $84 million over three years, the Vikings “paid him a whole lot of money, you know, to hand off the ball.”
Cousins is 6-3 against the Eagles, with 21 touchdown passes and six interceptions. As a Viking against the Eagles the last two seasons, Cousins is 2-0, and has completed 52 of 66 passes for 634 yards.
All this would have made a great vengeance-angle story, except for the fact that Cousins said Sunday he had no idea about Brown’s comments, until a reporter recapped them for him after the game.
“Zach was a teammate in Washington. He’s one of the better linebackers I’ve played with or against,” Cousins said. “Have a lot of respect for him, and if you’re trying to write a story about how it was a motivator this week, it wasn’t, because I didn’t know about it.”