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Kirk Cousins says he’ll be as aggressive as the coaches tell him to be

Chris Simms and Mike Florio look ahead to a key battle in the NFC playoff picture, as the 49ers host the Vikings with serious wild card implications on the line.

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer wants quarterback Kirk Cousins to go for the jugular. Cousins perhaps would like to go for Zimmer’s jugular, eventually.

On Wednesday, Zimmer said he wants Cousins to keep being aggressive, after Cousins said that he perhaps was too aggressive against the Packers.

I don’t really need to be more aggressive,” Cousins told Mark Craig of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune on Wednesday. “I look back on my seven years playing, there’s been a lot of balls going through the air. You talk about air yards, you talk about net yards per pass attempt, per completion, I think all those numbers would suggest I’m being aggressive.

“I’m pushing the ball downfield. I think the receivers and tight ends and running backs I’ve played with would suggest they’ve gotten a lot of opportunities and put up a lot of yards. I think I just trust my coaches. When they want to call aggressive plays and tell me to take the ball down the field, I will. When they don’t, I won’t. It’s really as simple as that.”

Cousins also said that he and Zimmer “agree to disagree” at times, a sentiment best captured by the moment at the end of the win over the Lions, when Cousins gave Zimmer an aggressive “you like that!” shove and Zimmer seemed ready to take a few stones out of Cousins’s death tower.

Through it all, the Vikings continue to be just good enough. They’re 5-5. Cousins, as noted by Craig, has coupled his 26-30-1 record as a starter in Washington with 30-26-1 as a starter in Minnesota. That’s 56-56-2 for his career.

Whether he and Zimmer will be continuing their careers together in Minnesota beyond 2021 will depend in large part on what happens over the next seven games. It begins today with a return to San Francisco, site of their biggest game together -- a playoff loss to cap the 2019 season. Given the bunched-up cluster of teams jockeying for playoff position in the NFC, the outcome of the game against the 49ers could ultimately be the difference between playoffs or none.