kirk cousins

Zach Brown doesn’t want to talk Kirk Cousins, but Vikings are happy to troll

Zach Brown doesn’t want to talk Kirk Cousins, but Vikings are happy to troll

MINNEAPOLIS — As you might have guessed, Eagles linebacker Zach Brown wasn’t eager to talk about Kirk Cousins following the Eagles’ 38-20 loss to the Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Earlier in the week, Brown told ESPN he thought Cousins was the weakest part of the Vikings’ offense.

On Sunday, Cousins threw for 333 yards and four touchdowns against the Eagles.

Did Brown regret saying what he did?

“I’m here to talk about the game, not about that,” Brown said. “Any other questions besides about Kirk Cousins?”

While Brown didn’t want to talk about Cousins, the Vikings’ social media team had no problem trolling in the wake of their blowout win.

When asked about Brown's comments, Cousins claimed he hadn't heard them and took the high road.

“I didn’t even know what he said," Cousins said. "I really do stay ignorant, not read anything and that’s for my best interest. But Zach was a teammate in Washington. He’s one of the better linebackers I’ve played with or against. 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 even know about it.”

Cousins became just the fourth quarterback to complete over 75 percent of his passes for over 300 yards and four touchdowns against the Eagles. The others: Ryan Fitzpatrick in 2018, Peyton Manning in 2013 and Phil Simms in 1984.

Eventually, Brown was asked how he thought Cousins played and gave an answer:

“He did a great job today. He played good. Hats off to him.”

Brown was teammates with Cousins in Washington for the 2017 season. That year, the Redskins went 7-9. Cousins threw for just over 4,000 yards with 27 touchdowns but also threw 13 interceptions. He also fumbled a career-high 13 times. Brown, earlier this week, mentioned that Cousins was careless with the football. Cousins threw one pick on Sunday but it didn’t end up mattering.

Overall, the 38 points given up to the Vikings on Sunday were the second-most surrendered by the Eagles during the Jim Schwartz era, behind just the blowout 48-7 loss to New Orleans last season.

“At the end of the day, we gotta do our job on our side of the football,” Brown said. “Hats off to them, they got the best of us today. But we gotta do our job on both sides of the football. We gotta eliminate penalties on ourselves too. They got the win today, but you never know, we might end up seeing them again.”

If these two teams do meet again, Brown might want to be a tad quieter next time.



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Roob’s observations after Eagles get off to brutal start, fall to Vikings

Roob’s observations after Eagles get off to brutal start, fall to Vikings

BOX SCORE 

MINNEAPOLIS — Another awful start. More terrible cornerback play. A baffling fake field goal.

Today’s edition of Roob’s 10 instant Eagles observations isn’t for the faint of heart.

Because this was ugly.

On the field where the franchise enjoyed its greatest triumph ever, the Eagles sputtered through one of their most disappointing defeats of the Doug Pederson Era.

Kirk Cousins threw four touchdowns, Stefon Diggs torched the Eagles’ beleaguered corners for 167 yards and three TDs and the Vikings embarrassed the Eagles, 38-20, Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium.

So much for Game 1 of the season-defining three-game road trip.

1. Terrible start, furious comeback. Same old story. How many times have we seen this same agonizing scenario repeat itself? This Eagles team so far has shown zero ability to play 60 consistent minutes. Down 10-0 vs. the Redskins. Down 17-6 to the Falcons. Down 20-10 to the Lions. Down 10-0 to the Packers. Down 10-0 and 24-3 Sunday. They inevitably fight back. They inevitably make it interesting. There’s the inevitable dramatic rally. But you just aren’t going to win consistently digging a big hole for yourself and then trying to fight out of it. Until Pederson figures out why this keeps happening, this team isn’t going anywhere.

2. One play really illustrates just how grave the Eagles’ cornerback issues are right now. The Vikings had a 1st-and-10 just outside midfield, Cousins dropped back, had great protection and a difficult choice to make. Throw to a wide-open Diggs streaking toward the end zone on the left side of the field with Rasul Douglas trailing the play or throw to an even-wider-open Olabisi Johnson running down the right side of the field after separating from Sidney Jones. When you’re in position to throw a 51-yard TD to TWO DIFFERENT PEOPLE AT THE SAME TIME … that’s catastrophic. That’s the way the whole game went. The Eagles’ corners were simply overmatched start to finish. I don’t know what the answer is. Is Jalen Mills going to come in next week and turn this around after not playing for a year? You have to put him in there. You have no choice. But the trade deadline is out there in a couple weeks, and if the Eagles really believe they’re a playoff team, they have to go get somebody. Because that was embarrassing.

3. I’ve sensed this before and written it, but I don’t think Pederson has been aggressive enough early in games, and it gets the Eagles into a passive mindset. The first drive Sunday was three runs and a punt, including a 2nd-and-5 handoff to Miles Sanders that went for two yards. Come on, 2nd-and-5? Throw the thing. By the time the Eagles’ best player threw his first pass, the Vikings were up 10-0 and the Eagles were already in scramble mode. I’m all for mixing in the run, but Pederson isn’t starting games with an aggressive mentality and it sure feels like that’s one of the reasons they’re falling behind early virtually every week.

4. I guess we can now say that the best and worst play calls of Pederson's career came in the same stadium. I’m not sure what the point of that fake field goal was. The only way the fake beats a sure three points is if Jake Elliott throws a 21-yard TD pass, and that wasn’t happening. Even if he completed the pass to Dallas Goedert, you have no timeouts and the clock is running with about 13 or 14 seconds left, and Carson Wentz isn’t even on the field to spike the ball. So you’re going to have your kicker try to spike the ball so you have enough time to kick a field goal? Which you could have just kicked in the first place? Made no sense. 

5. You could see his frustration a few times, and that’s rare because Wentz is so even-keeled. But it’s also understandable. He’s out there with shaky pass protection, not much of a running game and the usual assortment of drops by his receivers — four of them Sunday, including one by Mack Hollins in the end zone. He threw an interception in the final minutes but really did all he could to keep the Eagles in the game as long as possible. He Finished 26 for 40 for 306 yards with two TDs and the INT. I’m not sure what else he could have done.  

6. The progress Miles Sanders has made from the start of training camp really is incredible. With a 32-yard TD and a 45-yarder down to the four-yard-line to set up another TD, Sanders now has five catches of at least 30 yards in the last four games. All Eagles WRs during the same span of no catches of 30 yards. This is a kid who had two career games at Penn State with 30 yards. He’s got soft hands, he’s a matchup nightmare, he finds space in traffic after the catch, and you can see how much trust Wentz has in him. It’s terrific that he’s come so far, but when your No. 1 deep threat is a rookie running back who never caught the ball before … you’re in trouble.

7. I expected more from the Eagles’ defensive line Sunday. That was a real makeshift offensive line the Vikings had Sunday, and then they lost left tackle Riley Reiff early. Still, the Eagles really weren’t able to control the line of scrimmage. They only got to Cousins once and really didn’t generate much pressure. I didn’t expect 10 sacks like last week, but I expected them to compete at a higher level than this.

8. The Vikings' receivers catch the ball. It’s a simple concept, but they make easy catches, they make tough catches, they make impossible catches. Diggs is a former fourth-round pick, and Adam Thielen was undrafted. They make plays that make their quarterback look good. Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor both had decent games Sunday, but we’re just not seeing that next-level play from the Eagles’ wide outs, and we haven’t since opening day.

9. Darren Sproles is hurt again. DeSean Jackson's been out a month. Jason Peters is now dealing with another injury — we don’t know how serious. We talked about this all preseason. The Eagles brought the third-oldest roster into the season, and it’s just a reality that older guys get hurt more than younger guys. That’s a big part of where the Eagles are right now. 

10. Remember a few days ago when Zach Brown called Cousins the weak link on the Vikings’ offense? That was four TD passes ago.

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Zach Brown's trash talk, looking ahead at corner, more in Roob's random Eagles points

Zach Brown's trash talk, looking ahead at corner, more in Roob's random Eagles points

A critical matchup on Sunday, another insane Nate Gerry stat, running backs of yore and lots more in this weekend’s edition of Roob’s 10 random Eagles points.

1. The matchup Sunday between Dalvin Cook and the Eagles’ top-ranked run defense is a huge one. If the Vikings can’t get Cook going, the Eagles win. If Cook gains big yards, I think it’ll one a long day for the Eagles. I do think the Eagles’ defensive line matches up well against the Vikings’ offensive line, but that Eagles’ No. 1 rushing ranking has come against Le’Veon Bell, Devonta Freeman, Kerryon Johnson, Derrius Guice and Aaron Jones, all of whom are averaging under 4.0 yards per carry. Bell is at 2.9, Freeman 3.2, Johnson 3.4, Guice 2.5 (currently hurt) and Jones is at 3.9. Cook is at 5.9 (and rookie teammate Alex Mattison isn’t far back at 5.6). Cook is way better than any back the Eagles have faced. If they can shut him down, this run defense is legit.

2. The fact that Miles Sanders has the Eagles’ three-longest receptions over the last three games speaks volumes about Sanders’ receiving ability. Unfortunately, it also speaks volumes about the recent play of the Eagles’ wide receivers.

3. When (if?) all the Eagles’ corners are totally healthy, who starts? It’s a fascinating question with no easy answer. Rasul Douglas has earned one of the two outside spots, but I have a hunch they’re going to go with Sidney Jones and Ronald Darby. The slot will be interesting, and you can make a case for Avonte Maddox, Cre’Von LeBlanc or Orlando Scandrick. We’ll see how the next couple weeks go, and I’m a big LeBlanc fan, but if Scandrick holds it down these next few weeks it’s going to be tough to take him out of there.

4. The strangest team record in the Eagles record book is the one for lowest career interception percentage. Does Nick Foles have it? Nope. Carson Wentz? Nope. Donovan McNabb, Jeff Garcia or Michael Vick? Nope. It actually belongs to Bubby Brister, who threw 6 INTs in 385 attempts as an Eagle, or one every 64 pass attempts. Wentz is second but would need to throw 304 consecutive passes without an interception to break Brister’s record. Walter Andrew “Bubby” Brister. Of all people.

5. Zach Ertz is kind of the forgotten guy since his numbers are predictably down from last year’s record-setting 116-catch season. But Ertz is quietly having another huge year. He’s on pace for 93 catches for 998 yards, and he’s had at least 50 yards in all five games. Nobody else on the roster has had 50 yards more than twice. Ertz has really been the Eagles’ only consistent receiving threat, and he’s only 34 catches from becoming only the 19th tight end in NFL history with 500 career receptions. Only Jason Witten has done it in his first seven seasons. Can’t take this dude for granted.

6. Did you see Zach Brown called former Redskins teammate Kirk Cousins “the weakest part” of the Vikings’ offense? Cousins has actually been pretty good against the Eagles — 5-3 record, 66 completion percentage, four 300-yard games, 17 TDs, 5 INTs and a 101.2 passer rating that’s sixth-highest ever vs. the Eagles. He’s faced the Eagles eight times and has thrown for at least 230 yards in each game. No other QB in history has done that eight straight games against the Eagles. And he’s thrown at least one TD with one or fewer INTs in all eight games. I don’t think anybody on this defense is in any position to talk trash right now. Brown better make some plays against Cousins Sunday because Cousins has made plenty against the Eagles.

7. Nate Gerry stats are my new favorite stats. We told you earlier in the week that Gerry’s 51-yard INT return against the Jets Sunday was the longest ever by an Eagles linebacker in Philadelphia — at any stadium. Now, how about this: Gerry is the first player the Eagles have drafted in the fifth round with three career interceptions since cornerback Eric Everett in 1988 and 1989. The only other one since 1960 is a linebacker named Dick Absher, who the Eagles drafted in the fifth round in 1967 and had three INTs for the Saints and Eagles from 1969 through 1972. Hard to believe, Harry! 

8. The Eagles’ four leading rushers last year were Josh Adams, Wendell Smallwood, Corey Clement and Jay Ajayi. Looks like none of them will have a carry as an Eagle this year. 

9. And isn’t it crazy that Brian Westbrook and LeSean McCoy are the only Eagles running backs in the last 20 years with consecutive 700-rushing yard seasons?

10. It’s going to be tough to sit in U.S. Bank Stadium Sunday afternoon and not think about what happened on Feb. 4, 2018. My most vivid memory of Super Bowl Sunday isn’t the Philly Special or Brandon Graham’s strip sack of Tom Brady or Zach Ertz’s game-winning touchdown catch. It’s standing on the field two hours after the game with D-Gunn, and just standing there atop an ocean of confetti and looking up at the scoreboard and just seeing a massive Eagles logo. And that’s when it really hit me what had just happened. I’ll never forget that moment.



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