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Cousins' Bounce Back Game Keys Vikings To Big Win

EAGAN, Minn. (WCCO) – Sunday night's Vikings win was hugely important, keeping them in playoff position when a loss would have dealt a devastating blow.

After struggling mightily against the Bears, this was a week when the Vikings offense needed to bounce back in a major way. And as WCCO's David McCoy reports, it had to be reassuring for Vikings brass who spent all that money to bring Kirk Cousins here, to see him respond the way he did.

Going toe-to-toe with Aaron Rodgers, putting the team on his shoulders and being the biggest reason for their big win. So that's what $84 million well spent looks like.

A week after his worst game in purple, Kirk Cousins followed it up with probably his best.

"He did a great job of managing what we needed to get done," Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said. "I thought Flip (John DeFilippo) did a great job of putting him in the right situations all night. And some of the things we talked about, me and him this week, I thought he did tonight. So that was, I was really proud of him and I thought he played exceptional."

Mike Zimmer had been vocal in the past week about wanting to see some changes in the offense. Cousins credited offensive coordinator John DeFilippo with pushing all the right buttons.

"I thought Coach DeFilippo did a really good job, and our entire offensive staff, of finding a nice balance with the runs and the passes and staying aggressive and still being smart, putting us in a position to make plays," Cousins said. "I think just the game plan and executing the game plan from the first snap to the last was a great job."

Throughout his career, Cousins has always been a guy where you take the good with the bad. For every three touchdowns he's thrown, he's turned it over twice.

But when he's on like he was Sunday -- his highest passer rating of the season -- it's clear what a difference-maker he can be.

"I think that's one of the challenges of playing this position. You try to let the game come to you. You try to make good decisions and manage the game and not put your team in harm's way, but at the same time you want to be a quarterback who's explosive and who is able to fit it into tight windows and avoid sacks," Cousins said. "Finding that balance is what makes playing the position challenging, but the longer I play, the longer I can store away experiences and use them for the next challenge that's up ahead."

Encouraging news on the injury front. Mike Zimmer on Monday described cornerback Xavier Rhodes' hamstring injury as a "mild one," not one which has been speculated would require surgery. Rhodes has been battling through an assortment of injuries.

With Tom Brady and Russell Wilson on the horizon, getting him back on the field is paramount.

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