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Kirk Cousins throws four TD passes as Vikings sail past Eagles 38-20

Ben Goessling, Star Tribune (Minneapolis) on

Published in Football

MINNEAPOLIS -- The last time the Philadelphia Eagles played at U.S. Bank Stadium they won the highest scoring Super Bowl in history.

A year-and-a half after that victory over the Patriots -- which came after they ousted the Vikings in the NFC title game -- the Eagles could only watch as the Vikings put up their best offensive effort of the season.

Kirk Cousins threw four touchdown passes, three to Stefon Diggs, as the Vikings whipped the Eagles 38-20.

Cousins' four-touchdown game, his first since last September's tie at Lambeau Field, came against the opponent he's beaten more than any in his NFL career. It was Cousins' sixth win in nine career starts against the Eagles, and he's now thrown for 21 touchdowns against six interceptions in those games.

Of Cousins' six wins in 33 career starts against teams with winning records, two are against the Eagles.

The Vikings came into the game with plans to throw downfield against an Eagles defense that ranked No. 1 in the league against the run but had deficiencies in its secondary, with cornerbacks Ronald Darby and Avonte Maddox out because of injury. Their first salvo at Eagles corner Rasul Douglas came on the game's fifth offensive play, when Cousins threw deep for Diggs off play action with Douglas running step-for-step with the wide receiver. The pass was too long for Diggs, but it would be one of the few times Cousins would miss him.

 

His first touchdown to Diggs, on a 62-yard strike following a slight play fake in the second quarter, saw Cousins burn Douglas with a throw that had Diggs looking back at the cornerback as he strutted into the end zone. Cousins came back to a downfield shot off play action on the Vikings' next drive, hitting Diggs on a 51-yard throw that had Douglas looking around for safety help. The routes looked similar to the ones the Vikings used against the Giants last week; this time, instead of throwing underneath to Adam Thielen, Cousins hit Diggs deep.

The final Cousins-to-Diggs score of the day was a confident red-zone throw to the back of the end zone, where Diggs could reach up for an 11-yard score and tap his feet in bounds after beating former Vikings corner Craig James.

Philadelphia threw a scare into the U.S. Bank Stadium crowd by scoring 17 consecutive points after falling behind early, but the Vikings righted the ship in the second half to improve to 4-2.

Trailing 24-10 to start the third quarter, the Eagles (3-3) got a quick touchdown on a 3-yard pass from Carson Wentz to Alshon Jeffery and a 40-yard field goal from Blake Elliott to get within 24-20.

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