3 NFL Takeaways: 49ers Are Among NFC's Elite

Tim Kelly
October 14, 2019 - 9:30 am
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Week 6 of the 2019 NFL season featured a quarterback attributed his success, at least in part, to ignorance to what the outside world says about him. It also was probably the moment that the outside world was forced to stop being ignorant about the success of one of the NFL's two remaining undefeated teams.

Here are three takeaways from Week 6 of the 2019 NFL season:

Kirk Cousins turned in one of the best performances of his career Sunday.
Kirk Cousins turned in one of the best performances of his career Sunday. Photo credit (Brace Hemmelgarn/USA Today Images)

1. Kirk Cousins And The Vikings Made A Statement

Ahead of the Minnesota Vikings-Philadelphia Eagles Week 6 tilt, Eagles linebacker Zach Brown referred to Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins as the "weakest part" of the Vikings offense. It was especially notable because Brown had 127 combined tackles in 2017, when he was playing for the Washington Redskins, who were quarterbacked by Cousins.

After Sunday afternoon's game, Cousins said that he was unaware of what Brown had said. The eighth-year pro sure played like he was trying to send a message Sunday.

The 31-year-old quarterback turned in one of the best games of his career Sunday, going 22/29 for 333 yards four touchdowns and just one interception.

Just two weeks ago, Adam Thielen was critical of Cousins after a 16-6 loss in Chicago. Thielen, a week after racking up 130 yards in New York against the Giants, caught six passes for 57 touchdowns and a touchdown.

Stefon Diggs, who seemed to be attempting to push his way out of Minnesota a couple weeks ago, is now a candidate for NFC offensive player of the week, after catching seven passes for 167 yards and a touchdown:

So how did Cousins manage to not hear Brown's criticisms during the week?

“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. Zach was a teammate in Washington. He’s one of the better linebackers I’ve played with or against. I 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.”

It would behoove Cousins to remain "ignorant" moving forward. Even at 4-2, the Vikings face far from a certain path to the postseason after a disappointing 2018 campaign. The NFC North may be the most difficult division in the NFL, as every team in the division has a winning record. To make matters worse, the Vikings have already lost to the division-rival Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers. So Brown will certainly not be the last detractor of Cousins this season. But for a day, whether he's aware they exist or not, Cousins quieted some of his critics.

Jason Garrett's Cowboys have lost three straight games.
Jason Garrett's Cowboys have lost three straight games. Photo credit (Robert Deutsch/USA Today)

2. Sam Darnold, Jets Hand Cowboys Concerning Loss

Second-year quarterback Sam Darnold returned from mononucleosis Sunday after a three-game absence, and for a half, the Jets looked like an elite offense.

Adam Gase's squad entered halftime with a 21-6 lead, which was already a season-high in points scored in a single game for the previously winless Jets. The highlight of an impressive - and rather shocking first half - was a 92-yard touchdown pass from Darnold to Robby Anderson in the second quarter: