EAGAN, Minn. -- Away from the mean tweets and outside hysteria over Kirk Cousins' dismal performance against the Green Bay Packers in a Week 2 loss, the foundation isn't cracking for the Minnesota Vikings.
Coach Mike Zimmer and others offered their support for the quarterback on Wednesday and believe Cousins' dismal game on Sunday (14-of-32 passing for 230 yard with a touchdown and two interceptions) was more of an anomaly than cautious trend.
"He's going to be fine," Zimmer said. "We have the utmost confidence in him. He's in a good place where he's going to play good this week and continue to play good for the rest of the year."
The encouragement holds meaning for Cousins, who shouldered responsibility for the game-changing interception he threw in the fourth quarter at Lambeau Field that cost Minnesota its chance at taking the lead with 5:10 remaining in a 21-16 loss.
"It's nice to be believed in," Cousins said on Wednesday. "You've got to go out and earn it, though. In this league, no one's giving you anything. This isn't a charity. You've got to play well to earn peoples' confidence, so if he's saying that, it's because he's seen practice reps, he's seen game reps, he's seen what we’re capable of as an offense throwing the football. So you've got to go out and earn it.
"Believe me, I'm not going to be playing quarterback here if I go out and play the way I did this past Sunday for much longer. So I understand that, and I look forward to getting out there and playing at a much higher level."
Stefon Diggs, who was the intended receiver on the ball Cousins threw in the corner of the end zone, said the QB taking responsibility was what he expected from the leader of the offense.
"It takes a lot," Diggs said. "It takes a different kind of man to take responsibility. We're a team. I don't want him to take full responsibility because we all played a part in that. We're all pieces of the puzzle, like I said, and him taking full responsibility, it's a quarterback thing to do. He's a leader, he's leading his team, but at the end of the day, it's not all his fault. Everybody's included, everybody can play better, everybody can do things better. We had a chance to win the game. We didn't do enough to get it done as a unit. So it's not all on him."
Cousins has moved past the errant throw and noted how well Monday's day of corrections following the game went, but he says he'll use the play as a learning experience.
"I'm going to throw it away," Cousins said. "If I'm in that situation again, the ball's going in the stands. So if you're asking, 'How do you make tight-window throws?' I would just say I've probably thrown, I don’t know, 2,000 passes in my career, so you just kind of learn after 2,000 reps, hey, it's going to be tight. They're NFL defenders. I've got to trust what I see and let it go. But when you get outside the pocket, in a situation like what I was in, the ball's got to go up in the stands."