Vikings' Kirk Cousins says he plays better when he's 'frustrated and ticked off'

Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings haven't exactly had the smoothest of rides thus far in 2019, but if you ask Cousins, the bad weeks are actually one of the biggest reasons for his best ones.

"There's no doubt I play better when I have an edge to me, when that guy who yelled 'You like that!' comes out," the quarterback said on this week's edition of his "Under Center" podcast. "Believe me, the last week has brought that guy out a little bit in me. There's some fire there and some edge ... And that's when I play better. I'm going to try to channel that every week going forward and have a little edge to me."

Referring to his famous 2015 "You like that!" line, hollered at reporters following a 24-point comeback he led with the Washington Redskins, Cousins doubled down on the sentiment while talking with the Star Tribune's Michael Rand on Wednesday.

"Sometimes when I get frustrated and ticked off, there's a little more fire there," he said. "It can also get you in trouble if you're not careful, but I think within reason it can help you."

It's nothing other athletes haven't said before, but Cousins, in particular, has been the subject of much criticism this season -- both by Vikings fans and those outside the organization. While he completed more than 80 percent of his passes for 306 yards and two scores against the New York Giants in the Vikings' 28-10 Week 5 victory, he failed to do much against the Chicago Bears the week before, spawning indirect criticism from wide receiver Adam Thielen and potentially reaffirming Stefon Diggs' possible desire to be traded.

Asked by Rand to elaborate on what specifically frustrated him entering the Giants game, Cousins played coy.

"You know, I don't need to get into it," he said. "You play this position and things happen inside the building and outside the building that motivate you. You find motivation anywhere you can, really."

CBS Sports Writer

Cody Benjamin joined CBS Sports in 2017 after time spent with SB Nation, various newspapers and his own Eagles outlet. Raised around the Philly sports scene, he now lives in Minnesota with his wife and... Full Bio

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