Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White threw salt in Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins’ wounds.
After White had one of the Bills’ 10 pass deflections on Cousins, he ran into the Bills locker room shouting, “You like that? You like that?” — mocking Cousins’ trademarked slogan popularized by his shouts after a 2015 comeback victory for Washington.
It was that kind of Sunday for Cousins and the Vikings during an embarrassing 27-6 home loss to the Bills.
The Vikings trailed 27-0 by halftime, with Cousins producing as many lost fumbles (two) as first downs while throwing for 44 passing yards and taking three sacks. A week after Cousins threw for 425 yards and four touchdowns in a comeback tie in Green Bay, the quarterback was being mocked by a Bills defense that previously seemed hapless during an 0-2 start to the season.
“I’ve heard it quite a bit,” Cousins said of White’s taunt. “It’s pretty much the most common thing I hear on the field and when I play in the league. I hear that in offseason meetings.”
The issues snowballed for Cousins and the offense. Cousins entered Sunday with a known fumbling issue. Before the game, his 31 fumbles since 2015 trailed only Seattle’s Russell Wilson (33) among quarterbacks in that span.
And one play before the strip-sack by Bills defensive end Trent Murphy, Cousins overthrew open receiver Stefon Diggs down the sideline. The first turnover led to a Bills field goal and a 10-0 deficit.
“Entirely my fault,” Cousins said.
Then came another strip-sack on the next series by Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes, who too often beat left tackle Riley Reiff to apply pressure on Cousins. Cousins overthrew receiver Adam Thielen on his next third down.
“I didn’t help anybody by giving them a short field a couple of times,” Cousins said. “And asking so much of our defense by not converting third downs and sustaining drives.”
The Vikings’ inept passing game, coupled with the early deficit, turned loose an effective Bills pass rush. Cousins was hit five times, including four sacks, which kept the offense from finding a rhythm after his early turnovers.
“I didn’t have a good game at all,” Reiff said. “I’ll admit it, get back to work and keep moving forward.”
As Reiff was driven into the backfield in the third quarter, Cousins checked down to running back Latavius Murray. Murray’s would-be catch turned into an interception when he was sandwiched between two Bills defenders, the impact sending the ball into the air.
“They were bringing a fifth [pass rusher] quite a bit of times,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said. “We didn’t make them pay. I thought we’d have a chance to get some play-action passes, and we never did that either.”