Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, September 26, eight days before the Redskins host the Eagles.
This is who Kirk Cousins is
After Kirk Cousins’ rocky game against the Giants, Marshall Faulk of NFL Network said the following:
“Who we saw tonight, that’s who Kirk Cousins is. For throwing the ball 49 times, this is a good game for Kirk Cousins. I don’t believe that there is a, ‘Oh he can play better, there is more he can do.’ If his team doesn’t play better, he cannot carry this team. He can be a part of a team.”
This strikes me as being the best concise analysis of who Kirk Cousins is and what he is capable of doing that I have read. He isn’t going to carry your team. If he has to throw 49 times he will get picked off and the Redskins probably won’t win.
But he is not that different from most other quarterbacks in the league in that regard. Since the start of the 2014 season, up to an including Cousins last night, a quarterback has attempted 49 or more passes in a game 34 times. In 16 of those games, just under half, the quarterback was intercepted two or three times. Eleven times the quarterback was picked off once and just seven threw no picks.
The teams’ records in these games is 8-26.
So if most quarterbacks have to put the ball up a lot the will get picked off and they will lose. I’m not sure why we expect that Kirk Cousins will be any different.
This is, of course, a macro view of these games. There is cause and effect in play. The teams aren’t necessarily losing because the quarterbacks are throwing so often; often the quarterbacks are passing a lot because their teams are trailing. And sometimes the quarterbacks bear greater responsibility for the existence of the deficit than others.
Against the Giants, Cousins helped dig the hole that he later had to pass the team’s way out of. His first-quarter interception led to a very short field for Eli Manning and the Redskins were down two scores early.
In case you are wondering (and I know that many of you out there looking for “balance” in the way that quarterbacks are treated in the media), Robert Griffin III has thrown 49 or more passes in a game twice in his career. He was picked off twice in one of those games and once in the other. The Redskins lost both of those games, to the Eagles and Lions in 2013.
This is pretty simple, folks. Although Kirk Cousins might improve with more experience, for right now and for the immediate future he is who he is. Like many other quarterbacks around the league he will have problems if the Redskins don’t force turnovers to get the offense a short field, play poorly on special teams, and have trouble running the ball.
The Redskins are playing Cousins because they believe that he is their best option among the three they have right now. Many have said that Griffin or Colt McCoy would be better options. Perhaps. But if they can’t run the ball better than they did against the Giants and get set up with a short field by either the defense or special teams from time to time it is unlikely that any of them will win consistently.
—Today’s schedule: Off day
—Days until: Eagles @ Redskins 8; Redskins @ Falcons 15; Redskins @ Jets 22
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