For whatever reason, a small subset of Redskins fans want to blame Kirk Cousins for any and all Washington losses.
Cousins is not to blame for the team's 20-17 Week 7 loss in Detroit.
In fact - Cousins played well.
He completed 30 of 39 passes for 301 yards and a touchdown, not to mention running for the go-ahead score with under two minutes left.
That said, the Redskins offense lacked explosive plays, surprising against a suspect Lions secondary that lost top cornerback Darius Slay to a hamstring injury during the game. Afterwards, Cousins explained why so many of his passes seemed to go to underneath routes.
"I go where my reads take me," Cousins said after the game.
Against the Lions, that largely meant to Jamison Crowder, who had seven catches for 108 yards. Tight end Vernon Davis and running back Chris Thompson also had big days, combining for 13 catches and 119 yards.
Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson, however, were largely silent, especially in the first half. Jackson finished with five catches for 35 yards, but never once got a deep ball thrown his way. Garçon got even less - two catches for 22 yards.
"I may not be going to DeSean or Pierre every time," Cousins said, "but we're completing the football and going where my reads take me."
Both receviers are in contract years, and for Jackson in particular, his stats are way down. Known as a top vertical threat, Jackson is currently averaging 13.6 yards-per-catch. Last season, he averaged 17.6, and in 2014 that average was nearly 21 YPC. This comes after Jackson looked great throughout training camp and many that watched him in Richmond expected a big year for the veteran wideout.
Garçon, speaking after the game, explained that deep balls are part of the offense but defenses can also gameplan to stop that facet. In the season opener against Pittsburgh, the Steelers deployed a soft zone coverage against Cousins that did not allow for much vertical attempts. It's possible the Lions borrowed parts of that plan on Sunday.
"We can't really control it," Garçon said.
After wins, players can look past not getting the ball. The victory matters most. After losses, it's only natural for players to wonder how they might have helped the team more, and in spots, frustration can mount.
Cousins might grow frustrated at having to answer questions about where he's throwing the ball, especially on a day when he completed 76 percent of his passes. It's only natural.
On the other side, all receivers want the ball, and top flight guys like Jackson command it.
Without the attempts, frustration could mount, and that too is only natural.
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