In his first six games this season, Kirk Cousins threw eight interceptions. A maddening pattern was developing. In four games he threw two interceptions and the Redskins lost. In two games he was interception free and the Redskins won. He was throwing an interception on 3.9 percent of his passes.
But in the last three games we have seen a different Cousins when it comes to protecting the football. He has thrown just one interception in 105 pass attempts. That’s a 0.95 interception percentage.
It should be noted that the one interception was a good pass that bounced out of the hands of Pierre Garçon and into those of a Patriots defender. Even the most ardent Cousins skeptics out there admit that that particular interception can’t blamed on him.
But Redskins fans should not be throwing a party celebrating the end of Kirk Cousins, Turnover Machine. A three game sample size is not enough to say that his interception problems are behind him. One person who is not celebrating is Cousins himself.
“I’m not going to be results-driven,” he said. “I threw a few passes today that could have been picked off so I’m not going to go back and say, ‘Oh, I didn’t throw any interceptions today.’ I’m going to look back at the plays that could have been picked and say, ‘How do I prevent those from happening moving forward?’ I’m not going to be results-driven. There were plays the last couple of weeks that altered the game and there were picks that weren’t necessarily my fault and I don’t worry about those either.”
As Cousins noted, he had a couple of near interceptions yesterday. A Saints defender did intercept a tipped Cousins pass yesterday but it was nullified by a defensive holding penalty. He will be best served by treating the near picks as picks in his preparation and work to prevent them.
It will not be easy. The Redskins face the Panthers this week and they are tied for the league lead with 14 interceptions. If Cousins can get past that one without a turnover perhaps it will be time to start rethinking the Cousins turnover machine narrative.