Kirk Cousins was unhappy after the Redskins lost to the Steelers to open their season. Today after they lost to the Cowboys to fall to 0-2 Cousins seemed to be somewhat shaken.
“Yeah, it wasn’t good enough, obviously,” said Cousins when asked how he thought he played. “I need to play better. I can play better, and I believe going forward I will play better.”
That’s a good way to approach it, perhaps, but he was supposed to be past this stage. He wanted a big-money, long-term contract in the offseason and he settled for signing the franchise tender to guarantee a $20 million salary for this year.
The money doesn’t automatically make him a Pro Bowl QB or anything, but the thought was that he went through the major part of his growing pains in the early part of last season. This year, after a full offseason to prepare to be the starting quarterback Cousins was supposed to hit the ground running. Instead he has stumbled out of the gate.
“We’ll work to do whatever we can to fix it,” said Jay Gruden when asked about Cousins’ struggles. “We’re going to get back to the grind. We’ve got the New York Giants as soon as we leave here so he can watch the tap, find out what’s going on if he’s not sure what the indecision might be, why he’s missing some throws.”
Cousins did make some nice throws but his day will be remembered mostly for two costly plays. In the first quarter he had Jamison Crowder wide open with nothing but about 10 yards of green grass between him and the end zone. But Cousins badly overthrew the pass. Instead of scoring a touchdown the Redskins had to punt.
“I think I just led him up the field a little more than his route was initially taking him,” said Cousins. “I need to go back and watch the film and see it but part of me thinks he breaks at a certain angle. I threw it at a slightly different angle and that margin of error so is so small.”
Perhaps, but as wide open as Crowder was the margin for error seemed to be quite big.
In the fourth quarter the Redskins were clinging to a three-point lead and were in position to pad their lead. But on third and goal at the six Cousins got picked off by safety Barry Church in the end zone.
“I felt like I needed to work not off schedule but just needed the play to develop a little longer,” said Cousins. “Backside safety [Church] made a good play coming over. He was the one who made the play.”
And so it goes. There is plenty of culpability to go around for the 0-2 start. They say that the quarterback gets too much blame when the team loses but it’s hard to overstate the impact of about half a dozen plays that Cousins executed on a regular basis last year that he couldn’t get done today.
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