The most frustrating aspect of the Redskins’ loss to the Falcons last Sunday was, of course, the pick six thrown by Kirk Cousins on the last play of the game. But there were plenty of other vexing moments during the game when it looked like Cousins had a receiver open but instead he threw off target.
Some throws sailed high. Some were behind the intended receiver, including one that deflected off of Pierre Garçon and into the arms of an Atlanta defender. During the game my Twitter timeline was filled with fans complaining about Cousins’ inaccurate passes.
But was he really all that inaccurate against the Falcons? He completed 65.6 percent of his passes. The NFL average for the year is a 64.2 percent completion rate. I’m not sure if it is reasonable to call him out for his accuracy when he had a game that is statistically average five games into the season.
And the game was pretty much in line with the rest of Cousins’ 2015 season. He has completed 68.1 percent of his passes on the year, ninth in the NFL. He has not had a game with a completion percentage under 61 percent and he has gone as high as 85 percent during the win over the Rams.
Regardless, Cousins is working to improve the number of passes that are caught rather than off target.
“We are going to go back and look critically at ourselves and how we can make sure that what was an incompletion in the future is a completion,” he said. “I consider myself to be an accurate passer. If I miss, I go back and look at, ‘OK, what did I do? Was it I over-strided? Did I expect him to somewhere else? Was there something with protection that caused my mechanics to be off?’ Whatever it may be, you have got to go back and look at it and have the correct review. But then make the fix, move on and wipe it and say, ‘OK, we’re good. I'll make the throw next time.' I think going forward we'll be fine in that area.’”
To be sure, Cousins’ passing performance has plenty of room for improvement. His interception rate sits at 3.2 percent compared to the league rate of 2.4 percent. The NFL averages 7.3 yards per pass attempt while Cousins averaged 6.6. Cousins working on his accuracy (and there is room for improvement as eight QBs are completing passes at a rate of better than 70 percent) will help improve the deficiencies in the other areas.
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