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Kirk Cousins' interceptions are down but sacks are up...coincidence?


Kirk Cousins' interceptions are down but sacks are up...coincidence?

Kirk Cousins’ interceptions are way down in recent weeks.

His sack numbers, though, are way up.

Coincidence? Coach Jay Gruden says there is a connection. 

“Yeah, there's a correlation,” Gruden said. “ Sometimes it’s important for a quarterback to understand that sacks are okay from time-to-time. We don’t ever want to have negative plays but we also don’t want to feel pressure and just chuck them up for grabs.”

Which, on occasion, was something Cousins was prone to doing earlier in his career. Heck, even earlier this season.


  • Cousins threw eight interceptions in the seven games prior to the bye.
  • He’s thrown three interceptions in six games since the bye.
  • Cousins was sacked eight times in the seven games before the bye.
  • He’s been sacked 15 times in the six games since.  

Cousins has indeed appeared more judicious with his passes in the second half of the season. Sunday's victory in Chicago, in fact, is a good example of his cautiousness. He was sacked three times, and it could be argued that all were coverage sacks. Could Cousins have tossed the ball out of bounds? Perhaps. But that's a story for another day.

“I think he’s making better decisions with the ball and he’s making sure that he sees the throw before he lets it fly,” Gruden said. “If he doesn’t see them, he’s holding onto them just a little longer, which, in turn, might mean a sack from time-to-time. Sometimes those are better than the alternative. There’s a fine line…but I think playing the position, the more he plays it the better feel he will get."

Cousins said he isn’t convinced that there’s a direct connection between the decrease in picks and increase in sacks. But he did agree that his decision-making is improving and that he’s got to get better at avoiding sacks.

"I don't know,” Cousins said, asked if he sees a correlation. “I think as I play longer I'm able to gain more experience and continue to become a better decision-maker, which will be an ongoing process as long as I play. I do agree that a lot of those sacks [in recent games] were coverage sacks. I would look back at it and say 'How can I avoid this sack?’ Throw it away, leave the pocket, whatever it may be to avoid that sack. I think even with the higher sack numbers there are still things that I can be doing better to avoid turnovers, but also probably avoid those sacks as well.”

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Adrian Peterson continues surprising run in Redskins' win over Cowboys

Adrian Peterson continues surprising run in Redskins' win over Cowboys

LANDOVER, Md. -- With 22 starters comprising offensive and defensive players, plus another faction handling special teams, football is the ultimate team sport.

Now imagine where the 2018 Washington Redskins find themselves if the front office never brings in Adrian Peterson for that mid-preseason workout. Even Jamie Lee Curtis finds that frightening.

Peterson’s return to football glory continued with 99 rushing yards on 24 carries in Washington’s 20-17 win over the Dallas Cowboys Sunday evening.

“I won’t say we wouldn’t be as good in the run game, but, yeah,” left tackle Trent Williams said of his former University of Oklahoma teammate.

“Obviously having [Adrian], I won’t say it’s everything, but it’s almost everything,” Williams continued. His eyes widened as the Pro Bowl lineman pondered the potential downside of this offense without the future Hall of Famer. That’s a dark timeline.

Peterson’s Redskins career now spans six regular-season games. Sunday’s display of power in tight spaces and speed when daylight exists wasn’t a one-off. In those six games, Peterson rushed for at least 96 yards four times including the last two games despite playing with a painful shoulder.

“I’m feeling good, man, we just got a W,” the smiling running back said from behind the podium inside the media room at his newish home stadium. “That makes everything feel a lot better. I feel better than I did last week, I’ll say that.”

Washington felt concerned enough about its running attack following the second preseason game to scour the free agent market. Peterson arriving at Redskins Park in August generated the expected “Whoa” from the casual NFL fans, who picture the player hammering silly defenders daring to tackle him. That player no longer existed. At least that’s what many assumed.

Peterson last topped 1,000 yards or 4.0 yards per rush in 2015. Injuries and inefficiency headlined his 2017 stops in New Orleans and Arizona. Running backs capable of carrying an offense aren’t just lying around for the taking like a rogue penny on a sidewalk. Yet, there was Peterson, waiting for a team to show interest. After losing Derrius Guice with a season-ending knee injury and recognizing the in-house options were not enough, the Redskins called.

 “We didn’t have many expectations,” Jay Gruden said after the Redskins improved to 4-2 and took a 1 ½ game lead in the NFC East. “We weren’t expecting him to be on our football team until we had a couple of injuries. Then we got him. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I know he looked great in that workout.”

That workout led to a signing and almost simultaneously, the starting gig. Now it’s hard contemplating anyone else in those early down and short yardage scenarios. Peterson had runs of 23 and 20 yards against the Cowboys. The latter help set up one of two Dustin Hopkins field goals. His overall production helped move the chains in yet another game where the Alex Smith-led passing game lacked oomph.

This random road to Redskins Park is why Peterson’s renaissance feels shocking to many with one significant exception.

“No, not at all. I think everyone else around is surprised. I’m not,” Peterson said. “I expect greatness from myself. That’s why I put the work in. God has blessed with me this talent. A lot of people see, and a lot of people don’t. … Just keep confidence in myself. When I’m presented with my opportunity, I’m going to take advantage of it every Sunday.”

Peterson is taking advantage of this opportunity with the Redskins because necessity is the mother of invention. It turns out Washington’s running attack needed a reboot more than the running back required a makeover.

“There are not many guys like [Adrian] walking around the street,” Williams said, “and luckily, we found a diamond in the rough.”

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Josh Norman rocks Bobby Boucher jersey following Redskins' win over Cowboys

Josh Norman rocks Bobby Boucher jersey following Redskins' win over Cowboys

Josh Norman just took the jersey game to a whole new level.

Prior to the Redskins' gutsy 20-17 win over the Dallas Cowboys, Norman showed up to FedEx Field repping a Bobby Boucher Bourbon Bowl jersey from the iconic Adam Sandler movie "The Waterboy." 

He also repped the jersey following the win in the locker room with the media.

Many believed it was a shot at Giants' Odell Beckham Jr., who made comments this week about disliking water. But according to Norman, he just really likes the South Central Louisiana Mud Dogs.

Norman is known for repping a soccer jersey or two following a game, but he has everyone else beat this week.