Most of the 2016 season, the Redskins offense did enough for the team to win.

Losses generally came at the fault of the team's defense. In the 2017 season opener the opposite came true. 

"You don’t have to look at the stat sheet for very long to see who won and lost," Washington coach Jay Gruden said after the 30-17 loss to Philadelphia

The Eagles outgained the Redskins, 356 yards to 264. The Redskins had four turnovers, three of them from Kirk Cousins.

If his second-half red zone interception didn't kill the Redskins' chances of a win, on a terrible backfoot you-can't-make-that throw, his late fourth quarter fumble was the nail in the coffin. 


Even without the turnovers, Cousins played poorly. He completed just 23 of 40 passes and repeatedly missed throws high. His wideouts didn't help much either, as Terrelle Pryor had a few bad drops. While we're at it, the offensive line underperformed and the run game stunk too. 

Cousins tied for the Redskins leading rusher with Rob Kelley as each player gained 30 yards on the ground. The problem was Kelley got to 30 yards on 10 carries, Cousins did it on three scrambled and one designed run. 

"It sucks. And I know that we are a lot better team than what we put out there," veteran RB Chris Thompson said. 


Thompson had the most impressive play of the day for the Redskins offense, pinballing off Eagles defenders for a 29-yard touchdown that briefly gave the Redskins a 14-13 lead.

It wasn't enough.

There is not room to celebrate any facet of the Redskins team in Sunday's loss. The defense played better and seemed capable, yet still struggled to get off the field on third down. Even the reliable Jamison Crowder muffed a punt and cost the Redskins a turnover. 


That said, it was exceedingly obvious the offense needs to be better for Washington. The Redskins were 3-of-11 on converting third downs and had nearly 10 minutes less possession than the Eagles. 

The Redskins defense was improved on Sunday, but for this team to win, the offense needs to be the driver. The next chance will come in Los Angeles, against a Rams team that rolled the Colts in their season opener and a head coach in Sean McVay quite familiar with the Redskins attack. 

"I think we just came out a little flat. Couldn’t really get anything going," tight end Vernon Davis said after the loss. "We have to get into practice and correct some things, just continue to keep working hard. It’s all we have to do. It’s game one."

Coming out flat has been a problem for Cousins and the Redskins. It's a mystery too, as the disappointing starts are a reoccurring trend. 

The fix isn't easy, or known.

But Gruden, Cousins and the rest of the Redskins better figure it out soon. 

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