Kirk Cousins did not play well against Philadelphia in Week 1. He was not alone, really the whole offense underperformed save for a few select individuals. Still, like most NFL offenses, the team rises and falls largely on the quarterback's arm. 

Digging deeper into Cousins performance, some trends arise. This might not come as a surprise, but his completion percentage dropped when under duress. 


Looking at his complete game, Cousins dropped back 47 times. He was sacked four times and ran three times. That leaves 40 pass attempts. The following data comes from Pro Football Focus:

  • When Cousins faced no pressure, he completed 68 percent of his passes. That falls in line with his completion percentage the last two seasons. 
  • When there was pressure, and against the Eagles there was plenty, Cousins' completion percentage dropped significantly. He completed just six of 15 passes, good for 40 percent, and threw a red zone interception under pressure. 
  • Not all pressure comes from blitzing, as the Philadelphia defensive line was able to generate push on the pocket sometimes without extra defenders. 

For Redskins fans looking for a takeaway from the data, two subplots emerge. The Washington offensive line needs to play better, and Cousins does too. Only Trent Williams finished with a positive PFF rating for the game, and Pro Bowl right guard Brandon Scherff finished with his worst grade since Week 6 of his rookie year in 2015.

The three other Redskins offensive line starters finished with a negative rating, as did tight end Jordan Reed. The worst grade on the offense, however, belonged to Cousins. 

The Washington offense needs to perform at a much higher level on Sunday in Los Angeles to get their first win of the season. 


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