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QB Kirk Cousins - Washington Redskins

6-3, 214Born: 8-19-1988College: Michigan StateDrafted: Round 4

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Photo: Brad Mills, US Presswire

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From the upgrade/downgrade report (Mon Nov 28): Cousins lit up the Cowboys suspect pass defense, including a deep shot to DeSean Jackson and red zone mastery from Jordan Reed that had been missing from the offense in many weeks. Reed's shoulder injury could ding Cousins outlook heading into a matchup with Arizona, but he has to be treated as a presumptive every week starter and fantasy QB1.

Week 13: at Arizona Cardinals

All QB vs ARI

Mark and Joe say: Tough matchup. Washington gave the Cowboys' secondary fits last week - Kirk Cousins threw 41/53 for 449 yards passing, three TDs and zero interceptions with zero sacks taken during the contest. It was Cousins' second time over 400 yards passing over the last four contests played, and he's also slung 21/30 for 375 yards passing, three TDs and zero interceptions (vs. Green Bay) during that time frame. Cousins has gone three straight games without an interception thrown, and has 20 TD passes this year vs. just seven picks. Whew! He's hot, folks. Jordan Reed played through a shoulder injury at Dallas, and wound up with 12 targets for 10/95/2 receiving (but he looks iffy for Week 13 - keep an eye on his practice participation later in the week), while DeSean Jackson took the top off the defense multiple times with eight targets for 4/118/1 receiving Jamison Crowder (10 for 8/88/0) and Vernon Davis (seven for 5/68/0) were both heavily involved in the attack at Dallas, as well. In fact, Crowder has 24 catches for 334 yards and three touchdowns over the last four games - he's on a roll along with Cousins going into Week 13. The Cardinals' vaunted pass defense (currently second in the NFL averaging 195.1 net yards allowed per game, with just nine passing scores handed out over 11 games) gave up 26/34 for 244 net yards passing, two TDs and one interception (with three sacks generated for -25 yards) to Matt Ryan and company last weekend. Sam Bradford threw 20/28 for 145 net yards passing, one TD and zero interceptions against the Cardinals two games ago, while taking two sacks for -24 yards. From Week Nine to Week 12 of the 2016 season (over the last four weeks, but includes 14 teams on bye during that time span - each team has at least three games played in the last four weeks), Arizona has averaged 20.1 fantasy points allowed per game to opposing quarterbacks (11th-least in the NFL); and 27 fantasy points per game allowed to wide receivers (eighth-most); but just 2.9 fantasy points given up per game to tight ends (least in the NFL). This is a solid unit that fell short in Atlanta. The Washington pass defense has to travel to the desert for this game - advantage, Arizona.

Recent Stats and Projections

10 vs MIN 63 22 33 262 2 0 1 -1 0 0 21
11 vs GB 68 21 30 375 3 0 4 4 0 0 31.15
12 at DAL 75 41 53 449 3 0 1 2 0 0 33.65
13 at ARI PROJ-Dodds * 24 38 * * * 2 * * * *
13 at ARI PROJ-Tremblay * 26 41 * * * 2 * * * *
13 at ARI PROJ-Bloom * 24 35 * * * 2 * * * *

Recent Game Summaries

2016 Week 12 vs DAL (41 / 53 / 449 / 3 / 0 pass, 1 / 2 / 0 rush)

Kirk Cousins played an outstanding game as he put up his best day of the year statistically. It was a tad unusual to see Kirk play at such a high level considering the high volume of pass attempts in this game. However, Kirk had his way with the Dallas secondary as he tossed three touchdowns to go along with fifty-three attempts. The first touchdown of the game came in the third quarter to Jordan Reed from five yards out. Kirk led Washington within scoring range in the first half but both times resulted in a missed field goal. The yardage was there and Kirk helped Washington to dominate time of possession so it was only a matter of time before the touchdowns started to register. After hooking up with Jordan Reed, Kirk found DeSean Jackson streaking up the sideline after a breakdown in coverage for a sixty-seven yard touchdown. It was a welcoming site to see Kirk connect on a deep ball to DeSean as they have struggled all year. The final touchdown for Kirk came on late in the game while using their hurry up offense. Kirk found Jordan Reed in the back of the end zone on a twenty yard strike. Kirk hit nine different receivers in this game and he was completely dialed in against a lackluster Dallas secondary. Kirk was in rhythm all game but there were certainly more opportunities touchdowns.

2016 Week 11 vs GB (21 / 30 / 375 / 3 / 0 pass, 4 / 4 / 0 rush)

Kirk Cousins played an overall terrific game against the Packers Sunday night. He took full advantage of a depleted Packers secondary as he was efficient in the passing game. He also kept the turnovers at zero which helps Washington's offense immensely. He was sharp early as he connected with several receivers before finding DeSean Jackson for a first quarter touchdown. It was a post route in which Kirk made a great read as DeSean shook loose from his defender over the middle doe the score. Kirk and the offense stalled a bit in the second and third quarter, but exploded in the fourth. Kirk put together five touchdown drives in the fourth quarter that put this game away. The running game was clicking so that allowed him to dissect the field in the passing game with his potent play action passing. He found Pierre Garcon for a seventy yard bomb and later connected with Jamison Crowder for fifty three yards. Kirk's attempts in the passing game were right at thirty which is good and shows that the offense has balance. He is most effective when being able to run the ball and this game was a great example in that area. The wind was problematic for passing all night but Kirk demonstrated a strong arm in the adverse conditions. This was Kirk's strongest output of the season leading this offense. If they can remain balanced moving forward Kirk can continue these type of performances.

2016 Week 10 vs MIN (22 / 33 / 262 / 2 / 0 pass, 1 / -1 / 0 rush)

Kirk Cousins played a fairly clean game due to the fact that he didn't commit any turnovers. He had a few erratic throws but keeping the ball out of harm's way was huge for him. Kirk threw two touchdowns in the first half but failed to get the ball in the end zone in the second half. His first touchdown went to Vernon Davis in the first quarter on a perfectly placed ball right up the seam. The second touchdown came in the second quarter where he found success in the red zone locating Jamison Crowder. It was a simple out route in which Jamison shook free of his defender for a ten yard score. The second half was a defensive battle where Kirk had to settle for field goals. He had two trips in the red zone the entire second half but could not capitalize as he was once again inaccurate. He completed passes to seven receivers and kept his volume of passes down due to a steady run game. That formula usually helps him play a 'turnover-free' game.

2016 Week 8 vs CIN (38 / 56 / 458 / 2 / 1 pass, 3 / -1 / 0 rush)

Kirk Cousins had a big day passing the ball and they needed every bit of it. The Bengals have a stout front seven that takes pride in stopping the run, so essentially Kirk needed to make plays with his arm. He had fifty-six attempts and what made his day more impressive is that many of those attempts were while under pressure. However, with such a pass heavy day comes opportunities for error. There were several pass attempts that should have been intercepted but Kirk only had one turnover in this game. He was under extreme pressure and threw an errant pass downfield that went straight to the defender. Kirk's performance was otherwise impressive as he completed passes to six different receivers. His best play of the day was with less than two minutes left in regulation when he needed to convert a third down. That play put Washington in field goal range to tie the game up to go into overtime. The Bengals brought a blitz and while being under pressure he was able to complete the pass to Jamison Crowder. Kirk only threw two touchdowns in this game despite the enormous yardage totals which is the downside to such a productive day statistically. He had five trips in the red zone but only came away with two touchdowns. His red zone production has to improve to avoid games like these where you tie or ultimately lose due to missed opportunities.

2016 Week 7 vs DET (30 / 39 / 301 / 1 / 0 pass, 3 / 15 / 1 rush)

Kirk Cousins played a steady game against Detroit. He almost avoided the turnovers but had two fumbles with one of them being lost. However, Washington had another high volume passing game in which Kirk almost threw 40 passes but he stayed clear of interceptions. He was very accurate on short to intermediate throws and stuck to his strengths in those areas. Kirk's longest completion of the day was for twenty seven yards as he found his speedy tight end Vernon Davis. Kirk threw his lone touchdown of the day to the backup running back on a one yard pass at the goal line. He can have had an even bigger day if they converted on a few more of their red zone trips. The turnovers could have been costly but Kirk played well enough to win the game. The late fourth quarter touchdown run from nineteen yards out put them ahead but the defense couldn't hold onto the lead. It might be wise to use Kirk on more play action run opportunities in the red zone as he has proved to be a capable runner.

2016 Week 6 vs PHI (18 / 34 / 263 / 2 / 1 pass, 2 / 8 / 0 rush)

Kirk Cousins battled through constant pressure most of this game and played well enough to get the win. The first two drives of the game started out skittish as he constantly missed receivers and the run game couldn't get started. By the end of the first quarter Kirk found his groove and he marched the team down field and found Jamison Crowder for a twenty yard strike. On the following possession Kirk found success in the red zone again as he hooked up with Vernon Davis on a terrific throw up the seam. Kirk is still a bit out of sorts when facing pressure as he threw his lone interception of the day facing a blitz. The play action roll out didn't fool the defense and before Kirk could make a proper read he just panicked and threw it. Kirk tried to find his intended receiver without noticing the defender cutting underneath and it was returned for a touchdown. Kirk only managed two field goals in the second half as he was unable to capitalize on two red zone opportunities. There was a mixture of bad throws and heavy pressure that prevented him from putting touchdowns on the board. Fortunately for Kirk his running backs played a huge role and kept him away from more mishaps in the passing game. It is clear Kirk needs a clean pocket to be as efficient as he would like to be.

2016 Week 5 vs BAL (29 / 41 / 260 / 1 / 1 pass, 1 / -1 / 0 rush)

Kirk Cousins struggled to find consistency in the passing game today for various reasons. The sporadic high winds and inaccurate throws were often seen from Kirk in this game. The run game wasn't as effective as the last two games so it forced Kirk to pass more than maybe they desired. Kirk attempted forty-one passes but only had one touchdown on the day. He missed DeSean Jackson twice for potential big plays but ultimately wasn't able to generate a spark with the electric receiver. Kirk also had one interception and one fumble. The interception could have been costly had the linebacker not fumbled the ball into the end zone for a touchback. The fumble was fortunately recovered by Washington. The interception play would have been a late game pick six and likely closed the door on Washington's chances to seal the win. This game turned into a defensive battle and Kirk was fortunate enough not to come out on the wrong side of this contest. The Ravens and the weather kept this game bottled up for Kirk and didn't allow the chunk plays that they like to get in the passing game. Overall, Kirk was unable to sustain drives as he displayed scattered accuracy and poor decision making throughout this game.

2016 Week 4 vs CLE (21 / 27 / 183 / 3 / 1 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)

Kirk Cousins put together one of his better performances of the season this Sunday against the Cleveland Browns. He had great balance and it showed from the opening drive. There were six pass plays and five runs all while keeping the offense on schedule. However, the biggest showing for Kirk and the offense this game was there efficiency in the red zone. On the opening drive of the game Kirk found Jordan Reed for an eight yard score. He followed up that drive by finding Jordan again in the back of the end zone after scrambling to buy time. In total Kirk executed four red zone trips which is what is needed if they want to accumulate wins. Washington had only three red zone touchdowns in total prior to playing Cleveland. Kirk still has to clean up the turnovers as he still threw an interception despite his improvement on scoring drives. He lost a fumble as well to go along with a few drives that got bogged down by penalties and misreads. As a result of some sloppy play in the third quarter, Washington went on a scoring drought until the fourth. Overall, Kirk did a good job closing the game out in the fourth quarter by executing two scoring drives which led to touchdowns instead of field goals. The run game helped Kirk immensely with seeing the field better and staying away from such a high volume passing game.

2016 Week 3 vs NYG (21 / 35 / 296 / 2 / 0 pass, 3 / -5 / 0 rush)

Kirk Cousins had another slow start which has been part of the issue with the Washington offense so far this year. Kirk's first three drives resulted in field goals and stopped Washington from gaining any real momentum on the road. Then as they were looking at a 21-9 deficit it was once again on Kirk to dig the team out of a hole. The offense finally got on track as Kirk connected with DeSean Jackson for a forty-four yard touchdown towards the end of the first half. DeSean ran what seemed to be a "nine/go route" and Kirk put the pass right on target in the end zone in front of two defenders. This was vital to Kirk's confidence as well as the entire offense going into halftime. He has struggled with accuracy so far this season and has several misfired deep shots to DeSean so that play was much needed. On Washington's first possession of the second half Kirk threw a bubble screen to Jamison Crowder and he did the rest of the work on his way to a fifty-five yard touchdown. These were Kirk's only two touchdowns of the day but his clean play allowed Washington to stay on track. Kirk's zero turnover day was a huge plus and proved to be a huge factor in their comeback. He still has to get more efficient in the red zone with reads and accuracy but today was a good start towards building some positive momentum.

2016 Week 2 vs DAL (28 / 46 / 364 / 1 / 1 pass, 2 / 20 / 0 rush)

Kirk Cousins had a classic tale of two halves. Kirk often missed on throws that either stalled drives or left opportunities to score on the field. He has been known for being an accurate quarterback but his play so far has been erratic and streaky. Kirk's most notable mishaps that could have potentially turned the tide of the game are his touchdown misses to Desean Jackson and Jamison Crowder. Kirk had DeSean deep up the right sideline but overthrew him and missed Jamison Crowder on what appeared to be a post corner route. These two plays would have sent them into the half with fourteen points instead of six. However, in the second half he found somewhat of a rhythm as he put together of seventy-five yard scoring drive to open the third quarter. Kirk found Jamison Crowder in the red zone as he took advantage of the slot corner going up the seam. The pass had perfect touch which demonstrates Kirk's terrific accuracy that leaves him at bad times. It was great to see him capitalize in the red zone for once because he has struggled mightily there so far this season. It should be noted that Kirk threw another red zone interception as he misread the coverage trying to find Pierre Garcon in the end zone and ultimately ended another potential scoring drive. Washington had one last chance to redeem the day as they got the ball back with a little over one minute left. Kirk made a few good throws to put them within striking distance for one last Hail Mary heave but it was thrown out of the back of the end zone and the game was over. Kirk leads a pass heavy attack but his inaccuracies and seemingly confused reads in the red zone have been problematic for the entire offense.

2016 Week 1 vs PIT (30 / 43 / 329 / 0 / 2 pass, 1 / 8 / 0 rush)

Kirk Cousins day had some highlights and its fair share of lowlights. Kirk did a very good job of finding receivers all game, but came up short finding touchdowns. He started the game a little cold as he often missed receivers by being off target. Their first possession was a three and out mainly due to the fact that the offense had poor execution. Cousins continued this trend while managing to get two field goals out of reaching the red zone. Kirk only completed passes to two receivers in the first half with a few to Jordan Reed as well. The Steelers forced Cousins to be patient as they played plenty zone to avoid the big plays. This plan hindered his ability to get Jordan Reed going as his biggest weapon. As the game started to get out of reach and forced Kirk to be more aggressive the offense slowly started to unravel. He had two interceptions as the first one was a blatant misread down the middle. The 2nd interceptions came as a result of a tipped pass. Overall Kirk managed the game well making high percentage passes but inconsistent execution stalled the offense most of the night. Kirk threw 43 passes which is usually the danger zone for him being at his best. His favorite target turned out to be DeSean Jackson for this game as the Steelers completely took Jordan Reed away. The biggest potential play of the game for Kirk was wiped out by a pass interference call going deep to DeSean Jackson.


Latest News

Redskins | Kirk Cousins could receive franchise tag (Sun Nov 27, 09:29 AM) - The Washington Redskins are expected to place the franchise tag on QB Kirk Cousins if they are unable to agree to a long-term contract extension by the time free agency opens in March, according to a source familiar with the situation. Cousins is earning $19.95 million this season.

link to story   

Redskins | Red zone issues for Kirk Cousins (Sat Nov 26, 11:27 PM) - Washington Redskins QB Kirk Cousins said there is not one 'overarching fix' to an offense that ranks 28th in the NFL in red zone touchdown efficiency.

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Redskins | Kirk Cousins tops 400 yards (Thu Nov 24, 08:15 PM) - Washington Redskins QB Kirk Cousins completed 41 of his 53 passes for 449 yards and three touchdowns in a 31-26 loss to the Dallas Cowboys Thursday, Nov. 24.

Our View: Cousins was dealing against the Cowboys, and Washington was moving the ball down the field regularly. However, they fell short in the red zone on multiple occasions and couldn't overcome those shortcomings.
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Redskins | Kirk Cousins may be tagged again (Thu Nov 24, 12:18 PM) - Washington Redskins QB Kirk Cousins may receive the franchise tag again this offseason if the two sides are not able to reach a long-term agreement, according to sources. The Redskins are willing to pay Cousins $24 million for one season if it keeps him off the free-agent market.

Our View: Cousins has proven himself to be a worthy starter and Washington should be looking to lock him down long-term. The tag could be just to buy them time to find a happy medium between his asking price and what they want to pay him. He'll have another spotlight opportunity on Thanksgiving against Dallas. We have him as a top five option this week.
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13@ Arizona Cardinals
14@ Philadelphia Eagles
15vs Carolina Panthers
16@ Chicago Bears
17vs New York Giants