QB Kirk Cousins - Minnesota Vikings
|6-3, 214||Born: 8-19-1988||College: Michigan State||Drafted: Round 4, pick 2012|
2019 Week 1 vs ATL (8 / 10 / 98 / 1 / 0 pass, 6 / 4 / 1 rush)
It was a very rocky first year for Cousins and all eyes were on him in week 1 to see if he would rebound and earn all of the money Minnesota gave him. To everyones surprise, Cousins only had to throw the ball 10 times this week and let the running game take over. Cousins found Thielen on the first drive of the game after a blocked punt for a 23-yard touchdown. Thielen worked his way across the middle of the field and Cousins threw him open with a great ball on the deep crossing route. Thielen did the rest of the work and broke 2 tackles for the touchdown. Cousins also helped his own cause on the ground with a rushing touchdown on a quarterback sneak up the middle. Cousins served as more of a game manager this week and it worked out for the Vikings. It will be a much different game next week against a revitalized Packer defense that held the Bears to 3 points in week 1. Cousins will be asked to do a little more next week and again all eyes in Minnesota will be on him to see if he is worth the money they paid.
2019 Week 2 vs GB (14 / 32 / 230 / 1 / 2 pass, 2 / 17 / 0 rush)
Everyone thought last week was just an outlier and that Cousins could merely manage a game when Dalvin Cook takes over. This week the Vikings dug themselves a 21-0 hole and Cousins did everything possible to not climb out of it. His lone job saving play was a perfectly thrown 45-yard pass to Diggs for a touchdown. The ball landed just over his outside shoulder in stride for the touchdown. Diggs proceeded to take off his helmet and was called for an unsportsmanlike penalty that pushed the extra point back and Dan Bailey proceeded to miss the kick. Cousins also had a 3-yard touchdown to Diggs nullified by an offensive pass interference call on Dalvin Cook that he proceeded to turn into a field goal. There were a few other big plays, including a 61-yard catch and run by Chad Beebe and a 30-yard catch by Thielen. There were also the 2 interceptions thrown. The first he tried to force a ball across the middle to Diggs in a crowd of Packers defenders and the ball was tipped and intercepted. The second was the worst play of the game where Cousins fled a collapsing pocket, back pedaled away from the goal line, and threw up a lame duck that was an easy interception in the corner of the end zone. Rather than throw the ball away and have another red zone try, he forced the ball towards the end zone and came away with no points. The Vikings paid Cousins a lot of money and are unlikely to move off of him after 2 bad games, but if this trend continues this season the Vikings may want to think about drafting the quarterback of the future in Minnesota.
2019 Week 3 vs OAK (15 / 21 / 174 / 1 / 0 pass, 4 / 16 / 0 rush)
It was a good game for Cousins in regard to not turning the football over, but it is week 3 and he has looked like nothing more than a game manager. Cousins benefitted from a rushing attack that had more than 200 yards on the ground and 3 touchdowns. He made a few nice throws but was largely not needed this week. His lone touchdown pass was a 35-yard strike to Thielen on a ball that any coach at any level would tell you not to throw. Cousins went play action and rolled to his left, he abruptly stopped, threw back across his body and the field to Thielen, and was rewarded with a touchdown after the receiver out ran his defender and into the end zone. This is not a safe throw and not one you would like to see a struggling quarterback make very often. Cousins did show good chemistry with rookie tight end Irv Smith and that may be something they can build on for the rest of the season. Cousins seems to be the most out of tune with Stefon Diggs so far this season but that could change very quickly with the right matchup. Cousins did not turn the ball over this week and did not give up a single sack. Next week against the Bears defense will be the true test to see if he has turned the corner for the Vikings.
2019 Week 4 vs CHI (27 / 36 / 233 / 0 / 0 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
It is tough when everyone in the building knows you are the problem and everything you are trying just is not working. Cousins may not have thrown an interception this week, but he did put the ball on the ground twice and was sacked 6 times. Several drives were killed when he held the ball too long or simply missed wide open receivers. Teams are starting to stack the box against Cook because they know Cousins is not going to beat them through the air. Cousins had a single nice play this week when he completed a 39-yard pass to Stefon Diggs. HE may have completed 75% of his passes this week, but he was off the mark when it really mattered. The connection with Adam Thielen is all but gone this season as Cousins just cannot find him down the field. Thielen had multiple steps on his defender in the first half and Cousins threw the ball 5 yards over his head on what should have been an easy touchdown. He is throwing the ball behind him on crossing routes and having the ball sail on comebacks. Cousins has the benefit of a massive guaranteed contract right now, but the Vikings will have to seriously consider moving on if he does not start to play better.
2019 Week 5 vs NYG (22 / 27 / 306 / 2 / 0 pass, 3 / 3 / 0 rush)
We finally got a glimpse of the Kirk Cousins to Adam Thielen connection from the beginning of last season. It came against a very poor Giants secondary, but at least we know it can still happen. Cousins had easily his best game of the season with more than 300 yards passing, 2 touchdowns, and no interceptions. The biggest issue this week was the inability to score touchdowns and settling for 4 field goals and a safety. The first touchdown for Cousins went for 15 yards to Thielen and capped off a drive that started at their own 2-yard line. Thielen made a move at the line and had just half a yard of separation from his man when Cousins delivered the back-shoulder fade. Thielen turned around just in time to make the catch as he was falling to the ground. The second touchdown came after a 41-yard run by Dalvin Cook and came on a 9-yard play-action pass in the back of the end zone for Thielen. Cousins left the ball a little high to get over the linebacker in the middle of the field, but Thielen was able to come down with it for the score. Cousins accounted for 5 plays over 20 yards and had the longest play of the game on a 44-yard pass to Thielen. The protection still needs to get better with Cousins being sacked 3 times for a loss of 27 yards, but it was a much better performance overall.
2019 Week 6 vs PHI (22 / 29 / 333 / 4 / 1 pass, 2 / 0 / 0 rush)
Cousins has looked like a completely different quarterback the last 2 weeks than what we saw at the beginning of the season. He is moving around in the pocket and making throws down the field to his elite receivers. Cousins accounted for 4 touchdowns this week and over 300 yards of passing. He was sacked once for a loss of 8 yards and threw an interception just before half time. The ball was intended for Diggs down the sideline and was just an unlucky bounce of the ball after Diggs was hit from behind. The Viking defense intercepted the Eagles on the next drive and then both teams went into half time. Cousins opened the scoring with a 6-yard touchdown pass to Thielen in the back corner of the end zone. He put enough air on the ball and allowed Thielen to run under it and get both feet in without being touched by his defender. The second touchdown went for 62 yards down the middle of the field to Diggs. It was a perfectly thrown ball to his receiver in stride after he had burned his man and the safety did not come over to help. He followed that up with his third touchdown and another 51 yards to Diggs down the sideline. The entire defense bit on the play fake and Cousins was able to roll to his left and hit Diggs in stride again for the touchdown. The fourth and final score came on a ball to Diggs in the back of the end zone. His receiver started his route to the outside and then cut back to the middle when Cousins was flushed from the pocket. He let go a pass that was a little high, but Diggs was able to come down with it and get both feet in the back of the end zone. Despite the single turnover, this was the best game of the season for Cousins so far and the Viking offense looked very balanced. Cousins will have to play like this against much better teams if the Vikings want to get back into the Super Bowl conversation.
2019 Week 7 vs DET (24 / 34 / 337 / 4 / 0 pass, 4 / -3 / 0 rush)
After a very disappointing start to the season, Cousins put together his 3rd straight 300 yard passing game and a second straight game with 4 touchdowns. There are a lot of things going right for the Vikings offense right now and one of the biggest changes has been the protection of Cousins. The offensive line did not allow a single sack this week and Cousins did not turn the ball over. He was intercepted in the end zone, but a defensive pass interference call overturned the turn over and the Vikings later punched it in for the score. Cousins first touchdown went to Adam Thielen on a beautifully thrown 25-yard pass. Cousins saw the zone coverage after calling Thielen into motion and rolled left long enough for Thielen to come free in the back of the end zone. The second touchdown was a 1-yard score to Bisi Johnson where Cousins saw the man coverage by calling him into motion and knew the linebacker could not get across the formation in time to stop the 1-yard pass in the flat. It was an easy pitch and catch for the score. His third touchdown was a 5-yard pass in the flat to C.J Ham. The coverage rolled to the inside when the outside receiver ran a slant and Ham was able to slip underneath into the flat and outrun his linebacker in coverage for the score. The final touchdown was the first of the season to Kyle Rudolph and went for 15 yards. Rudolph lined up in a bunch formation and made it look like he was blocking before he spun off his man and settled into the void in the zone coverage. Cousins made the easy throw and Rudolph did the rest of the work to get in the end zone. Cousins seems to have finally turned the corner on his season and will take on his former team at home on Thursday night.
2019 Week 8 vs WAS (23 / 26 / 285 / 0 / 0 pass, 2 / 2 / 0 rush)
The stat line seems a little misleading when you look at the final score. Cousins set a Viking franchise record in completion percentage this week and threw for nearly 300 yards again, but he did not have a single passing touchdown and the Vikings only punched it into the end zone once. Cousins was very efficient this week and completed passes to 7 different players on a roster that has been hurting in the receiver department. The re-connection with Diggs continued this week with another 100-yard game. The duo connected on long plays of 33 and 39 yards where Diggs turned a deep crossing route up the field for big gains. The Vikings would have had a great opportunity for points on the first drive had it not been for a fumble by Diggs. Cousins dealt with pressure from the Washington line and was sacked 3 times for a loss of 12 yards, but what he did well was throw the ball away when he was in trouble and not trying to force anything. 2 of his 3 incompletions were on passes that he threw away to not take a sack. Cousins has turned the corner since the start of the season but will still need to prove that he can win the big game. The Chiefs will be a big test coming up next.
2019 Week 9 vs KC (19 / 38 / 220 / 3 / 0 pass, 1 / 5 / 0 rush)
The story line of not being able to win the big game continues to Cousins. There were a lot of things that went wrong for the Vikings defense and the loss cannot be solely put on him, but it was not his finest effort. Cousins was wildly inaccurate this week and missed on several key throws that could have easily changed the game. He missed Diggs on a long pass that could have gone for a touchdown and changed the entire game script in the 1st half. He did not turn the ball over and added 3 touchdowns, but it was far from a dominating performance. His first touchdown went to Bisi Johnson for 4 yards. Johnson ran a slant that got shut down, but he smartly continued up the field and Cousins found him all alone in the back of the end zone. It was an easy pitch and catch to tie the game 7-7. The second touchdown went to little used Ameer Abdullah and was a 16-yard wheel route that the back up running back took down the side line and into the end zone. It was a check down throw that ended up working out when all of the coverage rolled to the other side of the field. His third touchdown went to Kyle Rudolph and was a great throw on a slant in the back of the end zone. Rudolph carried 2 defenders with him, and Cousins delivered the ball just before he met with the safety in the middle of the field. Cousins was sacked a single time for a loss of 8 yards and managed to hold on to the ball the entire game. Cousins will have to put this one behind him before traveling to Dallas to take on a familiar opponent on Sunday Night Football next week. It is a great opportunity to show Minnesota that he can win the big prime time game.
2019 Week 10 vs DAL (23 / 32 / 220 / 2 / 0 pass, 1 / 5 / 0 rush)
After struggling last week against the Chiefs, Cousins got back on track this week against Dallas. It was a familiar opponent from his time with the Redskins and the bright lights of Sunday Night football did not prove to be too much for Cousins this week. He was sacked a single time despite the relentless pass rush from the Cowboys and did not turn the ball over. There was a play where the officials did not blow it dead and a forward pass was picked up and returned for a touchdown, but after review they got it right and saw the arm moving forward and took away the defensive touchdown. Cousins added 2 touchdown passes and a 2-point conversion this week and they all went to Rudolph. The first touchdown looked like a broken play and a throw away that turned into a circus catch for a touchdown. Cousins rolled to his left and made a jump throw to try and get rid of the ball. Rudolph came streaking across the back of the end zone and made a one-handed catch as he went to the ground and kept both feet in. His second pass also went to Rudolph for a 1-yard play action pass in the back of the end zone. Cousins was looking at his full back in the flat and realized the linebacker had jumped the route and left Rudolph in the back of the end zone alone. His 2-point conversion play also went to Rudolph on a play where he rolled to the right and found the big tight end in the other corner of the end zone. It was a very productive and balanced game for the Vikings offense. Cousins did not have to force the ball and was able to play with a lead for the majority of the game after they jumped out to a 14-0 lead. Cousins will take on the Broncos defense next week before getting a week of rest in week 12.
2019 Week 11 vs DEN (29 / 35 / 319 / 3 / 0 pass, 2 / 1 / 0 rush)
It was a tale of 2 halves for Cousins this week. The first half was borderline embarrassing as the Vikings failed to put up a single point at home. Cousins flipped some sort of switch at half time and came out to throw 3 touchdowns and lead the Vikings to an improbable comeback against Denver. The first touchdown pass came on the opening drive of the second half. Cousins unloaded a 44-yard deep pass to Diggs to det the Vikings up at the 10-yard line. After another failed rushing attempt from Cook, Cousins found rookie Irv Smith for his first career touchdown in the back of the end zone. Cousins had a clean pocket and found Smith open in the seam with a step on his man and delivered the ball just before he went out of the back of the end zone. The second touchdown pass was a thing of beauty. Cousins unloaded a 54-yard touchdown pass to Stefon Diggs. It was a play action stretch play and the entire defense bit on the third and short play. Cousins rolled to his left and gave Diggs enough time to break free of his man deep down the middle of the field. The perfectly thrown ball hit Diggs in stride and let him walk into the end zone and brought the score to within 3. The final touchdown came after the Broncos missed a field goal and the Vikings drove the ball 67 yards for the go ahead score. Cousins found Rudolph all alone in the flat and the big tight end rumbled 32 yards down the sideline for the score. It was the exact same play as the Diggs touchdown and the defense again bit on the play action with Cousins rolling to his left. Cousins finished the day with more than 300 yards passing in what was essentially a half of football. All of Minnesota is relieved to have a Bye week so they can calm down after that game before taking on Seattle.
2019 Week 13 vs SEA (22 / 38 / 276 / 2 / 1 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
The struggles of Cousins in primetime games continued this week after falling to 0-8 on Monday Night Football. He did not attempt a pass more than 5 yards down the field until well into the second quarter and relied on screens and quick passes to try and move the ball. He was not sacked a single time this week but was often rushed and had to get the ball out early. He was unable to complete any deep shots down the field to Diggs and only managed to salvage his day on a broken coverage long touchdown to Treadwell. He did lead a field goal drive just before half time with less than a minute on the clock but that was the only time, he seemed to preform under pressure this week. After the Seahawks jumped out to a 27-17 lead, Cousins promptly threw an interception to Tre Flowers on the second play of the ensuing drive. The blame can be placed mostly on Diggs who bobbled the ball as he was going to the ground and allowed Flowers to take it away from him. After the defense allowed another touchdown, Cousins finally got on the board with a 58-yard touchdown pass to Laquon Treadwell. Cousins rolled to his right and the corner left his coverage of Treadwell to play the run. From there is was an easy completion and long run to the end zone for Treadwell. That was his only catch of the game. For his second touchdown, Cousins found Rudolph in the middle of the end zone for an amazing 1 handed catch from 3 yards out. Cousins was running out of time in the pocket and let loose a high pass in the middle of the field hoping his big tight end could make the play. Dan Bailey missed the extra point that would have brought the score to within 3 and then a turnover on downs and a fumbled kick return ended the Vikings chance at a comeback. Cousins will hope to repeat his performance against the Lions next week and get the Vikings back on track.
2019 Week 14 vs DET (24 / 30 / 242 / 1 / 0 pass, 1 / -1 / 0 rush)
It was not a repeat of the 337 yards and 4 touchdowns he threw in week 7 against the Lions, but Cousins was able to rebound and do enough this week to help the Vikings get the win. He completed 80% of his passes, threw 1 touchdown to Bisi Johnson, and most importantly did not turn over the football. The offensive line did a great job in protection this week with Cousins only being sacked a single time for a loss of 8 yards. His touchdown to Johnson came late in the 1st quarter and went for 9 yards in the back of the end zone. It was a play-action pass with Johnson running a drag route in the back of the end zone. He had a step on his man and Cousins let loose a pass that was a little high but still within reach for a leaping Johnson. It could have been an easier throw and catch but the end result was the same. His longest play of the game went deep down the side line for 44 yards to Stefon Diggs and a 36-yard pass to Treadwell across the middle. Cousins continues to love to check down to C.J. Ham and saw a screen play go for 25 yards as well. It will be a huge boost for Cousins when Thielen suits back up and the Vikings offense is at full strength. Laquon Treadwell and Bisi Johnson have stepped up in recent weeks but there is no equally the presence of Thielen on the field. Cousins needs to continue to play well and limit the turnovers in the final 3 weeks for the Vikings to make the playoffs.
2019 Week 15 vs LAC (19 / 25 / 207 / 1 / 1 pass, 3 / 14 / 0 rush)
With everything going right for the defense this week, Cousins was not asked to do very much. He threw the ball just 25 times and let the rushing attack work the clock. When the defense forces 7 turnovers and scores twice there is not much for the quarterback to do. Cousins did connect on a touchdown to Irv Smith on the first drive of the game. It was a 1-yard score with Smith making a juggling catch as he went to the ground in the back of the end zone. The play was ultimately reviewed to see if he had possession before he rolled out of bounds and the score was upheld by replay. Cousins was not sacked a single time but did throw an interception on what should have been an easy screen play. Defensive end Melvin Ingram read the screen perfectly and was able to jump in front of the play for the interception. Cousins continued his connection with Stefon Diggs and worked to get Thielen back into the fold. Cousins still has not won a game on Monday Night Football in his career and we will hear the same narrative about him not being able to win the big game all week before a showdown against the Packers.
2019 Week 16 vs GB (16 / 31 / 122 / 1 / 1 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
The Monday Night Football curse for Cousins continued with another loss to the Packers. This was more of a team effort than Cousins blowing the entire game, but he certainly did not help things. He threw for under 200 yards this week, a single touchdown, and a bad interception. The offensive line afforded him no time to throw the ball and he was sacked 5 times for a loss of 40 yards. The entire offense struggled and had just 7 first downs the entire game. Cousins lone touchdown was a beautiful 21-yard throw to Diggs in the end zone. It was one of the few deeps shots that worked this week and was a perfect storm of Diggs creating separation and Cousins having enough time to throw. The ball floated just over his outside shoulder for a contested catch and a touchdown. The duo teamed up for a trick play in the second half when they attempted a reverse wide receiver pass. Diggs put plenty of air on the ball and gave Cousins a chance to run under it, but he over estimated how fast Cousins was and the quarterback made a lame diving attempt that was nowhere near the ball. The interception Cousins threw was a deep shot down the field on play action. This is a play that has worked all season with Diggs slanting deep across the middle, but Cousins did not see the other safety break off his coverage and under cut the route. Diggs got up hoping for pass interference on the play, but the Packers had already returned the ball to mid field and took all of the air out of the Vikings sails. Cousins has struggled against teams with winning records this season and has had almost no success on prime-time games outside of a win against Dallas. The Vikings and Cousins are playing poorly at the worst possible time and that could make for a very short playoff run.
2019 Week 17 vs CHI (0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
The Vikings sent a clear message that they were resting starters this week when they sat Cousins. After a poor showing against the Packers last week, this would have been a good game to get things back on track, but the Vikings did not want to risk an injury when they could not do anything to change their playoff seed.
2019 Week 18 vs NO (19 / 31 / 242 / 1 / 0 pass, 2 / -1 / 0 rush)
He still does not have a win on Monday Night Football, but Cousins took a huge leap forward this week after winning his first career playoff game. Cousins did not blow any one away with an aerial display, throw for 300 yards, or even multiple touchdowns this week, but he was instrumental in helping the Vikings upset the Saints and move on. The most important thing Cousins did this week was not turn the ball over. He did have a few misfires that could have resulted in interceptions, but he remained calm and composed this week. It took him a while to settle in. An early fumble from Adam Thielen did not help things, but he eventually found a groove and completed 61% of his passes. His biggest throws of the game came on the opening drive of over time. Cousins hit Stefon Diggs on a 10-yard slant on 3rd and 1, completed a 43-yard pass to Adam Thielen deep down the right side of the field, and then found Kyle Rudolph in the back of the end zone for a 4-yard walk off touchdown. The Vikings went super conservative in the 4th quarter and the Saints were able to comeback and tie the game. It was impressive to see Cousins rebound in the overtime period and attack the Saints down the field. He missed on all of his other deep throws with the longest completion outside foe the 43 yarder to Thielen being a 19-yard swing pass to Cook. The 49ers defense will be a totally different monster next week for Cousins and he will have to get the ball out quick to avoid being sacked by their elite defensive line.
2019 Week 19 vs SF (21 / 29 / 172 / 1 / 1 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
This week was a huge let down for the Viking offense. They showed an ability to move the ball when it mattered against the Saints and the offensive line was able to protect Cousins. Then this week happened and Cousins has next to no time to throw the ball. He was sacked 6 times for a loss of 46 yards. He also threw an ugly interception in the 3rd quarter when he stared down Adam Thielen and Richard Sherman was able to jump the route. The 49ers scored a touchdown on the ensuing drive and put the nail in the coffin of the Vikings before the 4th quarter even started. Cousins threw a single touchdown pass to Stefon Diggs, but it was a gift of a touchdown with the defender falling down after Diggs had to come back for the ball. It was not a great throw for Cousins and a combination of a great adjustment by Diggs and poor coverage by the 49ers. Cousins got the monkey off his back with his first playoff win last week, but not being able to win the big game will continue to follow him. Cousins will have 1 more season in his fully guaranteed deal to lead the Vikings to a Super Bowl. The window is rapidly closing for the Vikings and they will need to make vast improvements in regard to protecting Cousins to compete next season.
2018 Week 1 vs SF (20 / 36 / 244 / 2 / 0 pass, 4 / 26 / 0 rush)
It was not an eye-popping day stat wise for Cousins, but he did manage to do enough to pull out the win for the Vikings. He was not overly accurate, completing only 55% of his passes, but he did show more chemistry with his receiving group and did have to endure three drops from his normally sure handed receivers. His best play of the day came on a 22-yard bullet down the sideline to Stefon Diggs. The ball was laid out perfectly to Diggs, who had a step on the corner in coverage, and led him right into the end zone. The second touchdown came on an 11-yard pass to tight end Kyle Rudolph right up the seam. Cousins took the snap in the gun and knew right away where he was going for the ball, finding Rudolph in the back of the end zone for the touchdown. While he may not have been as accurate as he wanted, he did show off his legs on a few occasions and even picked up a big 13-yard carry for a first down. There was one scary moment where he tried to dive forward on a run for a first down but was rudely met by a defender and stopped in his tracks. Cousins had lowered his head but managed to avoid any helmet to helmet contact but did take a big blow to his throwing shoulder. He could be seen wincing after the play but managed to stay in the game and pull off the victory.
2018 Week 2 vs GB (35 / 48 / 425 / 4 / 1 pass, 2 / 5 / 0 rush)
When a team goes out and gives you the first ever fully guaranteed contract, this is the type of game they expect you to play. Cousins surpassed 400 yards for the first time with the Vikings and accounted for all 4 touchdowns. The rust and timing issues that he seemed to have with his top weapons from the preseason seem to have faded and he almost pulled an Aaron Rodgers against the Packers if it had not been for a rookie kicker missing 3 times. Cousins got the party started right after the Packers had scored on a blocked punt. After a great kick return, Cousins capped the drive with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Laquon Treadwell. The ball was thrown perfectly over the top to Treadwell who had found some room yard rush right up the seam. This was the receivers first touchdown catch of his career. He later rewards Cousins with a tipped ball for an interception that almost cost the Vikings the game. The second touchdown came on a quick out to Stefon Diggs. The receiver was called into motion, ran back and forth a few times to expose coverage, and then immediately broke outside on the snap for an easy 3-yard touchdown. The third touchdown also came to Diggs as was a 75-yard bomb down the right sideline. Diggs simply outran his coverage and Cousins put the ball right into his stride for the big touchdown. The final touchdown was a beautifully thrown ball between two defenders to Adam Thielen. Cousins laid it right into his chest as he was falling backwards into the end zone. This put the Vikings within 2 points of the tie and Cousins then hit Stefon Diggs in the corner or the end zone as the isolated receiver. This was a huge comeback late in a game against your rival. It is a shame it was ruined by the rookie kicker. Cousins will get another great matchup next week against the Bills.
2018 Week 3 vs BUF (40 / 55 / 296 / 1 / 1 pass, 2 / 2 / 0 rush)
This was the Cousins that Redskins fans remember. A quarterback that can move the ball down the field but not get it into the end zone. A quarterback that will turn the ball over at key times in the game and put his team in a hole they cannot climb out of. After back to back great games, Cousins put up a real dud for the Vikings. He may have had almost 300 yards and a touchdown, but he also put the ball on the ground 3 times and threw an interception. He tried to force the ball to Stefon Diggs but did not have any luck. The only receiver he seemed to be in sync with was Thielen, but he has been allergic to the end zone for the past two years. Cousins salvaged a big of fantasy value with a late touchdown to Rudolph. The pass was thrown into traffic in the direction of Rudolph who had run a comeback route. The Bills thought he had put the ball on the ground, but after a replay review the touchdown was confirmed. They then tried to connect on a two-point conversion on a very similar play, but the try failed. Cousins did not have any luck looking for Diggs or Thielen underneath and was unsuccessful every time he took a shot down the field. He put the ball on the ground 3 times and lost 2 of the fumbles. He was also sacked 4 times for a loss of 18 yards. The interception was a short check down pass over the middle to Latavius Murray where a big hit dislodged the ball and was caught by a diving linebacker. It was not a drop or a bad throw, but instead a great hit put on by the Bills. Cousins will have his work cut out for him next week against a revamped Rams defense in what could be the preview of a playoff matchup later in the year.
2018 Week 4 vs LAR (36 / 50 / 422 / 3 / 0 pass, 4 / 28 / 0 rush)
After disappearing in big moments for the Redskins, Cousins is doing everything he can to change the narrative and show that he can lead a team when it matters. Cousins went blow to blow with Goff in terms of yards but could not match the touchdown throws. He was also sacked 3 more times and lost 21 more yards on those sacks. Cousins had a chance with the ball at the end of the game but was sacked from behind and lost the ball. This was his chance to lead the Vikings down for another game tying drive at the end of the game, but it was taken away by horrendous offensive line play. He did throw 3 touchdowns and got Aldrick Robinson involved in his first game as a Viking. Robinson served on the practice team with Cousins when they played for the Redskins and showed an instant connection this week. The first pass was a 16-yard throw to a wide-open Robinson. He was standing all alone in the end zone after a blown assignment by the corner. The Rams were in zone coverage and the corner jumped up on an underneath receiver and left Robinson alone. The second pass was another beautifully thrown ball to Robinson in the back corner of the end zone. Both Rudolph and Robinson were in the area and it looked more like bad route running that worked out. You should never see 2 receivers in the same area, let alone hip to hip in the end zone. The final touchdown pass came to Adam Thielen directly up the seam. Cousins looked the safety off to the right and came back to Thielen up the seam. He then found Murray on a two-point conversion to bring the score within 3. There was only so much Cousins could do to keep his team in the game and unfortunately came up short in the end. He will face the defending world champs next week in Philadelphia.
2018 Week 5 vs PHI (30 / 37 / 301 / 1 / 0 pass, 5 / 1 / 0 rush)
With no run game in sight, Cousins is leading this team with his arm again. For as great as he has been moving them up and down the field, he continues to struggle in the red zone. Cousins continues to rely on Diggs and Thielen in the passing game and does not seem to get Rudolph involved enough. He has several weapons at his disposal but favors 2 of them. He was very efficient with the ball, completing 81% of his passes this week. However, he only found the end zone once and forced Dan Bailey into 5 field goal attempts. His lone touchdown was a beautiful 3-yard fade route to Adam Thielen. Cousins put the ball just over the defender draped all over Thielen and low enough that the safety coming over could not make a play. Thielen was able to tap and drag his feet in the back corner of the end zone for the score. He also had a 68-yard catch and run play down the sideline to Thielen. This could have been a touchdown, but Thielen ran out of gas and was tackled in the red zone. Cousins is doing all of his damage through the air and is not getting a lot of help from the rushing offense. He should benefit greatly from a healthy Dalvin Cook, but there is no timeline for when that may happen. Cousins has a plus matchup next week against Arizona and should continue to put up big numbers for the next 2 weeks.
2018 Week 6 vs ARI (24 / 34 / 233 / 1 / 1 pass, 4 / 14 / 1 rush)
The Vikings have relied on the right arm of Kirk Cousins all season long and this is the first game where they really did not need to. If anything, Cousins almost proved to be a detriment to the team this week with 2 turnovers and being sacked 4 times. The fumble he lost was picked up by the defense and returned for a touchdown and his interception came on the Viking half of the field. Thankfully the Cardinals turned the ball over on downs after that play, but they had gotten the ball to the 1-yard line before the defense made the stop. Cousins threw a single touchdown pass to Adam Thielen on a 13-yard bullet up the seam but did not have a single pass go for more than 20 yards. He chipped in his own 7-yard touchdown run off the edge and attempted to get the crowd fired up with a very poor end zone celebration. Cousins also had one of his own passes batted down into his arms and was tackled for a loss. It is rare that you see a quarterback with a reception and he would have been better off just letting the ball hit the ground. Cousins has been masterful with the ball when the run game could not be found and then floundered a bit when they actually showed up. He still completed 70% of his passes this week and continues to be one of the most accurate quarterbacks in the league. The Jets offense is clicking right now, and Cousins is going to have to put up some points next week to continue the Vikings winning streak.
2018 Week 7 vs NYJ (25 / 40 / 241 / 2 / 0 pass, 2 / -1 / 0 rush)
The offense continues to move through Cousins, despite the help provided by Murray and the running game the last 2 weeks. Cousins has been leading the league in completion percentage but had an uncharacteristic 62% completion rate today. His targets were dominated by Thielen and Diggs again this week with 24 of his 38 attempts coming to the duo. Both of his touchdowns came on what looked like the exact same play. Cousins connected with both Thielen and Robinson on 34-yard touchdown passes down the right side line. Each receiver got a step on their man and Cousins laid the ball just off their outside shoulder for the easy touchdown. Cousins tried to force feed the ball to Diggs as well but did not have success with the quick hitting plays. The Jets played almost on the line of scrimmage when covering Diggs, but they still never tried a stop and go route or sent Diggs deep down the field. Cousins played better with the football, but still had a fumble that was recovered by Diggs. He is having a lot of trouble holding on to the ball and will need to work on that if the Vikings want to make an extended run this season. Cousins will get to take on a soft New Orleans secondary next week on Sunday Night football and is primed for one of his best games of the season.
2018 Week 8 vs NO (31 / 41 / 359 / 2 / 1 pass, 2 / 3 / 0 rush)
Another week and another solid line for Cousins under center. While his overall stat line seems impressive, it hides a lot of the things that went wrong this week. Cousins was sacked 4 times, and while a lot of it had to do with poor protection, he also held the ball too long in some situations. There was also a strip sack fumble returned for a touchdown that was eventually overturned by review, but Cousins continues to struggle to hold on to the ball. His interception was due to miscommunication with Stefon Diggs where he ran a drag route across the formation but pulled up right as Cousins threw the ball. This turned into an easy interception and return for the Saints and gave them a 2-touchdown advantage. It was not all bad for Cousins. He managed over 300 yards passing and got both of his top receiving options involved early and often. Both Diggs and Thielen had over 100 yards receiving and a touchdown this week. The first touchdown to Diggs was a 1-yard pass to the side of the end zone on 4th and 1. After failing to connect with Rudolph in the end zone, Cousins found Diggs on a quick out and Diggs had just enough room to drag his back foot for the score. The second touchdown looked almost like a broken play with Thielen getting so wide open. He caught the ball right up the seam with his man more than 2 steps behind him. It was another easy 1-yard pitch and catch for the score. The Vikings have aspirations of making a deep playoff run this season and to do so they will need better protection up front and a little more ball security from Cousins down the stretch.
2018 Week 9 vs DET (18 / 22 / 164 / 1 / 1 pass, 2 / 3 / 0 rush)
It was not the best performance from Cousins this week. He failed to throw for 200 yards and things seemed out of sync without Stefon Diggs on the field. Cousins was missing his biggest outside threat and the Lions did a great job doubling Thielen and limiting who he could throw to. There were 2 big mistakes that could have really cost the Vikings. Cousins interception came on a deep out route where he stared down Thielen and had no chance of completing the pass. Cousins threw the ball too far and Darius Slay was able to come over and make the easy interception. This is a route that has worked for the duo all season long but was just not there today. The second was a pitch to Dalvin Cook in the 4th quarter that the second year back could not bring in. The fumble was a result of Cook taking his eyes off the ball before trying to cut off field but was credited to Cousins. His lone touchdown pass came to Thielen from the 2-yard line. From a bunch formation, Cousins was able to find his receiver in stride right up the seam for an easy touchdown. There was one other play that really stuck out and it was a drop by Aldrick Robinson. Cousins attempted to connect with his former practice squad partner deep down the field and Robinson let the ball fall right between his hands. It would have set the Vikings up with a first and goal situation, but Robinson let Cousins down. Things really seemed to be thrown off with Diggs out of the lineup and Cousins should benefit from the Bye week and getting all his offensive weapons back before heading into Chicago in week 11.
2018 Week 11 vs CHI (30 / 46 / 262 / 2 / 2 pass, 1 / 5 / 0 rush)
There are some Vikings fans wondering if they went out and got the right guy after this game. The defense stepped up against the Bears, but Cousins was the downfall of the offense this week. He has been asked to do a lot this season with the run game not working out, but this week was a new low. He targeted Thielen and Diggs on 30 of his 46 attempts and chipped in 2 interceptions. The biggest mistake was the interception returned for a touchdown. Cousins tried to take a shot deep in their own territory and was intercepted by Eddie Jackson who returned it 27 yards for a touchdown. His other interception was a jumped route by Adrian Amos. Cousins also threw 2 touchdowns against the Bears, but it was not enough to overcome the mistakes. He connected with Robinson on a 13-yard skinny post and then with Diggs on a 5-yard slant route, both in the 4th quarter. Cousins did not look like the guy they threw a lot of money at in the off season and will need to play much better in the coming weeks if the Vikings want to make the playoffs.
2018 Week 12 vs GB (29 / 38 / 342 / 3 / 0 pass, 6 / 17 / 0 rush)
It has been an up and down season for Cousins, but this week was one of those high points. He surpassed 300 yards, added 3 touchdowns, ran the ball when needed, and most importantly, did not turn the ball over. He did take 2 sacks by staying in the pocket too long, but he was able to tuck the ball away and not fumble like he has in previous games this season. The first touchdown drive was a result of back to back 20+ yard plays. Cousins hit Diggs on a 24-yard slant the play before he swung it out to Cook for a 26-yard touchdown. Cousins found Cook on the outlet pass and let his young running back weave through defenders and into the end zone for the score. Green Bay took poor angles to the ball and Cook made them pay with the touchdown. The second touchdown was a beautiful 30-yard throw to Diggs. After the play action fake to Cook, Cousins found Diggs wide open down the side line and into the end zone. A crossing route between Diggs and Thielen caused his defender to get confused and fall, leaving Diggs wide open for the easy score. The third and final passing touchdown came on a scramble play. Cousins was flushed out of the pocket by the Green Bay pass rush and let loose a pass to Thielen just before he crossed the line of scrimmage. Thielen had settled into a void behind the linebackers and was able to dive his way 14 yards into the end zone. Cousins made the right decision throwing the ball rather than trying to run for the first down as he would have been stopped well short. With 2 games on the road in New England and Seattle, Cousins will be able to prove whether or not he is worth the massive contract he got in the coming weeks.
2018 Week 13 vs NE (32 / 44 / 201 / 1 / 2 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
It was not a banner day for Cousins this week. The New England defense took away his top receiver in Adam Thielen and he just could not find his rhythm outside of that. 29 of his 43 targets went to Thielen, Cook, and Robinson. There were a few large chunk plays down the field, but New England tackled well, and no Viking receiver was really able to break free. There were 2 plays in the corner of the end zone where the Patriots defender was draped all over Thielen and then Robinson, but the referees kept the flags in their pocket and let the players play. Both Thielen and Robinson were visibly upset, but Cousins did not throw the best pass to begin with. His lone touchdown was a 5-yard score to Thielen who ran a drag across the field and caught a floater in the corner or the end zone. It was an easy pitch and catch for Cousins and Thielen. The game ended with back to back interceptions from Cousins. The first was just unlucky as he took a deep shot to Robinson in the end zone. His receiver looked to make the sliding catch but bobbled the ball as he went to the ground. It then hit and rolled on the defender before being kicked in the air and caught by a second defender. T should have been a touchdown if he had held on to the ball but ended up being an unlucky interception. The second interception that ended the game was a deep shot down the middle towards Thielen. The route was just undercut by the defender and there was nothing Thielen could have done. Cousins struggled this week and is going to have another tough test next week in Seattle.
2018 Week 14 vs SEA (20 / 33 / 208 / 1 / 0 pass, 3 / 5 / 0 rush)
It was another very poor performance for Cousins this week. He is not getting the ball out on time and is missing his receivers. Cousins missed on 13 of his throws this week, making for one of his least accurate games of the season. He failed to push the ball down the field and only averaged 6.3 yards per completion. His lone touchdown did not come until the end of the game when there was not enough time left to matter. The pass was a short 6-yard strike to Cook across the middle. Unfortunately, it came on the heels of a strip sack returned for a touchdown by the Seahawks on the previous drive. That pushed it to a 3-score game and well out of reach for Cousins. The route tree was unimaginative this week and the Vikings continue to run the same plays. Defenses have found a way to contain Thielen underneath and the Vikings are not stretching the field with Diggs enough. It has been an all-around failure from the play calling to the decisions made by Cousins on the field. A perfect example is the 4th and goal play from the 1-yard line in the 4th quarter. Rather than line up in a power formation and run it in, they attempted to throw the ball. Cousins targeted Rudolph but threw it behind him and the play was broken up by the Seahawks. It was a bad call and a bad read that could have changed the game entirely. Cousins will look to get back on track against the Dolphins next week.
2018 Week 15 vs MIA (14 / 21 / 215 / 2 / 1 pass, 5 / 7 / 0 rush)
It was not a banner day for Cousins, but you would not know that from looking at the final score or if you had watched the first 3 drives of the game. The Vikings roared out to a 21-point lead with Cousins and the run game clicking. Cousins kicked things off with a 13-yard touchdown pass to Diggs. It was a play action pass with Cousins rolling to his right. Diggs broke free of his man in the end zone and it was an easy pitch and catch for the score. It looked to be a broken coverage by the Dolphins with Diggs as wide open as he was. Things started to unravel a bit in the second quarter with Cousins throwing an interception that was returned for a touchdown. He targeted Diggs on a quick screen play and Minkah Fitzpatrick jumped the route and returned it 50 yards for the touchdown. This brought the Dolphins back to within striking distance, but the Vikings turned it on and never looked back. Cousins added a 40-yard touchdown pass to Robinson deep down the middle of the field. The 2-high safety look back fired when Cousins was able to find Robinson directly down the middle in the void between the 2 safeties. It was one of the best throws he made all day. Cousins was not very accurate this week (66%) and had a turnover, but the defense and the running game was able to carry them to victory. He will have another game against the Lions to try and work things out before an all-important showdown with the Bears defense in week 17.
2018 Week 16 vs DET (21 / 28 / 253 / 3 / 0 pass, 1 / 1 / 0 rush)
It was a much better showing for Cousins this week after his disastrous games against the Seahawks and Patriots. He finally got his big tight end involved in the offense and fed off of the run game. He eluded the pass rush for the most part and was only sacked twice. The most important stat this week was he did not turn the ball over. Cousins turned the entire game around when he threw touchdowns on back to back drives before half time. He found Diggs on an 8-yard score with 1:32 left on the clock before half. It was a simple out route where Diggs beat his man to a spot and Cousins made a good throw. It is a dangerous pass that the corner can jump, but the timing was perfect and went for a touchdown. After the defense forced a 3 and out, Cousins then found Rudolph on a 44-yard touchdown as time was expiring. It was a deep pass down the sideline to Rudolph who beat his man and rumbled into the end zone. There were 2 seconds left on the clock before the chuck and pray play resulted in a touchdown. Cousins found Rudolph again later in the game for a 4-yard score. It was a play action pass where Rudolph leaked out into the flat and beat the linebacker in coverage to the end zone for the easy score. It was Cousins' third touchdown pass and the second for Rudolph. This is the Cousins that the Vikings paid all of that money to in the off season, and what they are going to need to see if they want to clinch a playoff berth. Cousins will be looking for redemption against the Bears next week at home.
2018 Week 17 vs CHI (20 / 33 / 132 / 1 / 0 pass, 1 / 7 / 0 rush)
Cousins has found himself in this exact position before with the Redskins. A game against a division rival and with a win your team is in the playoffs. Unfortunately, he fell flat when the Redskins played the Giants just like the Vikings against the Bears today. Cousins led 3 straight drives that went 3 and out to start the game. They finally got their first first down with 6 minutes left in the second quarter. Then they had to punt 3 plays later. The Vikings opened the game with 5 straight punts before a field goal just before half time. The second half would have been the same except they had to go for it on 4th down and turned the ball over on downs 3 times. Cousins lone touchdown pass was a 2-yard throw off his back foot to Diggs who beat his man to the corner of the end zone. It was a very poor game for Cousins and the Vikings. His longest passes down the field were 18-yard throws to both Thielen and Diggs. He took 1 other deep shot to Robinson but did not find any success throwing the ball. At one point in the game, he had 15 completions for just 80 yards. Cousins could be seen trying to talk to his top receivers in the 4th quarter, but it ended up just being an argument with Thielen. No receiver looked at him when he was talking and seemed like they could not wait to get off the field and away from him. Cousins is going to have to mend a lot of relationships in the locker room and show the franchise that he is worth the money they gave him.
2017 Week 1 vs PHI (23 / 40 / 240 / 1 / 1 pass, 4 / 30 / 0 rush)
Kirk Cousins had a difficult time finding his rhythm today due to constant pressure. He got off to a slow start as he misfired on several occasions trying to connect with his receivers downfield. He had a couple of near interceptions in the first half as well resulting from bad reads. Kirk only accounted for one offensive touchdown on the day as he connected with Chris Thompson in the 2nd quarter. Cousins accounted for three turnovers as he had two fumbles and an interception. One of his fumbles went for a defensive touchdown. He was harassed all afternoon and could not sustain enough drives to get the offense out of its funk. Kirk had forty pass attempts but barely completed over half of them. Without solid protection, he does not feel comfortable making plays downfield. The Eagles often made him skittish in the pocket and indecisive with his reads. The receivers had a few drops that didn't help his case, but Kirk's inability to make plays under duress was on full display against Philly. Kirk had an opportunity to seize control of the game with a seven-play drive in the third quarter. As it looked like they may have established some continuity, he throws an errant pass over the head of Jamison Crowder. The pass was intercepted in the end zone and that was an illustration of how most of the day went for Washington's Kirk Cousins led offense.
2017 Week 2 vs LAR (18 / 27 / 179 / 1 / 0 pass, 3 / 7 / 0 rush)
Kirk Cousins played as the ultimate game manager against the Rams today. Whether it was by design or noticing how effective the run game worked, Washington took the ball out of Kirk's hands. The Rams pass rush could have been problematic for Kirk but Washington's run game kept him out of harm's way. Kirk had twenty-seven pass attempts but his main goal today was to be efficient on third downs. Washington was inconsistent with executing on third downs but Kirk made just enough plays to hold on. He didn't have any turnovers against the Rams which helped maintain a lead as well. Kirk could have had a bigger day if he could convert in the red zone, but once again his inaccuracies stalled the drive. An overthrow to Chris Thompson sailed out of bounds and resulted in a field goal attempt. Kirk's lone touchdown came on an eleven yard strike to Ryan Grant that sealed the win. A turnover free game and a run heavy scheme helped Kirk succeed today.
2017 Week 3 vs OAK (25 / 30 / 365 / 3 / 0 pass, 1 / 2 / 0 rush)
Kirk Cousins night started off great as he put together a rare opening drive touchdown. It is clear they wanted to reel Kirk in from being so pass heavy. The short passing game got him in a rhythm that carried over all night. He didn't commit a turnover which also kept him on schedule with the game flow as well. Kirk was highly efficient and only had five passes not on target. The high yardage total was somewhat misleading as over two hundred of his passing yards were accumulated after the catch. The highlight of the night for Kirk was a fifty-two yard touchdown pass down the sideline to Josh Doctson. The pass wasn't placed well but Josh Doctson made a terrific adjustment on the ball to snag it from the defender. The game plan seems to emphasize more balance with the run and pass so that kirk isn't pressed to make every play. He was in a groove today that allowed him to operate at a high level.
2017 Week 4 vs KC (14 / 24 / 220 / 2 / 0 pass, 7 / 38 / 0 rush)
Kirk Cousins got off to another fast start on Monday night and looked sharp. He capped off an opening drive with a forty-four yard strike to Terrelle Pryor for a touchdown. In the first half he had complete command of the offense. He often made the correct reads and got the ball out of his hands quickly. He has looked much better in the red zone as of late and even threw a touchdown when getting there. Kirk threw a three yard slant in the third quarter to Ryan Grant, which was his second touchdown of the game. In the second half Washington rarely had the ball and got dominated in the time of possession game. Kirk also wasn't great on third down in the second half and that further put them in the hole for time of possession. Kirk only had fourteen passing attempts and it spoke to the conservative approach and lack of opportunities. He almost led Washington to the win with a late game drive that should have ended with a touchdown but Josh Doctson couldn't complete the catch. Kirk put the ball perfectly up top for Josh to high point it but ultimately went incomplete. Kirk also led the team in rushing largely due to his late game drive to keep plays alive.
2017 Week 6 vs SF (25 / 37 / 330 / 2 / 1 pass, 4 / 26 / 1 rush)
Kirk Cousins had an efficient day running the offense against the 49ers. The game plan remains the same in terms of keeping things conservative and low risk for Kirk. He had his first turnover in 3 weeks as he tried to get aggressive on a throw down field. It turned out to be a bad read and an overthrow into double coverage. Kirk got out to a quick start for the third consecutive week as he found Josh Doctson early for a red zone touchdown. It was basically a layup as Kirk hit Josh on a quick slant from eleven yards out as the cornerback got caught flat footed in coverage. Most of Kirk's completions were short passes as Washington took full advantage of the 49ers linebackers' inability to cover. Kirk found Samaje Perine for a swing pass touchdown in the second quarter. Perine not known for his receiving ability with Washington managed to beat the linebackers in the flat to find the end zone from ten yards out. Kirk's fourth quarter touchdown that essentially ended up being the game winner came on an excellent read option decision. He used his legs to score a late fourth quarter touchdown for almost fifteen yards. Aside from the turnover it was an overall successful day for Kirk running the offense. The third down completion to Ryan Grant late in the fourth quarter to maintain possession of the football was his biggest play of the game.
2017 Week 7 vs PHI (30 / 40 / 303 / 3 / 1 pass, 3 / 18 / 0 rush)
Kirk Cousins didn't play a bad game but he needed to be better versus Philadelphia. Kirk got off to somewhat of a fast start in this game as he marched down field with a few chunk plays. However, he couldn't capitalize in the red zone and had to settle for a field goal. As the night unfolded it became apparent that he was going to need seven points each trip he made it to the red zone. Without much help from the defense Kirk was forced to be more aggressive than he is comfortable handling. The Eagles also stifled the Redskins run game which put even more of the game in Kirk's hand. Kirk was able to make plays in the passing game but attempting forty passes isn't ideal to have Kirk playing at his best. The game started to tilt out of hand for Washington in the third quarter so Kirk spent most of the night playing catch up. He threw one interception as the pocket collapsed and a defensive lineman got a hand on the ball. The turnover wasn't really his fault although it tallies as a turnover for him. Kirk didn't have much trouble making plays against the Eagles secondary but going pass heavy isn't the recipe for his success.
2017 Week 8 vs DAL (26 / 39 / 263 / 1 / 1 pass, 1 / 0 / 0 rush)
Kirk Cousins could have performed better, but it is worth mentioning his circumstances were awful. He was down two starting offensive linemen and couldn't get the run game going. Therefore, he was forced to go pass heavy in a rain storm. He accounted for three turnovers as two of them were fumbles. In adverse weather conditions, it is even more imperative to focus on ball security and Kirk struggled with that in this game. Kirk managed to throw one touchdown in this game and had another potential touchdown dropped. He attempted thirty-nine passes but the protection got worse was the game wore on. Kirk showed fight in this game but he had an uphill climb with the conditions and being so pass heavy. This is never the recipe for success with Kirk and this game illustrated that. Being in predictable passing situations all day left him vulnerable and Dallas was able to take advantage.
2017 Week 9 vs SEA (21 / 31 / 247 / 0 / 0 pass, 3 / 4 / 0 rush)
Kirk Cousins got off to a cold start in this game and didn't warm up much as it unfolded. The first five possessions were a mix of punts and a turnover before putting together a productive drive. The first touchdown came on a thirteen play drive in which ended on a one yard run to cap it off. Kirk was under extreme pressure all throughout this game. The run game was nonexistent so that forced Kirk into bad situations for him to try making plays through the air. He caught a break against a defense missing Earl Thomas, Sheldon Richardson, and Cliff Avril. However, he couldn't consistently take advantage due to the injuries along the offensive line. Kirk was able to salvage the rough day by orchestrating a last-minute drive to get the win. He made two clutch throws including one to a newcomer in the passing game Brian Quick. The drive only took three plays to get a touchdown. The second throw was a precise pass under pressure along the sideline for a thirty-eight yard gain down to the one yard line. Kirk was under a ton of pressure and both throws came on a three step drop before tossing it up for grabs. Kirk didn't throw any touchdowns for this game but a gutsy last-minute effort made up for it.
2017 Week 10 vs MIN (26 / 45 / 327 / 1 / 1 pass, 4 / 5 / 2 rush)
Kirk Cousins had a seemingly big day statistically, but in reality, he didn't play as well. Kirk was constantly inaccurate in a pass heavy game. He attempted forty-five passes barely completed over half of them. However, he threw a thirty-six yard dime on the opening drive that was caught for a one-handed touchdown. Kirk also accounted for two rushing scores in the red zone which is rare. Washington was down double digits but the defense gave Kirk great field position to capitalize and make a comeback. Pressure was a factor for Kirk in this game but some of the throws he had were simply off. As the franchise quarterback, it is a must that he plays better in order for Washington's offense to put up points. The inability to sustain drives on 3rd downs is also a huge factor in the offense stalling for Kirk. When the run game is sputtering he will need to make more plays and hasn't shown the ability to carry the offense when needed. Kirk only had one turnover despite the high volume of passing in today's game. The turnover was on a brutal misread in which he seemed to predetermine where he wanted to throw the ball. It should also be noted that Josh Doctson dropped a potential touchdown where Kirk placed the ball out for him to make a play.
2017 Week 11 vs NO (22 / 32 / 322 / 3 / 0 pass, 3 / 11 / 0 rush)
Kirk Cousins had one of his best games of the season down in New Orleans. Throwing under pressure has been a massive issue the past few weeks for Kirk, but he constantly made plays under duress. He found eight different receivers in this game as he spread it around and made correct reads. The run game was effective today as well which helped keep the passing game balanced. Kirk had thirty-two attempts in this game and he actually completed a few deep throws. The offense came out and got going quickly as Kirk played aggressive making decisive throws down field. He got Washington on the board with a sixteen yard pass to Chris Thompson on a great throw finding him on a wheel route. His second touchdown came against an all-out blitz when he found a wide open Ryan Grant up the sideline. The third down efficiency was still lackluster and ultimately came back to haunt them as they squandered a double digit lead in the last four minutes. Penalties were part of the issue as well, but Washington could not put this game away as the offense went stagnant. Kirk threw three touchdowns and got help from his supporting cast but this game was lost on both sides of the ball as the clock wound down. If Kirk can keep making plays under pressure like he did against New Orleans they will be in good position to win more of these type games.
2017 Week 12 vs NYG (19 / 31 / 242 / 2 / 1 pass, 3 / 4 / 0 rush)
Kirk Cousins had a sluggish day running the Redskins offense. The offense failed to score a touchdown or even get in scoring position for most of the first half. Kirk finally managed to get three points on the board towards the tail end of the first half. Kirk was inaccurate majority of this game and had a few passes nearly intercepted. He only recorded one interception as a poorly thrown ball deflected off his intended receiver's hands. The running back was coming out of the backfield and Kirk threw it slightly behind which made for a tough adjustment. He also threw up a jump ball for Josh Doctson in the endzone between two defenders. Fortunately for Kirk it was knocked down and not picked off. In the second half, he finally found a rhythm with Jamison Crowder. Kirk was able to find him for a fifteen-yard touchdown. Late in the fourth quarter, Kirk hooked up with Josh Doctson in the corner of the endzone to basically seal the win. The entire night was peppered with stalled drives, bad penalties, and constant misreads. However, Kirk was able to make a few plays offensively to get the win.
2017 Week 13 vs DAL (26 / 37 / 251 / 2 / 2 pass, 3 / 6 / 0 rush)
Kirk Cousins had an abysmal night against the Dallas Cowboys. The quick rhythm passing game was out of sync and too many turnovers were a problem. Kirk finally got a touchdown on the board at the end of the first half to salvage an otherwise awful two quarters of play. The offensive line didn't help Kirk out much either as he saw constant pressure all game. The first interception for Kirk was somewhat unlucky as his pass deflected off his receiver's hands and into a defender. Kirk lost one of the two fumbles he had as ball security was problematic while standing in the pocket. He often looked overwhelmed by the pressure and couldn't convert under duress. The third down efficiency wasn't good for this offense which also made for inconsistency. Kirk only managed fourteen points on a night that he attempted thirty-seven passes. It was a disappointing evening against a porous Dallas secondary.
2017 Week 14 vs LAC (15 / 27 / 151 / 1 / 1 pass, 2 / 8 / 0 rush)
Kirk Cousins had an abysmal afternoon against the Chargers. He was completely flustered by the pressure being applied by the Chargers defense. Kirk threw twenty-seven passes but didn't even clear two hundred yards. He threw one touchdown in this game as he connected with Vernon Davis in the end zone after escaping pressure. The offense seemed to be at a total mismatch as they often could not find a rhythm. Washington had countless three and outs as there third down conversion rate was extremely low. Kirk has had struggles but today might have been his worst outing of the year.
2017 Week 15 vs ARI (18 / 26 / 196 / 2 / 0 pass, 2 / 0 / 0 rush)
Kirk Cousins didn't have a big day in the box score but did enough to get the win. The offense got off to a quick start as Kirk capitalized off an Arizona turnover. Kirk was able to get possession of the ball already in the red zone where he found Jamison Crowder on a drag route. He had twenty six attempts on the day but was wildly inaccurate throughout much of this game. The second touchdown Kirk threw came on a screen pass that went for thirty-six yards. Kirk still had trouble converting third downs, but he had zero turnovers. Kirk was able to manage this game well enough to secure a win as Washington's defense continued getting Kirk the ball back. This was one of the more conservative games that Kirk has played all year.
2017 Week 16 vs DEN (19 / 37 / 299 / 3 / 1 pass, 5 / 8 / 0 rush)
Kirk Cousins had an up and down afternoon versus the Denver Broncos. He struggled with accuracy but made enough plays to help secure the victory. Kirk threw three touchdowns in this game and each one came in impressive fashion. He only completed nineteen out of thirty-seven passes which illustrates his inaccuracies on the day. Kirk's most impressive pass on the day was a touchdown he threw to Vernon Davis off his back foot avoiding a blitz. It was a dime towards the corner of the end zone from thirty yards out. There were still struggles in the red zone that showed Kirk's season long inconsistencies. Kirk also did a better job of making plays under pressure in this game which resulted in getting points on the board. Kirk accounted for one interception as he has been keeping his turnovers to a minimum lately. The passing game was aggressive today and Kirk did a decent job getting the ball down field versus the Broncos pass rush.
2017 Week 17 vs NYG (20 / 37 / 158 / 0 / 3 pass, 1 / 12 / 1 rush)
Kirk Cousins may have saved his worst performance of the year for the last week of the season. The conditions at MetLife stadium weren't ideal with the wind speeds but Kirk struggled with accuracy and decision making once again. He didn't account for any touchdown passes in this game, but he did score a rushing touchdown. The rushing touchdown came in the first quarter on a read option play from twelve yards out. After scoring that first quarter touchdown the Redskins struggled to score throughout the rest of the game. However, Kirk did lead the team to a field goal opportunity before halftime. The three interceptions were a season high for Kirk and each one showed poor decision making. Kirk's aggression in the passing game and questionable ability to make tough throws under pressure were the biggest reason for his turnovers. There were a couple of impressive throws on the day for Kirk but overall he had a lackluster day throwing the football. This game looked uninspiring to Kirk and the Washington offense. The weather conditions and injuries attributed to Kirk's performance but his decision making throughout this game didn't help as well.
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.
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 13 vs ARI (21 / 37 / 271 / 1 / 1 pass, 2 / 0 / 1 rush)
Kirk Cousins cooled off quite a bit in this matchup versus a stout Arizona team ready to take on the red hot Washington offense. Kirk had a very inconsistent day in which he constantly saw pressure. He isnít great at completing passes when the pocket is crumbling around him. The first half of this game he had trouble moving the ball downfield. There was a mix of penalties, misfires, batted passes, and drops that constantly stalled drives for Washington in the first half. Kirk barely got Washington in field goal range as they only managed three points. Kirk lost a fumble as well due to heavy pressure which immediately put Arizona in scoring position. The second half was a better outing as he led drives resulting in twenty points. However the red zone struggles continue as the offense often gets bogged down once they are in scoring position. Washington had a great opportunity to put a touchdown on the board but a couple of inaccurate passes and a penalty put a halt to the drive and they had to result in three points. Kirk threw one touchdown pass in this game and it came towards the end of the game on a seam route to Jamison Crowder. Kirk also scored on a quarterback sneak, but this was not a strong game for Kirk. It should also be noted that he barely missed out on a long touchdown in which he connected with DeSean Jackson (but he was shoestring tackled at the five yard line). This was also the stiffest competition he has seen in a few weeks. The game ended on an interception in which Kirk was under heavy pressure. He was erratic the entire final drive due to constant blitzing.
2016 Week 14 vs PHI (14 / 21 / 234 / 2 / 1 pass, 4 / 6 / 0 rush)
Kirk Cousins wasn't as sharp in this game is it was hard fought throughout the afternoon. In the first half Washington had four possessions, but was only able to muster seven points out of the opportunities. Kirk was often under pressure and as a result he was off target often throwing incompletions. When he doesn't have a clean pocket you often struggles, but the offensive line was having a rough day as well. After halftime Kirk got the Washington offense on track after its first possession as he engineered two touchdown drives. Both touchdowns coming on passes where Kirk had time and delivered with accuracy. He found DeSean on an eighty yard bomb as he hit him in stride and Pierre Garcon on a fade route in the red zone. The Washington offense stalled a bit after the 3rd quarter explosion and Kirk followed it up with a pick six to open the fourth quarter. It was an awful read by Kirk as the cornerback jumped the route to cause the turnover. Kirk found redemption as he orchestrated the game winning drive late in the fourth quarter which ended in a touchdown run. Kirk only had fourteen completions on the day as the Washington offense didn't have many possessions. They were also in a tight game throughout so it wasn't necessary to go pass heavy.
2016 Week 15 vs CAR (32 / 47 / 315 / 0 / 1 pass, 2 / 11 / 0 rush)
Kirk Cousins had an abysmal outing versus the Carolina Panthers. Kirk spent much of the evening misfiring on passes and having too much drives prematurely ending. Most of the night when they need him to make a play he simply came up empty. It was surprising to see how inefficient the passing game was considering the fact he didn't see major pressure. Washington reached the red zone four times the entire game and came away with only one rushing score. Kirk had an inexplicable interception in the second quarter on a poor read over the middle targeting (and staring down) Jamison Crowder. The second half started with a strip sack that immediately put the Panthers in scoring position which was the second turnover of the game for Kirk. He attempted forty-seven passes throughout this game but the short passing game was ineffective due to great tackling. It was also clear that the injury to Jordan Reed hampers Kirk's production in the passing game because of his reliance on Jordan's ability over the middle of the field. However, his replacement Vernon Davis dropped a ìwould beî touchdown on a crossing route that may have changed momentum in the game. There were several drops and penalties that contributed to the overall production of the offense as well but Kirk wasn't nearly as sharp as recent weeks. Another aspect that should be noted is the inability to run the football. A healthy dose of the run game helps establish a rhythm in the passing game but Carolina held their rushing attack in check. Kirk doesn't have a good flow when the game script is extremely pass heavy.
2016 Week 16 vs CHI (18 / 29 / 270 / 1 / 0 pass, 5 / 30 / 2 rush)
Cousins had a career day on the ground, rolling up 30 yards and two scores. The opening drive was capped off by Cousins eluding an unblocked rusher and finishing in the end zone after a 15-yard scamper. Washington's receivers regularly separated from Chicago's secondary, creating clear passing windows for Cousins. While he was accurate on most throws, notably a deep sideline route to Pierre Garcon, a handful of inaccurate passes prevented a monster passing performance by Cousins. A rare Washington punt early in the game was the result of Cousins missing a wide open Jamison Crowder on an out route. Later, Cousins overthrew DeSean Jackson behind the defense, a sure touchdown. Finally, Vernon Davis was wide open in the end zone, but Cousins under pressure missed Davis on fourth down. Cousins hit 300 total yards and three scores, but 400 yards and five scores were well within reach.
2016 Week 17 vs NYG (22 / 35 / 287 / 1 / 2 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
Kirk Cousins had an abysmal day running the Washington offense. He has shown the ability to take advantage of weaker secondary personnel, but he struggled against the elite defensive backs for New York. Midway through the third quarter the offense had only amassed around seventy-three yards total for the game. Therefore, Kirk's final stat line is somewhat impressive and indicative of the fact that he tried to give them one last spark. It seemed as if Washington may have some momentum after a forty-nine yard reception to Pierre Garcon but that momentum quickly fizzled on the very next play. Kirk threw an awful interception that was seemingly a bad read and bad timing with his receiver. Kirk was able to manage a field goal before tying the game at midway through the fourth quarter. He connected on a slant from the four yard line to Jordan Reed. It was setup by a terrific wide receiver screen in which Pierre Garcon was able to elude a few defenders for a twenty yard scamper (plus penalty yardage tacked on). Kirk had an opportunity to tie or take the lead when they got the ball back with a little over two minutes remaining. He failed to take advantage as he was picked off once again to seal the game. It was another terrible read across the middle. He pump faked it and stared down his receiver before throwing it which made it even worse. This was one of Kirk's biggest challenges all year and he struggled mightily to get the offense moving. Shaky o-line play and penalties that led to stalled drives were factors in his performance as well.
2015 Week 1 vs MIA (21 / 31 / 196 / 1 / 2 pass, 2 / -1 / 0 rush)
Kirk Cousins had a disappointing afternoon considering all he had to do was be a caretaker of the football. The Redskins clearly wanted to establish the run early and keep the pressure off Kirk. It was successfully executed to start the game and lasted majority of the first half. Whenever the Redskins did decide to pass, Cousins had simple reads/throws on hitch routes and crossing routes. The success running the ball early setup Kirk to make easy reads at the intermediate level of the field. The quick and simple reads also allowed Cousins to avoid constant pressure from the Dolphins O-Line. Despite all the early success on offense, Kirk Cousins still found a way to show his inconsistencies. It was quite evident that Cousins doesn't throw well on the run as he missed 3 crucial throws. He overthrew Desean Jackson for a potential touchdown, threw an awful interception intended for Pierre Garcon, and misfired to Ryan Grant for a first down. These particular plays brought much of Washington's good groove to a halt. Cousins organized a 17 play drive in the 2nd quarter that was capped off by a nice throw to Jordan Reed for a touchdown which was one of Kirk's bright spots. They drained the clock in the first half establishing the run game. The 2nd half for Cousins was bogged down with penalties, sacks, and inconsistent play. Kirk couldn't seem to get the Redskins going when they needed him most as he struggles with adversity a tad. As soon as Kirk tried to get aggressive seeing the game was slipping away he threw another interception that pretty much sealed the deal. Washington's offense imploded in the 2nd half which can be attributed to the absence of Desean Jackson to stretch the field. Cousins found 7 different receivers on the day, but ultimately couldn't make the big plays when they needed him most.
2015 Week 2 vs LA (23 / 27 / 203 / 1 / 0 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
Kirk Cousins played as well as needed in this game versus a hard-nosed Rams defense. The game script went perfect as it pertains to keeping the ball moving down field with an efficient ground game. Kirk wasn't asked to make too many plays in the passing game by simply dropping back for passes as he made a majority of his throws off play action. The first play of the game was a play action pass for Kirk right down the seam to Jordan Reed which worked precisely as the Rams were intent on stopping the run. Many of Cousins' passes were "safe" throws as well based on the fact that his completions were consistently in the 5-12yards range. The game plan seemed awfully simple for Kirk as he orchestrated a heavy dose of the run, but was also given throws that allowed him to let loose on the first read. He had one pass down field of 35 yards to Ryan Grant that could have possibly been a touchdown had he put more on it. The other long gain in the passing game came in the most critical drive of the game with less than 5 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Kirk found Jordan Reed up the seam for a 29 yard gain that sealed the victory. He threw one touchdown on a back shoulder throw to Pierre Garcon from the 5 yard line that was executed well. However, the fact that he had no turnovers is the best illustration showing that he had a clean game and didn't put the offense in a hole.
2015 Week 3 vs NYG (30 / 49 / 316 / 1 / 2 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
Kirk Cousins performance on the night was filled with inaccurate throws and bad reads. Once the running game started to sputter, their system began to slowly malfunction. It was quite unusual to see the running game sputter compared to how well they established a ground attack in the first two weeks. Kirk as a volume passer is always trouble which is what he was this game throwing 49 passes. Inaccuracy on the run continues to be problematic for Kirk as he was often flushed from the pocket. When he got outside the pocket he often became erratic. One of his worst throws of the night came on a play action pass during the first quarter. The Redskins were backed up on their own 20 yard line and Cousins throws a senseless pick thinking Garcon was open off play action. It looked almost as if he just automatically assumed Garcon would be open instead of observing the field. This was the beginning of the end for Washington offensively as the Giants immediately capitalized. His 2nd pick came in the 3rd quarter as he was flushed from the pocket trying to make a play on the run. He was staring down Andre Roberts but the defender deflected the ball into the air and it was intercepted. Kirk should have just thrown the ball away. He often tried to keep throws safe as he found Chris Thompson out of the backfield most of the night. After falling down to a double digit deficit for the majority of the night it put Kirk in an uncomfortable situation having to win this game with his arm. The Redskins have limited options in the passing game especially with Desean Jackson still sidelines so this was an uphill battle from the start.
2015 Week 4 vs PHI (31 / 46 / 290 / 1 / 0 pass, 1 / 1 / 1 rush)
Kirk Cousins had his best performance of this season against the Eagles. He had zero turnovers which are always great, but he looked a lot more decisive and confident. It should be noted that he did throw a near interception on the first possession of the game but nonetheless it was dropped. The game plan didn't change much seemingly as most of the pass plays dialed up was safe and short. However, Kirk was much more aggressive down field than usual as the coaching staff may have wanted to test the Eagles suspect secondary. Most of the throws Kirk made came on crossing routes, drag routes, screens, and comebacks. He looked extremely comfortable and confident in execution. Kirk's biggest bright spot of the day was orchestrating a late 4th quarter drive that gave them the lead and ultimately won the game. It started with a couple of good runs, but then Kirk found Garcon 3 times in the drive that were big time throws. The last two were completed in tight coverage including the game winner in which Kirk had to squeeze the ball between two defenders. The day could have been even bigger for him had he converted a potential touchdown to Jamison Crowder that was ruled incomplete because he stepped out of bounds. Kirk did a great job negating the Eagles aggressive tendencies with quick accurate throws all afternoon.
2015 Week 5 vs ATL (21 / 32 / 219 / 1 / 2 pass, 1 / 1 / 0 rush)
Kirk Cousins performed well in this game, but as usual he had some untimely mistakes. He managed the game well with a solid balance of the run game used to set up the pass. One thing that was better this game as opposed to the last few weeks was his ability to sustain drives. On Washington's 3rd possession of the game Cousins put together a 60+ yard drive that was capped off by finding his tight end for a touchdown. Kirk's accuracy was inconsistent all day on the intermediate to deep throws. He tried to find Garcon across the middle late in the 2nd quarter but the pass was slightly behind him as it deflected off his hands for an interception. This is one of the main reasons the coaching staff keeps his passes in the 10 yard range. Getting out of the pocket and making throws on the move were better this week for him as well. Cousins showed some fantastic poise as he made 3 clutch throws with 24 seconds left in the game to force overtime. This was an excellent time for Cousins to snatch a win on the road but an awful interception (where his receiver slipped) ended the ball game. Kirk did well enough to hang in the game but not secure the victory.
2015 Week 6 vs NYJ (25 / 43 / 196 / 1 / 2 pass, 1 / 1 / 0 rush)
Kirk Cousins had a lousy day against the Jets even though he started the day 8-8 passing the ball. Kirk was playing against an elite defense that didn't even allow him to throw for over 200 yards. Granted, he was missing two of his top weapons in tight end Jordan Reed and receiver Desean Jackson but he was still abysmal. Kirk's only bright spot for the day was capitalizing off a turnover to march the team down and score off a 2 yard slant pass to Garcon. He also put together a solid drive to get a field goal before the 1st half ended. However, that was the last we'd see of good play from him. Once the Jets stampeded out to 24 straight points in the 2nd half it put Kirk in the most uncomfortable of spots. He had to make plays with his arm and that isn't his strong suit. Kirk was wildly inaccurate going down field and threw two awful interceptions in the 3rd quarter. Kirk threw a total of 43 passes on the day with less than 200 yards so that is a clear indication as to how ineffective he was this game.
2015 Week 7 vs TB (33 / 40 / 317 / 3 / 0 pass, 3 / 15 / 1 rush)
Kirk Cousins showed major grit and poise in this game despite his usual inconsistent ways. Normally large deficits can spell doom for Washington and Kirk Cousins, but in this game he made some big plays to help turn this game around. Kirk didn't put any points on the board until late 2nd quarter as there were multiple stalled drives and a fumble that kept the Redskins blank. Finally, late in the 2nd quarter Kirk scored on a read option quarterback keeper from the 5 yard line. Normally a high volume of passes isn't ideal for Kirk but he was forced into such action on the day as he tallied 40 passes. It was even more impressive considering his completion rate was well over 60 percent. Kirk went on to organize drives in which they scored 21 unanswered points. Kirk's highlight of the day was orchestrating a game winning drive with 2:18 to go in the game. Kirk made 11 straight completions to four different players in that span. He clearly had a sense of confidence as he stood tall in the pocket completing passes under duress several times on the last drive. The drive was capped off by finding Jordan Reed in the end zone on a slant much like they executed earlier in the game.
2015 Week 9 vs NE (22 / 40 / 217 / 1 / 1 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
Kirk Cousins had a rough day generating any offense against a team that demands your best performance. Washington only had 15 total yards in the first quarter and was down by 14 points before they even ran 2 plays. Kirk only had 217 yards passing and his longest completion came in the 2nd quarter on a play to Pierre Garcon. Kirk didn't get much help as Washington had about 7 or 8 drops that ultimately stalled or altered numerous drives. Kirk's lone touchdown came in garbage time as he found Jordan Reed on a 3 yard pass with 25 remaining in the game. This game wasn't completely on Kirk as they were dominated by time of possession and drops. Therefore, it was even more imperative to maximize opportunities when having the football.
2015 Week 10 vs NO (20 / 25 / 324 / 4 / 0 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
Kirk Cousins took full advantage of a porous defense and awful tackling. This was quite evident by his perfect passer rating and the fact that 263 of his 324 total yards thrown were yards after the catch. Kirk was in full command of the offense all day as he orchestrated an opening drive touchdown that established a tempo right from the start. He had four touchdowns on the day and none of the throws went over 10 yards. The quick passing game that Washington features was beneficial for this game. It was hard to get a full read on Kirk's performance in this game due to him facing nearly zero adversity. However, he kept the offense on schedule throughout the game and consistently put guys in productive situations. He only had five incompletions for the day but those mainly came on passes traveling down the field. Overall, Kirk led a clean game plan that included no turnovers.
2015 Week 11 vs CAR (22 / 30 / 207 / 1 / 1 pass, 1 / 4 / 0 rush)
Kirk Cousins found himself in plenty trouble this Sunday trying to generate offense. He often struggled against pressure and didn't convert on third downs. He had 3 turnovers total as one of them was a brutal interception in which he overthrew Desean Jackson who was wide open. Errant throws and inability to sustain drives via the run game were a great hindrance to Kirk's performance. Kirk's only touchdown pass of the day came in the first quarter on a beautiful deep throw to Desean Jackson.
2015 Week 12 vs NYG (20 / 29 / 302 / 1 / 0 pass, 4 / 1 / 1 rush)
Kirk Cousins had one of his typical inconsistent days, but did just enough to preserve the win. In the box score it shows that Kirk didn't have a turnover but he actually avoided two horrendous throws. One of the throws he made was early first quarter that would have been an interception returned for six points if the defender catches the ball. Kirk kept drives alive with timely throws in the quick passing game. His lone touchdown pass came in the 2nd quarter when he found DeSean Jackson for a 63 yard bomb in stride past two defensive backs. Kirk was still erratic on throws when under pressure or on the run but managed to make enough positive throws to balance out the bad. Kirk was fortunate to not have any mistakes based on some of his poor decision making. However, avoiding those mistakes this game ultimately helped seal the victory.
2015 Week 13 vs DAL (22 / 31 / 219 / 1 / 0 pass, 1 / 6 / 0 rush)
Kirk Cousins performance on Monday night sputtered with subpar play. Kirk's inability to sustain drives was the main reason the offense sputtered. The running game was highly inconsistent which led to Kirk needing to make more plays and that put him in uncomfortable situations. He normally thrives off of play action and quick passes but with the running game being unreliable Kirk struggled. The Cowboys also brought constant pressure which Kirk doesn't manage well either so that was another contributing factor to his lack of effectiveness. However, Kirk did show good poise when orchestrating a game tying drive late in the game where he made multiple accurate throws to several receivers. He capped off the drive with a 28yard pass to DeSean Jackson that laid out beautifully for him to run under for the score. Overall, the pressure of the Cowboys defense and an inconsistent rushing attack hampered Kirk's ability to flourish in this game.
2015 Week 14 vs CHI (24 / 31 / 300 / 1 / 1 pass, 4 / 13 / 1 rush)
Kirk Cousins had a solid game by his standards as he guided Washington to a much needed win. Kirk's day started out well as he organized a game opening drive for a touchdown. It looked as if he threw a touchdown to Jordan Reed, but upon further review he was down at the 1 yard line. Therefore, the following play went to Alfred Morris to cap off the touchdown drive. Kirk distributed the ball well as he found 9 different players for a reception on the day. He also followed up his game opening drive touchdown with another one on his second possession. He was accurate on an 8+ play drive that ended him using play action to run it into the end zone himself from 5 yards out. Per usual, he found a way to make it interesting as he turned the ball over in his own territory late third quarter. That resulted in Chicago being able to tie the game up. Fortunately Washington was able to muster up a field goal early 4th quarter because they went the next 3 possessions without tallying any points. Kirk manufactured just enough offense to preserve the victory.
2015 Week 15 vs BUF (22 / 28 / 319 / 4 / 0 pass, 3 / 11 / 1 rush)
Kirk Cousins played his best game of the year at the most critical time in the season. He completed his first nine passes and put together touchdown drives on Washington's first three possessions. This was the second consecutive week Kirk has orchestrated a touchdown drive on the team's opening possession. Kirk also managed to score on a quarterback keeper from 13 yards out as well. Kirk distributed the ball well in this game as he got it to the main playmakers while also sprinkling in passes to role players. He only missed on 6 out of 28 passes so the precision and accuracy was great as he looked dialed in. Kirk's two best throws of the day were the 77 yard touchdown to DeSean Jackson in which in intentionally underthrew the ball to allow DeSean to stop and run back to it to gain yards after the catch. The other pass was to Jordan Reed in which he found his tight end up the seam on a skinny post route to beat the zone coverage. It was also another game Kirk stayed away from turnovers which allows the offense to stay on schedule. Kirk is peaking at the right time, but he will need to take this act on the road in order for his hot play to be truly validated.
2015 Week 16 vs PHI (31 / 46 / 365 / 4 / 0 pass, 5 / -4 / 0 rush)
Kirk Cousins took full advantage of a porous Eagles secondary. Kirk has been one of the hottest quarterbacks in recent weeks and it continued in Philadelphia. He was fairly accurate throughout the game as he threw four touchdowns. Kirk's decisiveness with the football was most impressive in this game as he spread the wealth to seven different receivers. He also kept his turnovers at zero for consecutive games. However, he was fortunate to not have a turnover as he threw a horrendous pass in the red zone at the end of the first half that was dropped by an Eagles defender. Kirk followed that play up with a brain freeze move of taking a knee with no timeouts remaining and left with no points on the board. That was his only blemish on the night for this game. The Eagles made a point to stop the run and put the game in Kirk's hands but he answered all game converting on third downs and consistently making the correct reads. The most impressive play of the night for Kirk was when he dropped a dime of a throw to Pierre Garcon in the 4th quarter to seal the game. The throw was a fade route to the corner of the end zone over two defenders that landed right in Garcon's hands in stride. This was a huge test for Kirk on the road where he has often struggled but he played with confidence and composure.
2015 Week 17 vs DAL (12 / 15 / 176 / 3 / 0 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
Kirk Cousins only played one quarter but that was all he needed to stay sharp. He wasn't going to play much due to the fact that their playoff berth was already in stone. Kirk completed his first 7 passes and threw 3 touchdowns in 1 quarter of action. He went 12 for 15 overall and the highlight for him was a perfect 39 yard touchdown pass to Pierre garcon in stride down the sideline. He also connected with Jamison Crowder and Ryan Grant on short touchdown passes in the red zone. Kirk ran the offense efficiently and looked ready for a postseason run based on how firm a grasp he has of the Washington offense. As usual, he was precise on the quick pass attack that seems to fit him well.
2014 Week 2 vs JAX (22 / 33 / 250 / 2 / 0 pass, 1 / -1 / 0 rush)
Kirk Cousins once again came in to a game in relief of an injured RG3 and proceeded to light up the scoreboard enroute to a lopsided Washington victory over the Jaguars. Cousins entered the game early in the first quarter after Griffin blew out his left ankle and scored on his first pass of the game to his wide open fullback Darrel Young. The Jacksonville defense could not have made Cousins's throw easier -- there wasn't a defender within 10 yards of Young. Cousins looked extremely comfortable leading Gruden's offense all game, looking crisp on play-fakes and showing very good short range accuracy. With little threat of a pass rush from the Jaguars, Cousins mostly kept his jersey clean by getting the ball out in rhythm to his receivers. Cousins also showed good control of the hurry up offense to end the first half, spreading the ball around to multiple receivers with quick-hitting, accurate throws. The young quarterback demonstrated a rapport with his TE Niles Paul, targeting the converted WR five times in the first half, especially as his first read on hot routes. Cousins was judicious with his deep throws and exhibited great touch on a deep 30 yard pass over the top of the defense to a double-covered Garcon that almost scored, but the receiver was unable to hold on to the ball. Cousin's second TD pass of the evening was a picture-perfect jump ball fade to Niles Paul that showed off the QB's timing and excellent pre-snap recognition. Cousins was unafraid to take shots in the endzone, working the corner fade with multiple receivers. Though Cousins shredded a mostly inept Jaguars defense, he looks like he is a great fit to lead Gruden's West Coast offense should Griffin miss extended time this year.
2014 Week 3 vs PHI (30 / 48 / 427 / 3 / 1 pass, 3 / 5 / 0 rush)
Kirk Cousins picked up where he left he off last week, slinging passes all over the field enroute to a career day throwing the ball. Cousins completed all his passes on the opening drive, connecting with 5 different receivers while marching Washington down the field for a TD. Cousins was 12/13 with two TDs passing at one point in the second quarter, showing excellent efficiency and decision making. Cousins threw so often partially because the Eagles sold out to stop the run. Gruden used a quick hitting short drop spread offense in place of the run game to effectively combat the heavy Eagles blitz. Cousins was not sacked once in the game and was almost never hit as a result. While Cousins primarily relied on the quick passing game, he frequently tested the Eagles secondary deep. Early in the first quarter Cousins threw a long 50/50 ball up the right sideline for Jackson that fell incomplete. Cousins's huge play with Jackson came later in the game, connecting with him for an 81 yard TD in the third quarter. The TD bomb to Jackson put to rest any concern that Cousins lacked a big enough arm to make use of Washington's prized offseason FA acquisition. He delivered an accurate pass that hit the receiver in stride 45 yards down the middle of the field. Cousins also hit Niles Paul for a tough 37 yard completion on a 3rd and 1, showing great bucket accuracy after Paul gained slight separation. Cousins wowed the crowd with a pass to Garcon in double coverage, throwing into an impossibly tight window while the receiver barely got his feet in for a first down completion. Cousins connected with Garcon on another deep throw into a tight window up the right sideline for 43 yards, showing off legitimate bucket accuracy on the pass and dropping it into the streaking receiver's arms just before the safety help got there. One cause for concern was Cousins's reduced effectiveness in the second half after the Eagles made good halftime adjustments in their coverage schemes. It looked like the Washington receivers had more trouble getting open as the game progressed and Cousins was forced to try to hit tighter windows -- leading to more incompletions. However, Cousins didn't start making poor reads as a result of the coverage change. Cousins exhibited some erratic throws as well, missing on a screen pass to Desean Jackson in the red zone in the fourth quarter which ultimately resulted in a critical missed field goal. His lone turnover came late in the fourth quarter with Washington trailing by seven points on a miscue with his TE Niles Paul. Paul never expected the pass from Cousins, and an Eagles defender made a leaping catch for the INT which would lead to an Eagles FG. Cousins ultimately missed on some makeable throws late in the fourth quarter with Washington trailing by three points, giving Philadelphia the victory, but his game overall should have Washington fans feeling very good about the QB position and the offense going forward with RG3.
2014 Week 4 vs NYG (19 / 33 / 257 / 1 / 4 pass, 1 / 12 / 0 rush)
Kirk Cousins and the Washington passing game was a hit-and-miss (mostly miss) unit throughout the game this week against the Giants. The first quarter staked the Giants to an early lead as two quick punts and a turnover kept Washington off the field. Cousins missed Andre Roberts on third down and Niles Paul open down the sidelines early in the game, contributing to the futility. Cousins made quality throws to Logan Paulsen in the face of pressure and then hit Andre Roberts open down the seam to finish off a touchdown drive in the second quarter. The third quarter was a house of horrors for Washington's offense and Kirk Cousins specifically. Already down 24-7 at the half, Cousins threw three interceptions (and had another potential one) that quickly made the game out of reach. Defensive backs sat on routes; Cousins did not look them off or made erratic throws leading to the bevy of turnovers. Cousins added a fourth interception, a dreadfully short attempt to DeSean Jackson down the sidelines, early in the fourth quarter that essentially ended the game with four turnovers in five second half drives. It was a lost game for Kirk Cousins as timing, accuracy, and arm strength all were deficient at various points of the game.
2014 Week 5 vs SEA (21 / 36 / 283 / 2 / 0 pass, 2 / 4 / 0 rush)
Reports of Kirk Cousins's death have been greatly exaggerated. After throwing up a shockingly bad performance last Thursday night against division rival NYG, Cousins looked primed for another disastrous outing Monday night against the vaunted Seattle defense. The extended time off between games seemed to give HC Jay Gruden and his young QB time to work on Cousins's propensity to hemorrhage turnovers. Cousins played a clean and relatively conservative game free of INTs and fumbles, and he was sacked only one time while facing serious pressure for much of the game. Very few of Cousins' passes traveled past ten yards, and with Seattle's notoriously tight coverage smothering Washington receivers, Cousins struggled to convert on third downs, leading to stalled drives for much of the first half. Cousins found his greatest success on the few plays that he threatened the Seattle defense deep, finding his speedy receiver DeSean Jackson on a 60 yard touchdown bomb thrown just ahead of the outstretched arms of a racing Richard Sherman. Unlike last week, Cousins moved well out of a collapsing pocket and threw the pass on the run as he rolled to his right. Cousins hit Jackson on another beautiful deep ball to start the second half, tagging the streaking receiver between double coverage 50 yards down the field. When Cousins wasn't trying to get the ball to Jackson down the field, he targeted Roy Helu Jr. on check downs, nearly connecting with the RB on a wheel route in the third quarter that would have pulled Washington within three points of the Seahawks, but Cousins overthrew him by a few feet. Cousins put up a gritty performance attempting to pull Washington back into the game late in the fourth quarter. He marched down the field running the hurry up offense efficiently and the young QB looked in command for the first time all game. Cousins hit Andre Roberts for the TD to pull Washington within seven points with 3:35 remaining to cap off a fast 80 yard drive. Cousins got the ball back with almost no time left as Seattle ran down the clock on an impressive drive before kicking a final FG to put the game out of reach.
2014 Week 6 vs ARI (24 / 38 / 354 / 2 / 3 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
The Kirk Cousins roller coaster continued this week against a hobbled Arizona defense missing key pieces of their front seven. Cousins would have finished the game with a solid line, mostly thanks to his receivers, had it not been for the three fourth quarter interceptions he gave up to seal Washington's fifth loss on the year. Cousins failed to move the offense early in the game, stalling drives early throughout the first quarter before connecting with DeSean Jackson for a 64 yard TD pass early in the second quarter to tie the game up at seven apiece. Prior to that pass, Cousins had taken a 10 yard sack where he showed poor pocket awareness and a complete lack of escapability from a moderate but not overwhelming pass rush. However, on second down and 20 Cousins delivered a perfect strike to Jackson on a short slant over the middle just past the outstretched arms of Patrick Peterson. Jackson turned upfield and sprinted another 55 yards to get into the endzone untouched. Cousins almost had another long TD from a 42 yard Jackson bubble screen in the second quarter where the receiver tripped over his own blocker at the 10 yard line. Cousins then failed to convert in the redzone and Washington had to settle for a FG. Cousins's real problems came in the fourth quarter with Washington trailing by 10 points. The mercurial QB began pressing down the field to rally his offense and gave the ball to the opposing defense three times. The Washington defense kept them in the game, however, forcing punts after the first two interceptions. Cousins was able to finally put together a TD drive in the second half, marching Washington down the field in less than a minute and throwing a TD pass the Pierre Garcon to pull Washington within a FG. Cousins looked good running the no-huddle, completing 4/4 passes on the drive. Cousins was able to get the ball back with less than a minute remaining in the game and an opportunity to tie or win the game thanks to the defense holding Arizona to a three-and-out, but Cousins threw a head scratcher of an interception on first and 10 to a Cardinals defender without a Washington receiver within 20 yards of him that was returned for a pick-6 to essentially end the game.
2014 Week 7 vs TEN (10 / 16 / 139 / 0 / 1 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
The Kirk Cousins era in Washington appears to have finally come to an end. The protean QB was benched after throwing his ninth interception in five starts this year, giving way to journeyman Colt McCoy. Cousins's day began auspiciously when he completed a pass to his TE Niles Paul for 50 yards on the first dropback of the game. The drive stalled deep in Tennessee territory and Washington only came away with a FG, but Cousins looked in control of the offense. Cousins began to press down the field on Washington's second possession, nearly getting intercepted on a pass that was nowhere near a Redskins WR. On the next play Cousins crumbled under a collapsing pocket and fumbled into the arms of a blitzing linebacker, setting Tennessee up with excellent field position at the 15 yard line. Cousins, unfazed, continued throwing downfield on his next possession, connecting with tiny WR Desean Jackson on a jump ball up the right sideline for 37 yards. Cousins ultimately decided to force Jay Gruden's hand after throwing a terrible pick into the arms of LB Wesley Woodyard, who was sitting in the middle of the field with no one near him. Cousins was mercilessly allowed to finish out the half, ending his tenure as the Washington starting QB (for now) running for his life before getting called for an intentional grounding penalty to end the half.
2013 Week 8 vs DEN (5 / 9 / 48 / 0 / 2 pass, 1 / 1 / 0 rush)
Cousins took over at quarterback on the Redskins' thirteenth offensive series following a knee injury suffered by Robert Griffin III. With Washington down by double-digits with four-plus minutes in the fourth quarter, Cousins led the Redskins on two drives that resulted in interceptions. Cousins completed four of six short passes and executed a one-yard quarterback sneak before throwing a pick-six on his seventh pass attempt of the game. Broncos cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie jumped Pierre Garcon's route and outmuscled the Redskins receiver, taking Cousins' to the house for a seventy-five yard interception return. Cousins lasted a mere one play before throwing another interception, this time on a ball that hit Jordan Reed in the hands before getting snagged by Broncos linebacker Shaun Phillips. Given that Robert Griffin III's absence from the final minutes of the game were precautionary, it stands to reason that Cousins will likely revert back to his spot on the sideline for Week Nine.
2013 Week 14 vs KC (7 / 16 / 59 / 0 / 0 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
With Washington down by thirty-five at the beginning of the fourth quarter, Cousins played the last four series for Robert Griffin III. The second-year quarterback from Michigan State did not fare much better than Griffin, getting only one first down in the fourth quarter. Cousins looked comfortable commanding the offense at the line of scrimmage, but the effects of the weather and the Chiefs' pass rush was a recipe for a lot of three-and-outs from Cousins. With the Redskins' coaching staff in disarray and Robert Griffin III an asset worth protecting through a few weeks of meaningless games, in stands to reason Cousins might see more work with Washington coming up on what promises to be a tumultuous offseason.
2013 Week 16 vs DAL (21 / 36 / 197 / 1 / 1 pass, 2 / 10 / 0 rush)
The Redskins' second leg of the three-game Cousins showcase was a bit on the uneventful side, in spite of a truly juicy matchup against the hapless Dallas defense. Even with the Cowboys giving up yardage in record fashion, Cousins could not crack two hundred passing yards or five-and-half yards per pass. In Cousins' defense, the weather in Landover was not particularly accommodating, with intermittent rain and winds blowing through FedEx Field. The Redskins' offensive plan of attack against the Cowboys was fairly simple - feed Alfred Morris on the ground and target Pierre Garcon through the air. Cousins did exactly that during Week Sixteen, throwing to Garcon on eighteen of his thirty-five pass attempts. Oddly enough, Cousins still completed passes to seven different pass-catchers and targeted nine Redskins receivers total, but Garcon ended up accounting for a staggering seventy-three percent of his passing yardage total. The onus was clearly on Cousins to get the ball out quickly and avoid turnovers, whether by decree from the sidelines or the pressure brought on from the Redskins' defense. He did not take a sack, and while he did throw the ball away on numerous occasions, he only accounted for one turnover, a poorly thrown pass Cowboys safety Jeff Heath intercepted. Cousins threw a massive amount of quick passes Garcon's way, allowing the receiver to accumulate yards after the catch to move the ball down the field. This was effective for the most part, except on the Redskins' final two offensive series, in which Cousins and Garcon could not connect on critical third downs to keep drives alive. Cousins looked comfortable under center, and the Redskins certainly have a decent trade chip in the offseason in him. While he is winless as a starter in 2013, he has, at least marginally, breathed a bit of life into a stagnant offense and made Redskins football watchable, which Robert Griffin III was not able to do in his final weeks as a starter.
2013 Week 17 vs NYG (19 / 49 / 169 / 0 / 2 pass, 1 / 3 / 0 rush)
The third game of the Kirk Cousins Showcase was by far the most forgettable - a soggy, somber affair in the empty New Meadowlands. It was also Cousins' first matchup with a competent defense playing for pride. The second-year quarterback from Michigan State was wildly inaccurate, completing under forty percent of his passes. Admittedly, the wind and rain played a part in Cousins' inaccuracy. Coupled with the elements was a Giants' pass rush that made Cousins look like an emergency quarterback running a bare-bones offense. Cousins took three sacks and threw two interceptions, both to Giants cornerback Trumaine McBride. His passes were wobbly and were every manner of poorly throw to his receivers. He also lost a fumble on one sack, though the Giants, who also struggled offensively, were unable to convert it to any points. While he made the Redskins into a palatable offense led by a pocket-passing quarterback against the Falcons and the Cowboys, Cousins did not look the part of an NFL quarterback on the road against the Giants. He forced passes to his receivers, especially on shorter routes, and his inaccuracy and impatience were only abetted by a Giants defense unable to reel in more would-be interceptions. Cousins entered the game against the Giants a longshot to compete for the starting job as Redskins QB1 in 2014, and left the contest with a trade value more depressed than ever. The Redskins front office certainly has a fair amount of soul (and head coach) searching to do in the offseason, with deciding what to do with Cousins being of paramount importance.
2012 Week 5 vs ATL (5 / 9 / 111 / 1 / 2 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
The rookie from Michigan State spelled Robert Griffin III as the starter after Griffin took a nasty hit attempting to run for a first down. Cousins exhibited serviceable pocket presence with a Redskins offensive line that may be generously called "below average," and showed some zip on the football with his passes. By no mean the same level of rushing threat as Robert Griffin III, Cousins dealt with an aggressive Atlanta Falcons pass rush that stacked the box to prevent big runs from Alfred Morris and gave Cousins little time in the pocket. Cousins' strike of a touchdown pass to wide receiver Santana Moss rejuvenated a desultory Redskins' home crowd that was in the process of grieving the Robert Griffin III injury. While Cousins exhibited a good rhythm with Moss on that pass, the Falcons secondary on the Moss touchdown was Pop Warner at best. The coverage was one hundred percent blown. Cousins' first career touchdown, however, did give the Redskins a three point lead. The rookie showed he was at least capable of running the offense in Griffin's stead. He did throw two interceptions filling in for Griffin. Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson picked off Cousins on a pass in which no Washington receiver had his eyes on the ball - definite evidence that Cousins and his receivers were not in sync. Falcons safety Thomas DeCoud - he of the SportsCenter Meow Game phone interview - intercepted Cousins after the rookie was hit throwing the football. Given the circumstances, Cousins was competent, but it is arguable he did not wake up believing he would be thrust into this contest against the Falcons. With Robert Griffin III questionable for the Redskins' Week 6 home tilt against the Vikings, it is entirely possible Mike Shanahan will tab Cousins the starter.
2012 Week 14 vs BAL (2 / 2 / 26 / 1 / 0 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
Cousins led the Redskins to a pyrrhic victory over the visiting Ravens at FedEx Field, engineering both the game-tying and game-winning drives. Entering the game after Robert Griffin III suffered what appeared to be a devastating knee injury, Cousins targeted wide receiver Pierre Garcon on third-and-six at the Washington forty-yard line, drawing a defensive pass interference flag. Cousins left the game after the play, and Griffin returned for four snaps. With Griffin unable to stand, Cousins re-entered the game and completed a fifteen-yard pass to wide receiver Leonard Hankerson on second-and-twenty, driving the Redskins to the Baltimore eleven-yard line. With time winding down, Cousins floated a pass to Pierre Garcon for a Redskins touchdown, bringing Washington to within two points of Baltimore. The Redskins then called for a quarterback draw play, with Cousins successfully rushing for a two-point conversion and sending the game into overtime. Largely assisted by a sixty-four yard punt return by Richard Crawford, Cousins - his hair looking much less like James Spader's in Pretty in Pink since a television audience last saw him - led the Redskins into field goal range for kicker Kai Forbath. Forbath's thirty-four yard kick sailed through the uprights, with Cousins leading the Redskins to victory. While Redskins fans would prefer Robert Griffin III on the field, Cousins looked comfortable in limited action controlling the Washington offense against the Ravens, which should be somewhat reassuring.
2012 Week 15 vs CLE (26 / 37 / 329 / 2 / 1 pass, 3 / 22 / 0 rush)
The Redskins' decision to draft Cousins in the fourth round of the 2012 received significant criticism, given the Redskins' pressing needs at a number of positions and the organization's choice to trade a boatload of draft picks for Baylor product Robert Griffin III. However, Cousins has impressed in limited action when filling in for Griffin, and following Griffin's Week Fourteen knee sprain, Cousins drew his first NFL start on the road against the Browns. Now, the Redskins hold what is arguably one of the NFL's more valuable trade chips in Kirk Cousins. Cousins completed twenty-six of his thirty-seven pass attempts for three hundred and twenty-nine yards passing - more passing yards in a single game than Griffin has this season - and looked every bit like a starting NFL quarterback. He recovered from a shaky first quarter that saw him throw the ball into the grass and get picked off on a tipped pass, intended for Pierre Garcon, to completing a fifty-four yard touchdown pass to a triple-covered Leonard Hankerson. Hankerson and Cousins would hook up again on a two-yard touchdown pass off a goal line bootleg. Cousins might have logged a third score had Browns cornerback Joe Haden not been draped over Pierre Garcon in the end zone on a short pass attempt. Scoring opportunities aside, Cousins looked like a legitimate NFL starter against an NFL defense that most consider underrated. His execution of the Washington offense had a veteran's savvy to it. The Redskins abandoned the pistol set and read-option runs that Robert Griffin III uses, but Cousins still relied on a heavy dose of play-action fakes and bootlegs, selling them just like Griffin. Cousins' ball had zip to it and came out of the pocket quickly and accurately to his receivers, especially while they were moving down the field. The rookie from Michigan State remained unfettered changing the play at the line of scrimmage, and, if the play broke down, he found the speed to sprint for positive yardage while avoiding unnecessary contact. It is not an exaggeration to say that the Washington offense barely missed a beat with Cousins under center. If Griffin is unable to return to the field of play for Redskins' Week Sixteen tilt against the reeling Eagles, there will be no despair in Washington. Cousins proved he can command the Redskins' offense - tailored it may be to his skill set, which differs from Griffin's - to victory, whether starting or substituting for Robert Griffin III.
2012 Week 18 vs SEA (3 / 10 / 31 / 0 / 0 pass, 1 / 0 / 0 rush)
Cousins came in the game in relief of Robert Griffin III after Griffin fumbled a low snap and re-injured his right knee in the fourth quarter. A bloodthirsty Seahawks pass rush and a battered Redskins offensive line left Cousins with little to work with, as he completed only three of his ten pass attempts for thirty-one yards. Cousins was hardly the composed, confident pocket-passer audiences saw when he relieved an injured Griffin in previous weeks. With Griffin's health status up in the air, it is worth speculating that Cousins will be Washington's QB1 in the 2013 season opener, and perhaps beyond.