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Need to Know: Grading Kirk Cousins

Sep 15, 2015, 5:23 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, September 15, five days before the Washington Redskins host the St. Louis Rams.

One last look at Redskins vs. Dolphins

—Grading Kirk Cousins seemed to be a popular meme on the web and talk radio. I’ll go with a C+ for him. He moved the ball well and the fact that he only was sacked once was a credit to him as well as the defensive line. The interceptions are the biggest reason for the downgrade; he simply won’t last long as a starting quarterback throwing two picks a game. But beyond those two plays, it was his inability to take advantage of numerous possessions in Miami territory. It wasn’t all his fault but Grade A quarterbacks figure out a way to make it happen.

—I didn’t think Preston Smith played a whole lot on Sunday but I was surprised when I looked at the snap counts and saw that he was in just 12 of the 57 defensive snaps. Considering he created the only takeaway of the game, I think that Joe Barry will have to get him in there more often.

—I also was surprised to see that the Redskins ran just 11 times in the second half and that Matt Jones got only one of those carries. The penalties didn’t help the situation and they did run only 28 plays compared to 41 in the first half (26 rushing attempts). But considering the Redskins were either tied or in the lead until it became a one-score game with less than 10 minutes left. I think they could have called a few more runs.

—Speaking of Smith’s takeaway, I have neglected to mention that Jason Hatcher deserves a major assist on that. From the three technique spot in a four-man line, he got the quick pressure on Ryan Tannehill. Hatcher had both hands on the QB but he was able to spin away. Smith, who was line up with his hand the the dirt as a 4-3 defensive end, caught Tannehill while he was spinning and knocked away the ball.

—In all, the Redskins had an up-and-down start to the season. There were some positive developments, like the right side of the offensive line handling Cameron Wake and Ndamukong Suh and the defense holding Miami to 74 yards rushing. But there were too many familiar problems, from turnovers to special teams struggles to not being able to make a play in any phase of the game in clutch situations. Oh, and they lost, a very familiar outcome.


Today’s schedule: Player meetings; no media availability

Days until: Rams @ Redskins 5; Redskins @ Giants Thursday night 9; Eagles @ Redskins 19

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In case you missed it

  1. colorofmyskinz - Sep 15, 2015 at 6:28 AM

    Very well put Rich! I agree on your rating. 1 more INT than I hoped for. Not making clutch drives another.

    Big question: who was the incompetent coach that decided on keeping Kai and cutting Z Hocker after a 7th round pick was spent and we saw what we are seeing this year with Kai? That coach needs to be fired… Let me guess Kowitca… Not impressed with this guy to take the kicker Hocker just beat out. Very good indication of a leadt that can’t make the tough decisions and is indecisive. Very poor call to have not done this last year. Same person organizing our special team efforts. He needs to go!

    • bangkokben - Sep 15, 2015 at 9:29 AM

      You continue to have zero knowledge of how an NFL organization works, who has what responsibility, and who has what authority. But don’t let that stop you from offering your ridiculous opinions. Off with their heads! Are you the Dan or the Queen of Hearts?

  2. sidepull - Sep 15, 2015 at 6:52 AM

    Really I did not expect more from Cousins. I did expect more in the way of turnovers by our defense. I thought our DB’s could not ask for more getting hit in the chest and hands with the ball. Make those to plays and thats a big momentum shift. They have to make the other team pay when they gaffe. Like you say I just don’t sense a killer instinct with the Redskins. Dammit we had them on their heels and we let them go. More of Preston Smith and less Amerson. Unfortunately will the CB suspension they gotta trot that cant cover corner out on the field again this week.

    • colorofmyskinz - Sep 15, 2015 at 6:57 AM

      How is it that the NFL average of number of INTs per QB is 17, almost one per game, and our defense has not had an INT in how long???

      All the other teams are getting them. Why is it so hard for us?

      Our D Backs are yet to be desired…

      • sidepull - Sep 15, 2015 at 7:59 AM

        I know. Its just frustrating to watch. I mean Kerrigan can get a pick 6 why cant they? I just want to see Breeland or somebody take it to the house and energize this team. We already had one CB, (Carlos Rodgers was it?), who got hit in the hands numerous times and he wound up SF, only to have a great year. He couldnt catch a cold while he was here.

  3. abanig - Sep 15, 2015 at 8:09 AM

    Kirk Cousins C- for me. He didn’t do anything spectacular in the second half when the team needed him to make a play through the air. Heck, they didn’t even score!

    This game wasn’t as good as any of his games from last year, including the ones where he had multiple interceptions like the Giants and Cardinals games. Last year the offense moved the ball consistently the entire game in every game when Kirk started, except when he threw an int. I just didn’t see the offense move as well through the air Sunday as I thought I would.

    I was very underwhelmed. I thought a few ints would happen from Kirk, but I also expected 2 tds – at least – and around 300 yards.

    As for the rest of your points, I agree.

    • sidepull - Sep 15, 2015 at 8:12 AM

      Maybe the addition of Rashad Ross will open things up for him week? It really was an underwhelming performance.

      • abanig - Sep 15, 2015 at 8:23 AM

        Maybe, and I know missing Djax hurts our passing game but Kirk still didn’t do much. I think the skins only have themselves to blame for that because they allowed Djax to miss so much practice time this offseason and when that happens injuries like pulled hamstrings seem to crop up for small speedsters.

        Rashad Ross seems like a good player but he played a great against players who aren’t on NFL rosters the past two preseasons. I’m not sold he’s any kind of answer for an injured Djax but it’s worth a shot.

        • sidepull - Sep 15, 2015 at 9:01 AM

          I unfortunately was one of the guys who always felt people were riding Djax and they needed to quit riding his back. That when its time to play he would be ready. Hes that good. Now, in hindsight, I think you are correct. Djax missed training time and he is paying for it. I really do think that losing him changed the complexion of that game immensely.

        • hk2000 - Sep 15, 2015 at 3:51 PM

          I think Ross can stretch the field just as well, but I’m not sure about his route running, if they teach him well, he may be able to fill Jackson’s shoes, but that is a big IF. The problem is this coach cannot utilize a great player to save his own life.

  4. mr.moneylover - Sep 15, 2015 at 8:31 AM

    I think trent Murphy should be benched along with andre roberts….we dont got alot of tall wide receivers in witch scot m. Said he plan on changing next draft

    • sidepull - Sep 15, 2015 at 9:08 AM

      Preston Smith needs to be on the field more, Murphy less. Ha, I am nothing but a fan. I cant believe the sht I say sometimes, like I know better.

  5. celeoinc - Sep 15, 2015 at 8:43 AM

    Let’s be honest here, Kirk Cousins looked okay in the first half, except of course for that bad interception. However, the second half he was terrible even though the penalties did not help him. I give him a C at best and I am being generous. I have said it before, I say it again, our special teams coach is terrible. He makes bad decisions all the time. How in the world you can keep a kicker that cannot kick in the end zone and at the same time have the worst special team cover unit in the NFL. I don’t care if the new kicker will miss a few more field goals than Kai, as long he can kick in the end zone, our defense will at least have a chance.

    • abanig - Sep 15, 2015 at 8:51 AM

      So if we go from a near 90% kicker to a 70% kicker, you won’t care?

      I think cutting Kai is a huge mistake.

      • Dcwun - Sep 15, 2015 at 8:57 AM

        So do I. I’d prefer made FGs to touch backs. Get some teams guys who can be disciplined in their lanes and can tackle.

        • abanig - Sep 15, 2015 at 9:26 AM

          Exactly! Our coverage units suck! There sucked ever since we lost Zo!

        • bangkokben - Sep 15, 2015 at 9:36 AM

          It’s easier to replace ONE guy than constantly replace part of the eleven on special teams. There is no reason to be the only team in the NFL defending kick-offs. For years, we have had to put players on IR for getting seriously injured on kick-offs when the rest of the league runs wind sprints.

        • abanig - Sep 15, 2015 at 9:42 AM

          I’ll talk to ya when everyone is crying because Hopkins misses sown makeable FGs or misses an extra point.

        • bangkokben - Sep 15, 2015 at 9:46 AM

          Of course, I expect nothing less from anyone up here when it comes to “I told you so-s.” An 80% kicker that can be called on for five more kicks is better than an 85% kicker that can’t kick it out of the end zone. Missing 46 yarders is unacceptable and why he is gone. Why don’t you make your point when he get’s picked up by another team? I expect him to be out of work for at least six weeks.

        • ET - Sep 15, 2015 at 12:02 PM

          The accuracy level won’t drop from 90 to 70 percent. Obviously that’s an exaggeration. But a few percentage points less under 48 yards will be more than counter-balanced if the new kicker can A.) hit from 49-60 yards with some regularity (Kai cannot); and B.) get touchbacks on kickoffs (Kai cannot). I’m not certain why Tress Way couldn’t have handled the kickoffs, but Forbath’s leg was a massive liability there.

        • abanig - Sep 15, 2015 at 1:06 PM

          I believe Tress way didn’t have another kick off after he line drives one to the endzone against Phila last year and Chris Polk took it to the house.

      • cowboyhater - Sep 15, 2015 at 9:31 AM

        You are missing the big picture. Our new GM is setting a new standard with this team. If you can’t play at a high level in your position…then it’s the next man up. It’s about sending a message to the players on this team, and performance accountability. It’s called a culture change….which is desperately needed with this organization.

        • abanig - Sep 15, 2015 at 9:34 AM

          Right and scoring points matter. We’ve had 20 kickers, Hopkins being the 21st in the last 20 years.

          Getting rid of the most accurate kicker in team history is just stupid.

          I don’t care about culture, I care about kicks good through the uprights.

          If you want to improve the field position, find some better gunners because the Redskins gunners have sucked for 3 years running.

        • cowboyhater - Sep 15, 2015 at 9:43 AM

          Ok…..that’s why they don’t listen to guys like you who don’t understand the game…keep trying to justify your point. It highlights your football IQ.

          ….just because I feel a little feisty today let me add this….So him missing a 46 yard FG was ok for you?…that was 3 points taken off the board. There…I just made your point.

        • ajbus1 - Sep 15, 2015 at 6:31 PM

          I agree with cowboyhater on this. I was gonna post the same thing. I think Forbath was the first and might not be the last “sacrificial lamb.” If he can’t kick the ball to the endzone on kickoffs, then he has to be automatic on kicks less than 50yds. He missed an important field goal and they are definitely sending a message here by cutting him. It’s easiest to let the kicker go first but anybody else who doesn’t get the job done will eventually suffer the same fate.

        • Trey Gregory - Sep 17, 2015 at 12:22 AM

          @Abanib: you don’t care about culture? Really? Because I think that’s very important. Just for 1. Getting the losing crude and “well, it was good enough to be passable,” mindset out of Washington is very important in my opinion.

          But Kai’s stats are useless unless he backs them up every year. Athletes do sometimes lose that “it” factor that they used to have. He was 1 for 2 in the game, that’s not great. Small sample size, sure. But he wasn’t spectacular in camp and the pre season too. Then, touchback are extremely important. Especially when your coverage units suck. I don’t know the exact numbers off the top of my head but opponents were averaging great field position vs Washington compared to the rest of the league. Field position matters when you’re trying to stop the other team from scoring TDs. We’re not going to win by letting them score TDs and us kicking field goals, but only if they’re from 45 yards or less.

          The fact of the matter is that Kai Forbath is not a special kicker. He’s good at short field goals, horrendous and long field goals, and had too weak a leg for kickoffs. We need a more complete kicker. Special Teams are killing us and a great way to help that is to kick the ball into the opponents end zone. That’s vey, very important. So are points! But stopping the other team from scoring is like putting points on your board. And who says this new guy can’t kick field goals? Maybe he gets us points AND touch backs. Wouldn’t that be better? Some guys just need a shot to prove themselves.

        • Trey Gregory - Sep 17, 2015 at 12:22 AM

          I meant to say losing culture up there, not losing crude

    • cal - Sep 15, 2015 at 11:04 PM

      R we suggesting that this lost this game for us… This is Forbath’s fault??? Listen this team knew since Mike Shanahan when Forbath was brought in that his leg was weak… However he was extremely accurate form 47-50 yards out… This is crazy… Is this for real… Shout out to the fall guys… Kai Forbath & the ST

      • Trey Gregory - Sep 17, 2015 at 12:13 AM

        I thought Kai’s accuracy dropped after 45. Don’t think he was very accurate anything past that. Certainly not 50. I’ll have to look it up to make sure about it. But I do have a hard time calling a kicker accurate when it’s only in a certain range. Being able to get 3 points from 50 yards out is huge for an offense that fizzles out the closer they get to the opponents end zone.

  6. Dcwun - Sep 15, 2015 at 8:54 AM

    D+ or C- at best. One TD drive aided, by a running that was strong, and 2 ints don’t deserve a C+. Shoot, only generating 10 points alone doesn’t deserve a C+. Seems like he’s being graded on a curve……

    • Eric - Sep 15, 2015 at 9:19 AM

      I agree Kirks been in the NFL 4yrs came from a pro style offense so he gets no sympathy from me D+

    • cowboyhater - Sep 15, 2015 at 9:22 AM

      Graded on curve because of what reason?…… Please specity….

      • rtcwon - Sep 15, 2015 at 11:34 AM

        I would say all QBs grades are on a curve. There is no quantifiable test so all grades are compared to the other 31 starters or all other QBs who saw the field.

        His performance was not enough to win and left me wanting more. But was it worse than 16 other QBs? I don’t think so but I haven’t even watched the tape of our game yet and likely won’t watch more than StL/Sea, NYG/Dal and Atl/Phi.

        • Trey Gregory - Sep 17, 2015 at 12:31 AM

          You can watch the tape but I think you’re already right. Kirk was ok. Maybe, just about average or a notch below. Not quite Alex Smith but probably just as good as Josh McCown and Ryan Firzpatrick. Doesn’t matter though, he has to get better. The thing is, he played about exactly as I was expecting and about exactly as I feel it was reasonable to expect him to play. He did not have my vote as starter this offseason, but now that he is the starter, he deserves a little patience to settle in and improve. He just-has-to-improve. I personally think his play was satisfactory for his first game, now he just has to keep getting better and better; even if it’s a slow growing process. As long as he does that, I’ll be happy with him and keep supporting him. Granted, he’s bound to have a bad game sooner or later. I’m not going to act like the sky is falling if that bad game comes against a really good Rams D this week. I won’t be calling for RG3 to come in, I’ll just want to see him brush it off and come back better in week 3. If he does these things, hopefully the team stays motivated and doesn’t give up on the season and we have a good year to build on. Hopefully

  7. cowboyhater - Sep 15, 2015 at 9:20 AM

    Kirk was just ok……nothing spectacular. That 1st int was a bone head play on his part…but the second int was a great play on the ball from the DB. What I did like is that he is very decisive in the pocket and does not hold onto the ball very long. I still think the game is fast for him, so when it starts slowing down we could see him improve in terms of turnovers. He has the mobility to avoid the rush, and helps his lineman out by staying in the pocket so they know where he is. He is good at checking down, and going through his progressions without panicking in terms of imagining a pass rush. HE STAYS CALM!! I would give him a C for his first game. All I am looking for from Kirk is improvement game to game. Will he learn from his mistakes, and make the necessary adjustments to get this team into the end zone, and close out games. For the RG apologists…sorry but he didn’t show any of that type of pocket presence, or decisiveness with the football over the past 2 years, and even in the preseason so lets not go there with him. As I have said before…the football eye test tells me Kirk is the best option right now for this team.

    • jumbo611 - Sep 15, 2015 at 10:07 AM

      I would give Kirk’s performance a C, if the head coach,and the many people who cover the team didn’t justify starting him by saying he’s the best option,and he KNOWS how to run the offence. And gives this team the best chance to win. Either those were all inaccurate,or Gruden needs to seriously look at changing “HIS” Offense..

      Now for those who keep saying his 2 Int’s didn’t hurt the team. Both were on 3rd down. 1 flipped field position(if the Dolphins kick the short field goal then the momentum is all gone) and the 2nd one was a late throw that was inside and gave the cb a chance to make a play. And prevented the team from going for it or trying a field goal.

      And finally I don’t see how anyone can hang any blame on the defense(complaining about dropped Int’s). They gave up 10 points,and ZERO after halftime.

      Everyone agrees that the running game was great. The offensive line was great, the receivers,and the tight ends were decent if not good and the defense was really really good. Special teams were below average if not there are really 2 positions that didn’t step up. Quarterback and punter.

      • bangkokben - Sep 15, 2015 at 12:04 PM

        The interceptions didn’t hurt the team. They could’ve but didn’t.

        4th and 13 from the 29. Couldn’t have pooched it any better than leaving it on the two. Lost a play. Maybe they make the 46/47-yarder. Odds for the day was 50/50. Not just 50/50 but 50% it’s 17-13 with Miami returning a kick-off with 7:30 left to play OR 50% its 17-10 Miami with the ball on their 37 with 7:30 left to play with all the momentum. With those odds, who knows if the coach decides he’d rather take his chances on 4th and 13 or take a delay of game and punt from 34. As far as damage assessment, this is minimal. Same with the first one. COULD have been catastrophic but ended up being nothing. Unfortunately the same could be said of Tannehill’s sack fumble.

        Curious, how do you rate Tannehill? He lost the fumble and had several picks dropped. Was he the reason the Dolphins merely just won instead of dominating? Did those drops HURT the Dolphins?

        As for the Defense, they gave up three points in the fourth quarter. Important distinction considering Cousins’ interception. The defense gave up a 10 play 76 yard drive that began in the 3rd quarter and had resulted in 1st and goal at the Redskins three before winding up with a FG. The drive last 5:13 and began right after Tress Way’s 36 yard punt/touch back.

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Sep 15, 2015 at 10:13 AM

      “but the second int was a great play on the ball from the DB.”

      I agree the defender just made a very good play. Cousins could have led the pass further towards the sideline. However, the ball was there for Garcon to have an opportunity. The defender just had better position on the ball.

    • TheHogs - Sep 15, 2015 at 10:28 AM

      Griffin had five starts last season that were better than Cousins’s start vs. Miami.

      • jumbo611 - Sep 15, 2015 at 11:34 AM

        I personally would say that Cousins start last week was a mirror image of Griffins start against Huston.. Griffin had a good game against Minnesota and the team should’ve won,but I don’t think any of his starts were as good as Cousins game against Philadelphia.and again the team should’ve won. That being said. I don’t think they gave Griffin a chance to go out and operate a game plan this year,and what we saw on Sunday could’ve been done by any of the 3 qb’s on the roster. It wasn’t anything special or even encouraging to me. I saw hi staring down receivers and late on some throws. So when the coaching staff tells the public that Cousins runs the offense they way they want I have serious questions about that.

        And for the crowd who keep crowing about the penalties. The delay of game penalty(which is on the quarterback,and head coach) is what started the snowball of 3-4 consecutive plays with penalties. So he and Gruden shouldn’t get a pass on that one either.

        • Trey Gregory - Sep 17, 2015 at 12:37 AM

          You nailed it though. I don’t know how I forgot to mention Kirk staring down receivers in my other posts. He has my support, but he HAS to stop staring down receivers. He even does it pre snap sometimes, like he’s still in college. When teams watch his film, they will see him staring down receivers and the INTs will get out of control again if he doesn’t stop. Thankfully, this can be improved in a realitivly short period of time. Maybe not mastered, but improved. In my opinion, that’s the number 1 thing he has to fix. Especially the pre snap reads. Then maybe trust his instincts a little more on passes further downfield. Seemed like he didn’t have faith in himself to try and make some of those throws and checked it down instead.

  8. timwillhidetimwillhide - Sep 15, 2015 at 9:39 AM

    Sorry Rich but if 17 interceptions in a season is average than Cousins throwing 2 a game is below average. I would give him a D but his performance definitely should be considered a C- because of the interceptions and only 1 TD drive

    • ET - Sep 15, 2015 at 12:50 PM

      Two interceptions a game, based on one game? Two interceptions a game, one of which is a bad throw, the other of which is a crazy-good play by the defensive back?

      • timwillhidetimwillhide - Sep 15, 2015 at 1:08 PM

        2 a game based on that’s what he averaged his career so far.

        You’ve said people made excuses for RG3 injuries bad online play calling. None of such sound as sad as your argument trying to make the interceptions sound ok. Lol get real

        • ET - Sep 15, 2015 at 1:17 PM

          I wasn’t making an argument, I was asking questions. Apparently you don’t think one game is too small a sample size, or that an interception requires context. That’s fine.

        • timwillhidetimwillhide - Sep 15, 2015 at 7:28 PM

          Apparently you just skim people’s comments. I said he averages 2 per game over his Career. If you want to get technical about it it is almost 3 turnovers per game he averaged over his entire career so far. He has thrown balls that hit defenders in the hands at an alarming rate. Defenders are catching more of them than in the past. He simply is not a good QB

        • abanig - Sep 15, 2015 at 7:47 PM

          On the ESPN NFL Monday QB show Steve Beuerline gave Cousins a D, he said he was widely inaccurate, had the two turnovers and the lack of scoring on offense falls on Cousins’ shoulders. He also said is he trying to give the ball back to RG3? Cousins can’t be putting much confidence into Jay Gruden with a performance like that.

          Trent Green and Rich Gannon gave Cousins a C-. Rich said that Cousins propensity to throw interceptions at the worst times are still keeping him for taking the next step as a qb. He said Cousins just can’t seem to kick the turnover gene.

        • timwillhidetimwillhide - Sep 16, 2015 at 2:24 AM

          Adam I’ve bin saying that Cousins is inaccurate and is an interception waiting to happen since. 2012. I don’t have anything against the guy personally I just haven’t seen anything that impresses me about him

  9. redskinsnameisheretostay - Sep 15, 2015 at 10:03 AM

    I find it hard to see other keep beating down a defense that had multiple key stops on 3rd/4th. They held the rushing game to under 100 yards and allowed one single touchdown. I get opportunities were missed on the field. If fans are looking for near perfection out of the defense then the team could have added those two interceptions and possibly with a defensive touchdown. You can continue to strip out a play here or there that was the difference. However, the question is why were the team in a situation to have to have fans ponder over a few plays when overall the Skins dominated the 1st half in areas that allow most teams to chalk up a win.

    The results are undeniable. The offense was given a great opportunity to win and by adding those 161 rushing yards to 74 for the opponent, normally assures that. The key difference in this lost was a passing attack that didn’t take advantage of what was provided to them as a unit. The passing game showed little threat of going deep and played the short field most of the game. You play type of the passing game then you better convert when in the opponents territory. That didn’t happen and that is what needs to be fixed. Dropped interceptions are hard to swallow but regardless, the defense performed well enough for the offense to seal a win. I still say the key to the lost was the lack of deep ball after Jackson when out. This forced Cousins to play small ball most the game and the offense failed to manufacture enough points as a result.

    I hope some of the positives in this game don’t disappear next week. I certainly hope the running game can continue to grind out nice drives and the defense can continue to be just as stout. The interceptions will come as long the defense continues to tackle well and avoid big plays. Heck, we managed to play this well as a defense with very little pressure coming from the edge.

    • bangkokben - Sep 15, 2015 at 12:25 PM

      The loss is on everyone. Every aspect of the team could have played cleaner resulting in a win. Not getting caught with offensive penalties and dropped interceptions could’ve masked the deficiencies in the passing game. The problem moving forward is that we haven’t seen enough to project the running game to be just as effective or the secondary without Amerson being just as unbreakable or the defense being able to play for more than twenty minutes. Sure, the passing game needs work but the other areas aren’t finished products. Nick Foles seems to always play us tough and this offense couldn’t generate a runny nose against the Rams ten months ago. Lastly, Miami gained had this stretch to finish the 3rd quarter:

      1st and 10 at MIA 20
      (1:47) R.Tannehill pass short right to J.Landry pushed ob at MIA 31 for 11 yards (J.Rogers; D.Hall).

      1st and 10 at MIA 31
      (1:19) (Shotgun) L.Miller right tackle to MIA 43 for 12 yards (T.Robinson).

      1st and 10 at MIA 43
      (:43) (Shotgun) L.Miller right end to WAS 40 for 17 yards (D.Hall).

      1st and 10 at WSH 40
      (:01) (Shotgun) R.Tannehill pass short middle to J.Landry to WAS 20 for 20 yards (D.Hall).

      Four plays in a row that resulted in first downs.

      The point is that a team without a big play threat has to be clean across the board to win. Last year the wins we had were primarily due to the ability to hit a big play. This looks more like 2013 or 2011 where the team was competitive in many games but had no big play threat and ultimately lost the points battle.

      • redskinsnameisheretostay - Sep 15, 2015 at 3:46 PM

        Yep, I remember that run of consecutive plays from Miami’s. However, it’s the sum of the game I look at here. The passing unit produced the least of the overall output the team provided on the field. If there was a bump in production out of the passing game Sunday then no one is cherry picking about a single play or single series.

        Hey, so we lost a close game against a decent team. It was a better outcome than what I expected.

    • ET - Sep 15, 2015 at 12:57 PM

      The defense did do a good job overall, no doubt. The defense performed the best of our three units. It looked much stouter than last year’s D, and it could end up being a Top 10 run defense. That said, our defenders need to do a better job creating turnovers. I don’t think it’s wrong to be critical of that one aspect. I’m fairly certain the defensive coaches are on the same page regarding the need for takeaways.

      • redskinsnameisheretostay - Sep 15, 2015 at 3:41 PM

        It’s fine to be critical of a few dropped interceptions and that’s why coaches are there to work on those things in practice. However, I think many are diverting from the most critical issue that was revealed from the loss. Outside of special team coverage which everyone following here should expect to be a major liability, where does the team look most vulnerable? The lack of a deep ball and a mistake prone passing game. Yes Jackson returning in 3 – 4 weeks will help open things up more for Cousins.

        However, Cousins as the starting QB MUST improve his overall accuracy if you want to win any games. The passing game was the least productive unit. Where was that production others were touting about in Preseason? Have some fans finally learned preseason doesn’t always transcend to regular season? I’m going to expect more out of Cousins as the starter. He needs to minimize his mistakes or at least do a better job capitalizing on scoring opportunities. One questionable touchdown and two interceptions isn’t going to cut it. That’s not even Rex’s level of production.

        • Trey Gregory - Sep 16, 2015 at 1:38 AM

          You’re exactly right. The passing game was decent from 10 yards or less but almost non existent beyond that; and people can’t just blame that on Desean’s injury. We have other receivers, maybe not as good, but other receivers who can stretch the field. I don’t recall any problems with this in 2012 with a group of receivers who were not nearly as talented, in my opinion. The difference is the QB. I was overall please with Cousins, but I think that’s because he did about what I was expecting.

          I might have been more pleased with the defense than most of you guys. I thought they played pretty well against a tough team. However, Amerson was just plain awful. I was reserving judgement on him because of the offseason reports about how he was working harder and had a better attitude, but he was a comple liability out there. This team can’t get Culliver, Breeland, and Hall all on the same field at the same time soon enough.

          I’ve also been a big Trent Murphy supporter and so I have to admit, I was a bit disappointed in his performance too. He wasn’t awful, and one sub par game doesn’t mean he’s done, but I too would like to see more of Smith.

          It sucks for Ihenacho that he got hurt, I never like to see players get hurt, but I’m not really that upset about it. I don’t like him in coverage at all. He likes to stuff run lanes and tackle hard, but I think we have enough guys to cover that for the moment. We need help in pass protection. Hopefully Johnson lights a spark and gets going. I’m actually kind of excited to see what he brings. And yeah, the defense should have had more turn overs, but does anyone disagree that the coverage was significantly better compared to the past couple seasons?

          This defense actually looked competent to me. That was very refreshing. I expect them to play much better than past seasons and I expect Cousins to slowly improve, as well as the line (who Inwas also overall happy with). This team is looking much better to me, just maybe not good enough to actually win yet. Because, that’s just how bad they were the last couple of years. But they even seemed to play with more fire. Things appear to be trending up after a very short period of time with Scot T the helm.

  10. skip36 - Sep 15, 2015 at 10:14 AM

    I believe that Houston Bates was one of the gunners that was out of position for the punt return & was cut because of that, also with Jackson & Ihenacho we will see how Ross wide receiver & Johnson safety will play against the Rams, hopefully nobody else gets hurt, were getting thin at backups HTTR

    • abanig - Sep 15, 2015 at 10:44 AM

      I called that! Last year Gabe Miller was the preseason darling and was cut after the first Phila game because he made a the mistake in his lane that caused Chris Polk to take it to the house on his kick off return.

      Bates just reminded me of Gabe Miller, looked good against OL who weren’t going to make NFL rosters but wouldn’t cut it on the 53 man.

      • bangkokben - Sep 15, 2015 at 12:41 PM

        I had the exact same assessment on Bates. I suspect he’ll be brought back to the practice squad. I’ll take a look at that return. Very unusual to have an LB be a gunner.

    • abanig - Sep 15, 2015 at 10:45 AM

      I think Trenton Robinson continues to play over Jeron Johnson. People underestimate Robinson, but he’s a slid safety and good special teams guy.

      • bangkokben - Sep 15, 2015 at 12:44 PM

        I like Robinson but he gets caught too deep at times, especially on run plays. However, I trust that the coaches know who’s best back there for now and if that’s Robinson over Johnson, cool. Johnson was definitely on that punt return. Where is Rich’s wonderful snap counts? Was I the only person that like those?

  11. goback2rfk - Sep 15, 2015 at 10:21 AM

    Kirk Cousins: D

    No way Rob loses that game against Miami. Kirk looked like a back up in there last Sunday and certainly not a NFL caliber starter QB.
    Kirk is 2 – 8 as a starter. Someone get him out of there. I want to see what McCoy has left in the tank on Sunday.
    Hell I will even settle for some RG3. Please come back Rob! Save this shitty team! Rg3! Rg3! Rg3! Rg3!

  12. TheHogs - Sep 15, 2015 at 10:26 AM

    A C+?

    Football Outsiders doesn’t have their QB stats up yet, so how about ESPN’S total QBR?

    No, this was not a C+ performance. It was more of a D performance, and if you changed the QB’s name to Griffin, some people would be calling for his benching.

    • Rich Tandler - Sep 15, 2015 at 10:29 AM

      With all due respect to FO and ESPN, I’m capable of grading a QB on my own, thank you.

      And don’t presume to know what I would or would not have said had Griffin put up an identical performance.

      Also, putting more than one link in a post puts it into the spam folder, where I have to find it and approve it. That’s why this didn’t go up right away.

    • TheHogs - Sep 15, 2015 at 10:37 AM

      I didn’t assume what *you* would say about Griffin if he had an identical game. Let’s be honest: with those QB numbers, the Redskins only scoring 13 points (team points scored aren’t a true reflection of QB performance, but lots of people go by it), and a Redskins loss, there would be football hysteria on your website and in the media.

      Also, I can grade QBs on my own as well, but I can also use additional metrics that that eye test can’t account for alone.

      • brucefan1 - Sep 15, 2015 at 1:55 PM

        TheHogs — kickin’ “A” !!

        (And dude, there’s a two link rule? Who knew?! LOL)

  13. TheHogs - Sep 15, 2015 at 10:30 AM

    Apologies for the duplicate posts; Internet issues.

    • Rich Tandler - Sep 15, 2015 at 10:31 AM

      Not internet issues, multiple link in a post issues. See previous comment by me.

      • brucefan1 - Sep 15, 2015 at 1:57 PM

        “See previous comment by me.”

        Ya always gotta check the rules, TheHogs! ;^}

  14. diehardskinsfans - Sep 15, 2015 at 1:19 PM

    Listen i have already heard peoplw say be patient with Kurt let him develop. I believe thats what they were suppose to be doing with griffin. If they pulled him because of a distraction cool I can take that but usnt that the media clowns. Talent wise griffin couldve won that game. Bottom line mark my words Grudens out of here he cant play favorites

    • brucefan1 - Sep 15, 2015 at 2:17 PM

      Don’t know about what anyone else sez, but seeing those QBs running around last nite – as well as on Sunday; rolling out, scrambling, read-optioning, pulling the ball down and running for first downs, etc., I can’t wait to see what Griffin does in the future (even THIS season maybe? Joy!) with a coach who knows how to use him!

      I gotta strong feeling he can still do all that — and he’s said at times in the last year that he’s ready and willing to do so also, if allowed to. That ALL types of plays were on the board for him.

      I mean, that stuff was EXCITING!

      Then there’s the kinda game that Huey demands that Cuz play …. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

      FREE RG3

      (Besides I’m already sicka seeing the camera on him 50 times during a game he’s not even suited up for! LOL)

      • abanig - Sep 15, 2015 at 2:29 PM

        We’ll be watching Griffin do that for Dallas when he replaces Romo after Romo retires in a few years.

        Then, we’ll be on the losing side of a 38-31 loss on Thanks giving day to the Cowboys with out 2nd or 3rd year qb who’s learning to be a pocket passer in the NFL.

        • brucefan1 - Sep 15, 2015 at 3:01 PM

          Who EVER thought that longtime fans like you and I would EVER be entertaining these obscene thoughts, abanig?! LOL!

          I guess this “Snyder nightmare” wears down even the loyalist of us! Haha!

          (But our you saying that the NEXT Redskin coach is also gonna insist on his QB being a pocket passer too? ;^} )

  15. chris - Sep 15, 2015 at 1:48 PM

    I don’t think either interception was Kirk”s fault. The first one Reed was open and faced kirk who was rolling right. It became a scramble drill and just as reed turned to head deep up sideline, kirk threw it to him where he was originally open. Leaving an easy it for the CB. I thought play calling was screen passes and we kept getting penalties and hurting our short yardage chances. Defense played well considering. A missed FG and allowing a punt return was the difference

    • abanig - Sep 15, 2015 at 2:24 PM

      The first int was not Kirk’s fault. The second int I would say wasn’t really Kirk’s fault but I’d say it was a questionable decision.

      The qb needs to realize situations, at the point he threw that interception we were in fieldgoal range. He also needs to realize that Pierre Garçon is not the WR that you want to throw 50/50 Jump Balls to. I can’t remember Garçon ever going up and snatching the ball out of the air like Reed does on 50/50 balls.

      I would have rather seen Kirk check it down there for a 5 yard gain or so, maybe more if who catches it breaks a tackle and at worst were in FG range. We had the ball at the Miami 26, Kirk’s int there took points off the board in the 4th quarter.

      • ET - Sep 15, 2015 at 2:53 PM

        It looked to me that the first INT was Kirk’s fault (wasn’t the throw telegraphed?). On the second, he did throw into tight coverage, but the probability was pretty good that either Garçon gets position and the ball, or the ball is swatted away. That was a helluva grab by the (non-Grimes) corner. So, yeah, Kirk attempted a tough throw in the second case, but it wasn’t a horrible decision (IMO).

        • abanig - Sep 15, 2015 at 3:05 PM

          The first throw, Reed is supposed to cross the face of the safety, he didn’t. It was Reed’s fault.

          The second one was questionable because they needed points and were in FG position. The team needed something positive to happen at that point, even if it was just a FG. The momentum had shifted since Miami scored that TD to end the half.

          It wasn’t a horrible decision but given all the factors abs the game situation it was a questionable decision and it took points off the board.

        • ET - Sep 15, 2015 at 6:27 PM

          Are you thinking of the correct play on the first INT, or the play that killed the last drive? (I’m not sure, as I haven’t rewatched the first interception.) if you’re correct, that’s at least three significant misfires on Reed’s part—wrong route on first INT, penalty, wrong route on last drive.

      • ET - Sep 15, 2015 at 2:57 PM

        To add one more thing: I don’t know who else was open on the second play, so you may be right that a checkdown or other, safer option was still available. In which case, the decision becomes more problematic.

        • abanig - Sep 15, 2015 at 3:09 PM

          Well if no one is open, so the smart thing and run for 5-10 yards or throw the ball 5 yards in the stands.

      • brucefan1 - Sep 15, 2015 at 3:05 PM

        I love the use of the “cedilla”, man! Gotta use that spelling in the future.

    • brucefan1 - Sep 15, 2015 at 2:53 PM

      I dunno! It looked to me like Grimes (who I wanted the Skins to pick up SO bad when he was available!) was just laying back in wait, reading Cuz’s eyes, waiting for him to make the throw he knew was coming — and then made a play.

      (But I haven’t studied the “All-22” yet so I could be wrong. Sike, I don’t have All-22!)

      But while we’re on the topic of interceptions, I’m getting kinda sick of everyone saying Brice McCain made a GREAT play on that pick along the sidelines. Me? I agree with Dan Fouts, who said there was NO WAY Garcon shoulda let McCain bring that ball down! Pierre shoulda at least turned DB and broke that play up — because he obviously wasn’t determined to go up and fight for the catch. Didn’t make a play.

      But then some teams have playmakers, and some don’t — and the Skins DON’T! Really, who are the Skins’ playmakers; I mean respected, consistent PLAY-effin-MAKERS?!

      DJax … maybe. (“Ouchie” on that one for the next month.) Kerrigan? Good … but a dependable playmaker? Dunno. DHall? Sometimes — but just as frequently a “heartbreaker”. Alf? A great, methodical grinder, but not a playmaker. Cousin Kirk? LOL! Not with THAT yoke Huey has strapped around his neck! Yikes.

      Maybe YOU can tell me who the Skins’ playmakers are, but imho till they get a few of them they ain’t going nowhere.

      • abanig - Sep 15, 2015 at 3:14 PM

        I have to agree. Pierre mistimed his jump and did nothing to break up that pass form being intercepted but at the same time I don’t think it should have ever been thrown.

        Honesty, I think Kirk goes brain dead in the 4th quarter of games. I don’t see him attempting passes like that in the first half and I dont see him attempting passes like that when the skins are tied or have a lead.

        It’s only when we are down by a score or two in the second half that Kirk thinks he’s got to make these outrageous plays downfield instead of taking what the defense gives him or throwing the ball away if nothing is there and having Kai kick a FG to pull the team to w/in 4 points.

  16. Dana Gassaway - Sep 15, 2015 at 2:25 PM

    Welcome to the 2015 showing of “Groundhog Day” ! This is the same show being played ovet and over and…. This team must come out and play like winners to be winners, and I see the same lack of foucus and lack of , excuse the bluntness, balls when the pressure is on. Winners win- it may be an oversimplification but the truth is the truth! And to all you fake Redskin fans don’t by tickets if you are going to give them to the enemy!

  17. cal - Sep 16, 2015 at 12:16 AM

    Same ol’ Kirk Cousins… Same ol’ Jay Gruden… Hahaha C+ where & for what… 189 yrds, 1TD, 2 INT’s…. I’m giving this performance a D+ considering that he got the ball away early noton time (EARLY)… On his 1st INT he threw to early to Reed disn’t let the route develop & stared Reed down… Notice that Grimes who gave Reed a very big cushion knew that Kirk was looking for Reed… He wasn’t even running with Reed he was waiting for the throw bcuz Capt. Kirk stared him down… And the second Into was crazy as well I believe that McCann had great coverage on Garcon & if I’m not mistaken there was safety help over the top Kirk should’ve went for the check down but he throw in tight double coverage/tight coverage none the less… Running game
    was great 166 yrds on the ground, 25 carries
    for Alf 121 yrds (fantastic)… I feel like there
    is room in there for about 18 plays for Matt
    Jones & 10 plays for Chris Thompson passing
    & rushing for both… But that’s what turnovers
    & poor coaching gets u… Obviously missing
    Desean hurt us… Another example of poor
    play calling & coaching…. If u can’t Adjust ur paycalling

  18. cal - Sep 16, 2015 at 12:20 AM

    Same ol’ Kirk Cousins… Same ol’ Jay Gruden… Hahaha C+ where & for what… 189 yrds, 1TD, 2 INT’s…. I’m giving this performance a D+ considering that he got the ball away early noton time (EARLY)… On his 1st INT he threw to early to Reed disn’t let the route develop & stared Reed down… Notice that Grimes who gave Reed a very big cushion knew that Kirk
    was looking for Reed… He wasn’t even
    running with Reed he was waiting for the
    throw bcuz Capt. Kirk stared him down… And
    the second Into was crazy as well I believe
    that McCann had great coverage on Garcon &
    if I’m not mistaken there was safety help over
    the top Kirk should’ve went for the check
    down but he throw in tight double coverage/
    tight coverage none the less… Running game
    was great 166 yrds on the ground, 25 carries
    for Alf 121 yrds (fantastic)… I feel like there
    is room in there for about 18 plays for Matt
    Jones & 10 plays for Chris Thompson passing
    & rushing for both… But that’s what turnovers
    & poor coaching gets u… Obviously missing
    Desean hurt us… Another example of poor
    play calling & coaching…. If u can’t Adjust ur
    Play calling in event of losing one star player on offense ur a bad coach

  19. cal - Sep 16, 2015 at 12:23 AM

    As a matter of fact I thought Garcon was gonna be used more as a #1

  20. Johnny B. - Sep 16, 2015 at 4:26 AM

    I would have to say that Cousins deserves a c-. He played bigger and better yast year. He did good and our defense would have won the game for us if it wasn’t for special teams/kickers.for our offense to do better than last year we have to win 8 or better. Just remember that our defense cost us about 4 to 5games last year. Archives

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