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Need to Know: Cousins, Redskins have improved dramatically on third down

Nov 13, 2015, 5:10 AM EDT

Cousins-passing-vs-Patriots

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, November 13, two days before the Washington Redskins host the New Orleans Saints.

Five stats to know for Week 9, Redskins vs. Saints

—The Redskins have improved dramatically on third down from last year. In 2014 they were among the worst in the league, getting first downs on just 31.5 percent of their third-down plays. This year they are converting at a 43.9 percent clip, tied for eighth in the NFL. And it’s not just a matter of having shorter distances to go; they have improved on both attempts with six or fewer yards to go (49.9 percent in 2014, 64.2 percent this year) and with seven yards or more to go (13.3 percent to 24.1 percent). The Redskins have scored five touchdowns on third down through eight games this year after scoring just three all of last year.

—One of the reasons that the Redskins have improved on third down is that Kirk Cousins is playing better on third down compared to last year. In 2014 he was among the worst quarterbacks in the league on third down. Here’s a comparison of his numbers:

source:

—Another area where the Redskins have accomplished a solid turnaround is when it comes to sacks allowed. They gave up the second most in the league last year, 58. That included a six-game stretch from their ninth through their 14th game where they gave up 36 sacks. That was the most sacks allowed in a six-game span since the 1997 Cardinals. So far this year they have given up nine sacks, tied for the fewest in the NFL. They allowed two sacks in Week 2 and have given up no more than one in any other game. The lack of sacks allowed and the third-down success are undoubtedly related.

—Will the Redskins be able to get on a roll offensively against the Saints? New Orleans has allowed 11 pass plays of 40 yards or longer this season, the most on the NFL. But this could be a case of the stoppable force meeting the movable object. The Redskins have just one such play themselves all year. Of course, DeSean Jackson, who led the NFL is receptions for 40-plus yards last year with 13, missed most of the first seven games before returning rusty against the Patriots last week. The Saints have given up 24 touchdown passes. Since the 1970 merger only the 1981 Colts have given up that many touchdown passes through the first nine games of the season.

—There was a lot of hand wringing earlier in the year when the Redskins were racking up penalty flags at a frightening pace. But that has changed over the last few weeks. They have had 51 accepted penalties against them this year. There are 25 NFL teams that have more. Washington has been penalized 441 yards, fewer than 26 teams. Since being penalized 10 times against the Eagles in Week 4 they have been flagged just 16 times in four games. It should be pointed out that they lost three of those four games so perhaps the correlation between avoiding penalties and winning isn’t as strong as some might think.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 11:50; Jay Gruden and Sean McVay news conferences and player availability after practice, approx. 1:30

Days until: Saints @ Redskins 2; Redskins @ Panthers 9; Giants @ Redskins 16

In case you missed it

121 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. abanig - Nov 13, 2015 at 5:16 AM

    Again, that’s great, but our redzone offense hasn’t dramatically improved. Scoring seems more important

    • sidepull - Nov 13, 2015 at 6:13 AM

      The settling for a FG when in the redzone is frustrating.

      • John - Nov 13, 2015 at 11:27 PM

        Could it be we only have one receiver in Reed who is a consistent threat?

    • bangkokben - Nov 13, 2015 at 9:22 AM

      This is patently false.

      https://www.teamrankings.com/nfl/stat/red-zone-scoring-pct

      Up 13% from last year.

      Rank Team 2015 Last 3 Last 1 Home Away 2014

      11 Washington 60.87% 60.00% 50.00% 75.00% 45.45% 47.92%

      • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 13, 2015 at 10:12 AM

        So many accolades for the offense with Cousins. Yet the team holds the same record!

        • bangkokben - Nov 13, 2015 at 10:13 AM

          53-man sport, Sport.

        • bangkokben - Nov 13, 2015 at 10:18 AM

          First of all, these aren’t accolades just statistics that point to the team’s issues being something other than the quarterback, kind of like in 2012 when the team had the same record (3-5) but the quarterback showed promise and the team was struggling to win.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 13, 2015 at 10:25 AM

          “First of all, these aren’t accolades just statistics that point to the team’s issues being something other than the quarterback,”

          I’m not saying it’s QB, I’m saying it’s still the passing scheme. They run a high percentage short yard passing offense that makes it easy for defenses to scheme against.

        • John - Nov 14, 2015 at 12:34 AM

          Wasn’t the team only expected to win around 6 games before a starter was picked and all the injuries? So what’s your point? The team in general lacks talent. We certainly other than Jordan Reed lack player that opposing teams have to game plan against.

        • John - Nov 14, 2015 at 12:40 AM

          And yet the team was never expected to win more than 6 games before Cousins was named the starter and the injuries. So what’s your point?

      • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 13, 2015 at 10:23 AM

        The issue the Red Zone Bang is that if you look at the attempts, the team is far below the NFL average. There are 6 teams tied with Washington on attempts per game at 2.9 that technically put them at a 6 way tie for 19th. Those other teams? Cleveland, Jacksonville, Chicago, Oakland, Houston are not what you call offense leaders in the NFL.

        • bangkokben - Nov 13, 2015 at 10:30 AM

          Exactly. The problem is getting to the Red Zone more often. I never said there wasn’t a scoring issue. The team has to score more points. Difficult though without a running game or a deep passing game yet they’ve managed to be ahead at the half in five of their games.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 13, 2015 at 10:37 AM

          “Exactly. The problem is getting to the Red Zone more often.”

          We can certainly agree there. As for the running game well I think it will continue to struggle without a deep passing game. Defenses have a nice luxury when playing the Skins. They can load up in the boxes and just contain the running game and the short field. There is little threat of the team challenging DBs and Safeties downfield. Maybe Jackson will change that in the upcoming games. I’m still holding hope he can be a major factor in opening up the offense for both Cousins and the running game.

        • hail74 - Nov 13, 2015 at 1:37 PM

          If you want to be a run first team, you need to be able to run even when the defense knows what you are going to do. Seattle is the most obvious example. Plenty of teams utilize a short passing game.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 13, 2015 at 2:11 PM

          “If you want to be a run first team, ”

          What year Seattle are you talking about? If you are talking about the SB then that was a different group. Seattle is not the norm and is more of the exception in today’s football. The point is defenses need to respect the passing game to give room for the running game. The element of predictability is also is issue for this offense. It was the same issue last season. This idea you have to run the ball even when defenses know it is also an exception and not the rule. Few teams can put an O-line together that can dare a defense to stop the running game that is coming. You are talking about teams with rare talent at the line/rb like Dallas/Minnesota of recent seasons. Outside of those elites you are speaking of the years prior to the this century.

          The real definitive pattern you can look at with the running game starts and stops with Gruden. He has a history of underachieving running teams. The sad part is this team started out showing that trend would end but a conservative and completely innocuous pass game allowed defenses to adjust. Many will make claims about the lost to Shawn Lauvao which I do believe slowed the rushing attack. However, that cannot and is not the only reason the running game has stalled.

        • John - Nov 13, 2015 at 11:34 PM

          Rather than complaining about the offense throwing short passes and settling for field goals, keep in mind how many times the offense has had to start deep in its own end. Its not easy, when you have to go 80 yards to score. It would be nice if the defense would flip the field or the special teams give the offense shorter fields.

    • bangkokben - Nov 13, 2015 at 9:26 AM

      Here’s another interesting IMPROVEMENT:

      http://www.sportingcharts.com/nfl/stats/quarterback-rating-in-red-zone/2015/

      #2 in the league! Up from 24th.

      The failures in scoring has for the most part been from outside the red zone. Fortunately we now have a kicker that can stretch that distance.

  2. colorofmyskinz - Nov 13, 2015 at 5:39 AM

    Great stats Rich!! I think everyone agrees, cousins is our best QB on the roster. We are hopeful he can develop into franchise material. And he shows glimmers of hope. In the Tampa game, i was ready to give up on him in the first half. As we all know, he turn it around big in second half. Then we saw brilliance.

    Had garçon et al not had the drops against the patriots, we may have seen a different game. Kirk showed up to that game, his receivers did not.

    The reduced sacks are definitely a result of his pocket awareness. He has avoided many hits by his shiftiness in the pocket. Line is better but not that much better. Proof being look how horrible jones and Morris are doing due to the line inexperience. Kirk is a great reason for sack reduction. Had RGIII been in there this year that sack total would be much higher.

    If we get more consistency from Kirk through 4 quarters and over the season, we have money. Consistency comes from repetition. We have seen how good he can be. I honestly think we do not have to draft a QB next year from what I am seeing.

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 13, 2015 at 9:22 AM

      “Great stats Rich!! I think everyone agrees, cousins is our best QB on the roster.”

      I notice you like to plant outrageous statements in your comments just like the one above to elicit responses. Congrats since it works!

      For the most part you think wrong. To quantify; Cousins is the best QB for Gruden’s West Coast Offense. However Cousins as a franchise QB here while is one we could all “wish” on, many don’t hold high hopes of that happening. That’s not for sound reasons: Cousins only recently was on record pace of interceptions that even eclipsed Ryan Leaf. So I think we shouldn’t be so confident so quickly on a QB that still ranks among the worst in the most costly category.

      • bangkokben - Nov 13, 2015 at 10:14 AM

        “Cousins only recently was on record pace of interceptions that even eclipsed Ryan Leaf.”

        By recently, do you mean when he last played in 2014? This year he has thrown the same amount of interceptions as he did last year – except he has thrown 308 passes compared to 204 last year. His ratio of interceptions per pass attempts last year was 1 out of 22.667 passes compared to 1 out of 34.222 passes this year. The past two seasons combined, Cousins has thrown 18 interceptions out of 512 passes. Or in other words, 1 out of every 28.444. So why should last year have more weight than this year?

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 13, 2015 at 10:31 AM

          Try just after the Giants at the earliest recording. Also Cousins is still 37th in QBR which puts in company with your boy Black Bortles who is still a notch better than him. I guess you were right about these QBs being in the same class. A class among the worst in QBR rankings.

        • bangkokben - Nov 13, 2015 at 10:34 AM

          Cousins is 20th in QBR.
          http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/qb

          You can do better than just put out erroneous information.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 13, 2015 at 10:33 AM

          Btw – I don’t argue there are improvements from Cousins. I’ll argue that still those improvements aren’t putting him at even an average QBs in some categories. He’s done better and I’m not advocating for a change. However he is not the solid QB you and others put him out to be.

        • bangkokben - Nov 13, 2015 at 10:38 AM

          First of all, I’m saying he isn’t the reason for the losses. I’m not convinced on his ceiling but the trend is that he COULD be a solid QB.

          As for you, why? Why isn’t he the “solid” quarterback?

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 13, 2015 at 10:42 AM

          I rarely make errors on statistics you are looking at a different rating. The rating I referred to is in NFL.com. However I do see the issue now with that one is there is no correction on a minimum attempts per game. So let’s use Outsiders instead and it still proves the same point. Cousins is still below average in key offense categories.

          http://www.nfl.com/stats/categorystats?tabSeq=0&season=2015&seasonType=REG&d-447263-n=1&d-447263-o=2&d-447263-p=1&statisticCategory=PASSING&conference=null&d-447263-s=PASSING_PASSER_RATING

        • bangkokben - Nov 13, 2015 at 10:48 AM

          10th and 12th sound like below average to you? So what’s your deal? He has to be above average in EVERY statistical category? WTF? Why?

          Even if he’s 20th in ESPN’s total QBR he still scores above average with a 56.2.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 13, 2015 at 10:45 AM

          “I’m saying he isn’t the reason for the losses.”

          He was a big reason for the Giant’s lost and I still suggest the same for the Miami lost. The team should have sealed that game early and only failed to because we couldn’t get momentum out of the passing game when the running game was doing exceptionally well.

        • bangkokben - Nov 13, 2015 at 10:52 AM

          You and your ilk are entitled to those “unbiased” opinions. I think more objective viewers would disagree. Blaming Cousins for the Miami loss is akin to blaming Griffin for the losses against Minnesota and Houston in 2014 – stretching to prove your preconceived idea.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 13, 2015 at 11:03 AM

          “10th and 12th sound like below average to you? So what’s your deal? He has to be above average in EVERY statistical category? WTF? Why?”

          10th in what and 12th in what?

          Overall when you are playing a high percentage short passing game then some statistics are going to be inflated. Again, Cousins has improved but again as of right now overall I don’t think he’s improved enough this season when looking at the whole season right now to confirm where he belongs as a QB in this league.

          Let’s see what the upcoming games reveal. I would expect some very good output from Cousins against a New Orleans defense.

        • bangkokben - Nov 13, 2015 at 11:12 AM

          I also expect a very good output from Cousins against New Orleans. That defense has been carved pretty consistently. Honestly, I’ll be disappointed he doesn’t have one of his best games.

          10th in DYAR; 12th in DVOA

          As for the short passing game, welcome to the West Coast offense and this isn’t anything different than what Brady, Manning, or Matt Ryan does. Brady’s one deep pass last week should’ve been picked off but Trent Robinson left his position.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 13, 2015 at 11:11 AM

          ” think more objective viewers would disagree. ”

          My comments are far far more objective than yours on this QB. You have consistently tried to plant volatile statistics to position Cousins as an above average QB and over valued this QB on his recent accomplishments.

          My compliments have come with criticism on Cousins. You and your ilk try to massage data to Cousins’ advantage and have mostly ignored his issues while jumping all over other other positions about theirs. More Red Herring than fact that is for sure.

        • bangkokben - Nov 13, 2015 at 11:19 AM

          Not true. I have provided simple stats that speak for themselves. How are they volatile? Because they are contrary to your preconceptions? If these stats put Cousins as an above average QB you have issue with the stats and what that makes YOU conclude. YOU want to believe Cousins is below average despite very little statistical evidence. Over value? If pointing out a positive trend is over-valuing consider myself guilty. Didn’t realize stats could be so offensive. Sure we can keep this debate to Cousins is below average! Is not! That better for you?

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 13, 2015 at 11:38 AM

          Not true. I have provided simple stats that speak for themselves. How are they volatile?

          Okay, continue doing what you’ve done recently and I’ll be glad to redress those again. We’ve had those discussions in the past. What was the most recent? I think it was a 8 game figure on QB turnovers with a select group of QBs drafted in earlier rounds? That one stands out because we all know if you moved those numbers back 3 games the results don’t look so good for Cousins. Anyway if you don’t like contrary views when you post those types of statistics then I’d be glad to oblige by not responding.

        • bangkokben - Nov 13, 2015 at 11:55 AM

          Respond with something better. It is easy enough to check what the interception totals were after week 6. You can do that yourself and prove your point. Or can you? Instead, what I read constantly from the pro-Rob group is opinion without fact. It’s impression – which is clearly prejudiced – without any kind of statistical or even anecdotal evidence. JD, I do like debating this stuff with you because I know you care deeply for the team and by and large you try to be as objective as possible. I’m not making up crap – just posting stuff. Abanig mentioned the Red Zone issues, so I responded with contrary evidence. I’ve done this kind of thing often – like the post you mention. Then that is somehow extrapolated to bangkokben is a Cousins homer or bangkokben thinks Cousins is elite. Instead, it should be seen as contrary evidence – come up with SOME SUPPORTING evidence.

        • squawonthewarpath - Nov 13, 2015 at 9:02 PM

          “My comments are far more objective than yours on this QB.”

          Your comments are assumptions and opinions sprinkled with occasional facts the same as his and most everyone else who posts here.

  3. garg8050 - Nov 13, 2015 at 6:01 AM

    I see the ‘Skins getting off to a fast start. Mostly from controlling the ball with short passes and an effective running game. That will be key. Controlling the ball for 35-37 minutes and limiting Brees’ time on the field. If the ‘Skins can get ahead, Brees’ will force the ball. He will make some plays, but he will also force the ball and the ‘Skins should get a couple of ints. I don’t know that Jackson will have a lot of successful deep shots, but I do see him taking a short pass or bubble screen for a big gainer. Thinking something like 27-20 or 31- 23 ‘Skins.

    • colorofmyskinz - Nov 13, 2015 at 6:26 AM

      Agree. I see this a a winnable game. I do think it is imperative to get the running game going against this team that has a poor run offense. I think that is where the rubber will meet the road this game. We have to establish a running game to keep Bree’s off field. And our receivers need to catch catchable passes. Garçon and DJax have to step up and catch everything in their circle and get years after catch. This is a huge game. If we win I see a winning streak coming. If we lose I see a MAJOR losing streak coming. More worried about preventing the losing streak. We have seen what this team dies when it hits 3-6. Oh that’s right, we have seen 3-6 for 3 years straight. This will be 4straight if we lose. We can break the losing culture and trend right here in this game. Mentally this game is everything to prevent the 4th season in a row of 3-6 start. I see a major landslide this season if we lose this. Team will give up. Do or die this week.

      • garg8050 - Nov 13, 2015 at 6:38 AM

        I think the new center, if he’s ready to go, will be a big upgrade in the running game. And I think both Morris and Jones will run effectively. And that will allow the play action game to be effective. The ‘Skins defense just can’t allow Brees to score quickly or from long distance.

    • warpath1 - Nov 13, 2015 at 9:18 AM

      Every DC in the league knows we are pressing in the running game. I think we should come out passing and at a fast pace without running at all. With success and some points, the defense will have to drop back and that will open up the run.

      • bangkokben - Nov 13, 2015 at 10:22 AM

        I like this stratagem. The last thing I want to see from the first play from scrimmage is a run.

  4. skinsgame - Nov 13, 2015 at 6:38 AM

    The reduction in penalties is a sign that players are in the right spots more frequently and they aren’t shooting themselves in the foot. The trick now is execution.

  5. hk2000 - Nov 13, 2015 at 8:11 AM

    No arm strength for deep throws, no accuracy, even for intermediate throws, quick to panic which results in throwing too soon which often results in INTs, You cannot win with a QB who cannot be accurate beyond 10 yards! yet we have people here who see the second coming of Elway!!!! And we have Rich who doesn’t see the forest from the trees- giving us the misleading stats!!! Who cares?? the team is loosing!!!!!! When they win 2 games in a row, then I might listen to this nonsensical hype- Until then, the QB is mediocre, and the coach is too incompetent to get the players in line and playing hard- Less penalties could very well be a sign of players kind of mailing it in- looking at last week’s game, that may not be too far fetched.

    • warpath1 - Nov 13, 2015 at 9:19 AM

      you sound like a cowboy.

    • hail74 - Nov 13, 2015 at 9:21 AM

      So your conclusion from all our loses is the qb is the reason we lost? You don’t see improvement in his accuracy or his interceptions? You think players are now mailing it in and that’s why there are fewer penalties? Man, I can not agree with any of that. I backed RG3 up until he looked absolutely inept against Detroit in the PS. I’ve been behind cousins ever since with the thought he’d be a good fill in until the guy we draft next year is ready. Now I’m of the mindset he can be the guy. Second coming of elway? No but maybe a guy like Brad Johnson, Rich Gannon or Trent Green as some have compared him to. A guy who won’t break the bank to sign and let you put a team around him.

  6. redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 13, 2015 at 9:54 AM

    Cousins has done a very good job with 3rd downs and as of lately eliminated unnecessary interceptions. He’s always been very good at avoiding sacks. Cousins has some nice attributes as a QB which is why I have stated he could be a starter in the NFL. I agree that we should embrace what Cousins has done better as a QB but proof of a cure in his inaccuracy tendencies is not done in less than two full games. Another way of putting it is that this is the first time this season Cousins has managed two full games with less than 2 interceptions. I also don’t credit last weeks interception to Cousins. No one should!

    How can this team have a QB who is doing so well on 3rd down, team holding sacks down to a league low, and supposedly corrected his turnover issues include a record of 3-5, 29th rank in total offense, 20th rank in total passing offense, 27th rank in total rushing offense, and 29th rank in total points scored?

  7. renhoekk2 - Nov 13, 2015 at 10:12 AM

    Last four games rushing offense….51yds, 34yds,50yds,37yds. Those should team rushing totals for one quarter or maybe one half of play. Not an entire game. Also a ridiculous amount of injuries and players on IR to start the season. The fact that the defense has given up a ton of yardage the last 4 or 5 games doesn’t help. That’s how Cousins can improve and the offense still be struggling and the team losing.

  8. timwillhide - Nov 13, 2015 at 10:14 AM

    I think the main reason for these improvements is due to the passing blocking going from 31st in the NFL to 2nd (currently)

    • bangkokben - Nov 13, 2015 at 10:42 AM

      This is all Cousins! The fact that he was rarely sacked last year seems to be lost on you. Even last week’s sack was because LeRibs snapped the ball too early but I’m sure you’ll blame it on Moses since he didn’t move or Cousins despite your OL stats.

      • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 13, 2015 at 10:52 AM

        All Cousins!!! So you see NO improvement with the pass protection from this offense line?

        • bangkokben - Nov 13, 2015 at 11:00 AM

          Cousins was sacked 8 times in 6 games last year. He’s been sacked 9 in 8 games this year. He’s on pace to be sacked 18 times this year and had he played 16 games last year was on pace to be sacked 21.333 times. Improvement, yes. Why? The lion’s share goes to the QB.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 13, 2015 at 11:12 AM

          Is it lions share or ALL?

        • bangkokben - Nov 13, 2015 at 11:23 AM

          Take your pick.

      • timwillhide - Nov 13, 2015 at 1:11 PM

        Hmmm. So replacing the right side of the Oline had nothing to do with it. If that wasn’t an issue then I wonder why they replaced them?

        BTW those are Football Outsiders stats not mine

        • colmac69 - Nov 13, 2015 at 1:56 PM

          U have to say the o-line in pass protection has bn pleasant surprise when u consider the lineup and it’s still performed well despite losing luvao and lichtensteiger

        • bangkokben - Nov 13, 2015 at 2:51 PM

          Tim, I’m not denying the stats. You just seem to have a clear disconnect to cause and effect. The actual effect is maximized when you consider who is quarterbacking. Cousins was sacked last year 1 out of 26.5 drop-backs. (8 times plus the 204 pass attempts) and this year has been sacked only 1 out of every 35.2222 drop-backs which is actually a very impressive 32.9% improvement – similar to the improvement in interceptions per pass attempt. However a 32.9% improvement only decreases last year’s sack total from 58 to approximately 39, yet Cousins is on pace to only be sacked 18 times. If you were take Rob’s 2014 sack rate [1 out of every 7.5 drop-backs (33 sacks plus the 214 pass attempts) and apply the 32.9% improved sack rate and apply that over a 16 game stretch, the Redskins would give up 48 sacks. That’s a half a sack improvement per game from last year but a -30 to what is projected this year with #8.

        • timwillhide - Nov 13, 2015 at 11:07 PM

          Bang at work just skimmed through your comment I’ll have to re-read it later. The Short passing game does have a lot to do with it but the few times he did throw down field the line gave home a clean pocket.

          If Cousins would hold on a bit longer and let a rout develop a little he might hit for some big plays.

        • John - Nov 13, 2015 at 11:54 PM

          Tim you seem to miss the point. Sure they ave different players in Moses and Scherff but Cousins has a low sack percentage with both lines (last year and this year). Now go back and see the number of times RG3 was sacked per number of pass attempts vs Cousins percentage. RG3 was sacked more often behind the same line last year. Why is that? The qyarterback . Robert does not hang around the pocket and when did, he got sacked and when moved around the lineman lost their blocks and RG3 got sacked. That and Robert holding the ball to long. The line does not operate in a vaccum.

        • timwillhide - Nov 14, 2015 at 2:57 AM

          Did you just not read my comment? I agreed that the short passing game had a lot to do with it.

          A lot of calls for RG3 last year were 5 and 7 step drops. The Oline couldn’t hold up blocks that long

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 13, 2015 at 10:49 AM

      Tim,

      I have to say here you need to credit Cousins for the reduction in sacks. Okay its’ now ALL Cousins as Bang claims. However, you can go back to Cousins whole career and see the same low percentage sack category. Similar to Brady, Cousins makes the offense line’s job easier with a very quick release off the snap. Unfortunately we are not getting the same output from those releases. Regardless, Cousins is a QB that will always be hard to sack because he doesn’t hold onto the ball very long.

  9. John - Nov 13, 2015 at 11:23 AM

    Looks like the “all we need is a quarterback” crowd is back on the blog.

    When will you people get the point that until this team gets a serious talent upgrade across the board, their not going to win anything. The offense can’t run the ball. The defense can’t stop the run or pass. The special teams last year and this year have been a complete disaster, yet its a Kirk’s fault because he threw 9 interceptions. Really?

    As far as I recall they were in the Miami game until penalties stalled drives and the special teams gave up a TD. Not to mention our defend dropping 2 picks. Kirks hints in that game were meaningless in the bigger picture. Let’s not forget Jordan Reed not crossing the safety on 4th and 7 late in the game. Had some of those things happened, you would not be piling on Kirk.

    The defense and running game were great against the Giants. Oh wait, the Giants offense kicked their butts that night. How about the blocked punt for a safety. Sure Kirk had a bad game there but he wasn’t the only one. Oh, but it’s Kirks fault.

    The Skins were in the Atlanta game but as usual another back ran right through the defense. Should have stopped them at the end of the 4th quarter. Good thing Julio Jones was not his usual works beater self due to a hamstring issue. Oh but Kirk brought the team back to tie the game but then Ryan Grant fell down and we know the rest of the story.

    Kirk threw 2 interceptions against the Jets. The offense went to sleep in general after halftime. Where was the defense in the 2nd half? Totally MIA.

    New England game. The Skins were not expected to win, well except for the blind homers. What happened? The defense sucked as usual and the receivers dropped 7 passes. When as the last time that happened? The first two to Garcon and Carrier, had they been caught would have been huge plays. DBs were at least 7 yards away from the receivers. I guess Kirk threw the ball to hard or threw behind them. Just not the case folks.

    A quarterback change is not the answer. There are no highly rated quarterbacks coming out this year and no stud quarterbacks in free agency.

    The team needs a tall, fast stud receiver. A stud running back who can cut and go. A big time center to tie the line together and make the running game work. They need a stud/beast defensive lineman who demands double teams and rushes the passer. We need some linebackers. We need a stud at safety.

    Had this team not given away or blown so many picks over the last 10 years we would not be having this pissing contest. That and changing coaches, looking for the flavor of the month every 2 to 3 years. Oh but that’s right, its all Kirks fault because he threw interceptions.

    • wildbill1952 - Nov 13, 2015 at 11:59 AM

      Well said. The “All you need is a QB crowd” are always waiting for the next interception to blame Cousins for every problem from from bad parking to stale $10 beers.. It’s a team game. Matt Cassells was 11-5 when he was the QB of New England and is a joke almost every other season he played. Steve Young stunk up the place at Tampa Bay and was an all-Pro at San Francisco. We’ll never know, but I’m willing to bet Brady or Manning at Cleveland wouldn’t be the same all-Pro they are for New England / Denver. Cousins is neither Manning nor Brady, nor Brees nor Young for that matter, but I’ll bet he would look a lot closer to that skill level if he were playing in New England.

      Too bad we didn’t get Mangold instead of Deion and Jeff George.

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 13, 2015 at 1:20 PM

      Nothing but a diatribe of Cousins loving here folks. All the issues exist around him while his issues either don’t exist or are not impactful to why the team is 3-5.

      When will you people get the point that until this team gets a serious talent upgrade across the board, their not going to win anything.
      — That is completely unrealistic! There is talent on this team you just fail to recognize it.

      The offense can’t run the ball.
      –That’s because the offense plays a short field and provides no deep threat for the opponent. It’s very simple for a defense to game plan on an offense playing only 15 yards the field on most every down. The offense is starting to stretch the field some but not enough yet. It’s also good to see use of the read option something you tried to claim was the base offense in 2012.

      The defense can’t stop the run or pass.
      –More hyperbole with no facts. The defense has had issues stopping the run recently and given up some big pass plays. Last week the defense held the Patriots to less than their point average per game which currently stands at 34.5 yet the offense provided 10 POINTS!!! The defense has also started to produce multiple turnovers per game. Overall there were games where the defense did their job in getting a win were the passing game didn’t do theirs in solidifying one.

      The special teams last year and this year have been a complete disaster.
      –The team countered early struggles with a change in Kicker who not only has provided consistent FGs also has consistently put the ball in the end zone on kick -offs. When was the last time the special teams gave up a big play? The special teams also provided a touchdown to counter the safety they gave up against the Jets. While the same offense in that game with Cousins produced the same amount of touchdowns. Special teams is a disaster still? What about an offense that has managed a whopping 29th ranking in scoring?

      yet its a Kirk’s fault because he threw 9 interceptions. Really?
      –You are talking about a QB that was on a historical record pace with turnovers maintaining that pace in said turnover issues up to 6. So Cousins has done well in the last two games, Really? that is not justification for criticism How about waiting more than two games before wishing away Cousins’ issues.

      • hail74 - Nov 13, 2015 at 1:59 PM

        The defense was horrible in the first half against the Patriots and settled down but still got gashed right down the middle. Yes they held New England to only 27 points but what is the success rate of teams winning when giving up 27 points? I may be on the outside with this but I feel we score more points if the receivers made some plays.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 13, 2015 at 2:15 PM

          “The defense was horrible in the first half against the Patriots and settled down but still got gashed right down the middle.”
          –And who was missing in the middle in that game? The point is the defense had issues stopping a HOF QB/Coach. A defense that is at best able to play average football right now. Most of that is due to injuries. So if you bring an offense into a game facing Brady/Belichick and expect to compete by producing 10 points then you are a fan that will never seen another win by your team.

      • bangkokben - Nov 13, 2015 at 2:56 PM

        “Nothing but a diatribe of Cousins loving here folks. All the issues exist around him while his issues either don’t exist or are not impactful to why the team is 3-5.”

        Specific issues? Recent data? Anything other than your Cousins is piss-poor propaganda? Seriously bring something to the discussion other then Cousins isn’t elite. Can you?

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 13, 2015 at 8:14 PM

          Did you not read the original comment! If you support John’s wack diatribe on everyone “sucks” but Cousins then you know much less about football than I thought.

      • John - Nov 14, 2015 at 12:57 AM

        Being that before Cousins was picked to start and all the injuries (keep in mind, this is not the only team with injuries) the team was not expected by most to win more than 6 games. But somehow now that the team is 3-5 with 8 games to go, this is some big surprise? Not sure what everyone was thinking?

      • John - Nov 14, 2015 at 1:15 AM

        Yeah Pot Roast was out against the Patriots but where was he against Atlanta, Jets, Giants and Bucs? Seems that every team but the Dolphins, Rams and Eagles have been able to run through them like a hot knife through butter.

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 13, 2015 at 1:29 PM

      “The team needs a tall, fast stud receiver. A stud running back who can cut and go. A big time center to tie the line together and make the running game work. They need a stud/beast defensive lineman who demands double teams and rushes the passer. We need some linebackers. We need a stud at safety.”

      Man, you read like a 10 year old putting together a Christmas list. Every fan wants a “Stud” player at ever position. So I guess if we put together nothing but stud players around Cousins then he might have a chance to put together some wins?

      • John - Nov 13, 2015 at 10:53 PM

        Wish list? Compared to Redskins teams that won in the past and even winning teams around the league, the talent here is very much wanting.

        How many consistent pro bowlers are on this team? Crickets…..

        Ok, let’s try this again. How many top flight players do we have? Crickets…

        Seriously? We have Trent Williams and….

        Back when Gibbs coached in the 80s he had Riggins, Monk, Grimm, Jacoby, Bostic, Theismann, Manley, Mann, Green, Butz, Lachey, Schlereth, Clark, Sanders, just to name a few. That’s 3 Hall of Famers and several who went to Pro Bowls and were All Pros.

        So, where is all the great talent on this team? Are they all on injured reserve?

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 13, 2015 at 1:51 PM

      The defense you claim that sucks is also the same group that has amassed key injuries. Their starting FS went to IR before the season started along with the one edge rusher in Galette. Breeland has missed games, Tulliver has missed games, Hall has missed games, Kerrigan has missed games, Riley has missed games, and Knighton was out last week. It’s very difficult to have consistent games as a defense when key players are out every week. Actually, I think the defense as a whole has a lot of promise once they are healthy and yes that won’t become a reality until next season. However, you are too blinked by the Cousins love to see the potential in a pretty good defensive unit.

      • colmac69 - Nov 13, 2015 at 2:15 PM

        One could say Riley bn missing all season…….

        Defense has bn bad in rush defense (from given up 80+Ave in four games to 187+ in nxt four) with little change to the front seven………

        Secondary bn hit hardest without doubt although they actually haven’t done too bad esp blackmore and jarrett …this sun it could b chance to have all corners back (which u nd vs brees)

        As has bn pointed out at various times losing galette was big loss esp when u consider the guys who report on team were full praise on his showings in camp

        3-4 is primarily designed to stop run….why the massive difference in the block of four games that would b question for people who analyse all games……what I do know is if they kp giving up big yardage in rush defense it’s gonna b hard 8 games

        Special teams has bn big improvement since they changed kickers…that is undeniable esp in fgs and touch backs

        Thought I would mention cousins as well but he bn debated all day by “redskin and ben”…..it’s actually bn quite funny with the give/take

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 13, 2015 at 2:18 PM

          “One could say Riley bn missing all season…….’

          Not true – Riley had a career start before his injury. However, the injury can no longer be an excuse by him. However, what part of his game do you have issue with? The fact he was put one-on-one against a running back on the far side of the field and got beat? What the hell was Robinson staring at during that time?

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 13, 2015 at 2:23 PM

          “3-4 is primarily designed to stop run…”

          3-4 was implemented in the NFL to counter the implementation of more pass happy offenses that play a more spread formation. If anything 3-4 can be considered more of a liability in stopping the run.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 13, 2015 at 2:42 PM

          “Defense has bn bad in rush defense (from given up 80+Ave in four games to 187+ in nxt four) with little change to the front seven………”

          Don’t get me wrong. I fully recognized the defense has issues and needs improvement that go beyond injuries. I see consistent issues where players collective are not getting off their blocks and the ILBs had been in the wrong spots leaving gaping holes. However, the defense doesn’t suck as above lame comment tries to portray. There is potential in the D being a good unit. However, it won’t be on this season.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 13, 2015 at 9:39 PM

          “As for 3-4 defense look at great defenses of baltimore. .pitt and San fran from last ten yrs..all built to primarily to stop run…put teams in obvious passing dwn and let their outside guys create havoc….I believe that’s what redskins are trying to emulate but are short of maybe 3 top guys”

          Hey I won’t push too hard on this subject but when you have one less D-line and one more ILB, you are often trying to add flexibility to the defense that allows an additional cover guy. Other times it may be to apply pressure since you have more players in a upright position off the snap in a 3-4. I’m not suggesting 3-4 defenses can’t be good run defenses. Also, I understand many times NFL teams shift from one formation to the other based on the talent coming out of college. The last NFL surge in 3-4 defense was often reported to respond to the more frequent use of the spread offense in the NFL. I believe this to be true. See article below that hits on what I mean.

          “Once given the chance to become the head coach, many spread-option offensive coordinators will immediately hire a 3-4 defensive coach. Much like the defensive coach who wants to install whatever offense gave him the most trouble as a coordinator, spread-option coaches simply can’t stand facing three down linemen defenses.’
          http://www.footballstudyhall.com/2015/3/20/8243681/the-attacking-8-3-defense-counterpoint-to-the-spread-option-offense-boise-state-BYU

          However going further back in history there were shifts from 3-4 to 4-3 and vise-versa for many reasons. Personnel has always been the biggest reason. Whether one formation is better than the other in stopping the run is very debatable and even statistics hasn’t made either a definitive choice.

          I like your point though that 3-4 can sometimes lead to more pressure. I think the teams with good 3-4 run defenses normally included great Nose Tackles which can be hard to find and especially in today’s draft with more frequent 4-3 defense that college football use.

      • hail74 - Nov 13, 2015 at 2:22 PM

        Jordan Reed, DJax,Niles Paul,Lavaou,Lichty,Trent,Paulson,Jones,Thompson and I’m sure I’m missing more have missed time this year due to injury yet the offense isn’t given the same consideration to injury for performance, it’s all gruden and cousins fault

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 13, 2015 at 2:29 PM

          “it’s all gruden and cousins fault’

          You guys are outstanding in your ability read only what you want to read. I’ve had continuously defended Cousins performance due to Reed injuries and Jackson being out. The point is if you are going to attack the defense then why don’t you fun loving Cousins homers view it both ways?

          Hell, I actually agree injuries have had an impact on both sides of the ball. There are very few here that provide a balance argument and yes I know I’m one of them. I’m just not going to allow the Cousins propaganda spread without challenging it.

        • colmac69 - Nov 13, 2015 at 3:33 PM

          Riley had 0 tackles in patriots game(for an inside guy in a 3-4 i would think that nxt to im possible to achieve)..in the first qtr if his man hadn’t dropped ball it would bn six points…I assume formations determine who match up with who….Riley drew short straw and brady recognised it (u could make point why do coaches continually put Riley outside on RB)….he had same problem in atlanta game at end

          As for 3-4 defense look at great defenses of baltimore. .pitt and San fran from last ten yrs..all built to primarily to stop run…put teams in obvious passing dwn and let their outside guys create havoc….I believe that’s what redskins are trying to emulate but are short of maybe 3 top guys

          You damn cousins with faint praise then proceed to criticise him in nxt breath

          I can’t speak for people who post on here…some think cousins could b future others think differently….that’s fine and well

          As for your claim to b one of the few on here that provide a balanced argument…. in the matter of cousins your so one sided in your opinion it’s not even open to debate

        • hail74 - Nov 13, 2015 at 4:00 PM

          Skinsname,you openly questioned why the offense is putting up bad numbers in spite of better performance on third downs. You say the poor run game is a result of scheme, nowhere do you mention the line or TE injuries. You attribute Miami and the Giants game loses directly to the qb. You do say that cousins has improved over last few games but I see no post attributing offensive woes to injuries yet you feel the need to do so for the Defense. I agree about the defensive injuries and have called attention to that when some feel the need to make statements like “Scot gave gruden all he wanted,the loses are on him”

        • gasngo14 - Nov 13, 2015 at 5:14 PM

          nameishere is the BIGGEST RG3 HOMER ALIVE. People don’t fall for his tricks, he is a master of spinning everything his way and he will tell you how great he is doing it..LOLLOL!!!

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 13, 2015 at 8:12 PM

          “You attribute Miami and the Giants game loses directly to the qb. You do say that cousins has improved over last few games but I see no post attributing offensive woes to injuries yet you feel the need to do so for the Defense.”

          Those comments have come from past articles. While it may not be on this page, it doesn’t mean that the opinion goes away or changes. I’ve been pretty consistent and firm about Cousins not being allowed to use a better part of the field due to the scheme. I’ve even tried to explain some of that due to Jackson being injured for so long.

          The point of my response was to the original OP who slammed every aspect of the team but Cousins. He even tried to attack the special teams unit portraying it as bad as last season when that is factually incorrect. Last season was a historically bad special teams this season, special teams has provided points and hasn’t hurt this team on any play since the Jets game.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 13, 2015 at 8:23 PM

          “You damn cousins with faint praise then proceed to criticise him in nxt breath”

          Praise with criticism is an indicator of a player doing well but needs improving. There is no damning going on. It’s just overly sensitive folks that can even accept facts about Cousins deficiencies. That want to attack away his real issues with red herring comments.

          Below was one of my first post of the day and not a single response. That’s clear praise with keeping perspective with reality. Cousins is not beyond criticism as much as many of you want to make it on this board.

          “redskinsnameisheretostay – Nov 13, 2015 at 9:54 AM
          Cousins has done a very good job with 3rd downs and as of lately eliminated unnecessary interceptions. He’s always been very good at avoiding sacks. Cousins has some nice attributes as a QB which is why I have stated he could be a starter in the NFL. I agree that we should embrace what Cousins has done better as a QB but proof of a cure in his inaccuracy tendencies is not done in less than two full games. Another way of putting it is that this is the first time this season Cousins has managed two full games with less than 2 interceptions. I also don’t credit last weeks interception to Cousins. No one should!

          How can this team have a QB who is doing so well on 3rd down, team holding sacks down to a league low, and supposedly corrected his turnover issues include a record of 3-5, 29th rank in total offense, 20th rank in total passing offense, 27th rank in total rushing offense, and 29th rank in total points scored?”

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 13, 2015 at 8:27 PM

          “Riley had 0 tackles in patriots game(for an inside guy in a 3-4 i would think that nxt to im possible to achieve)..in the first qtr if his man hadn’t dropped ball it would bn six points…I assume formations determine who match up with who….Riley drew short straw and brady recognised it (u could make point why do coaches continually put Riley outside on RB)….he had same problem in atlanta game at end’

          You are correct I don’t understand why Riley is ever in a coverage situation. That is not how I saw him being used early in the season. However, you make valid points about Riley and I don’t defend him. He showed great promise early but since his return from injury has missed numerous tackles and was even bulled over on a few. Keenan also has looked to be in the wrong place all to many times. Neither has played as well as they did early in the season.

        • squawonthewarpath - Nov 13, 2015 at 10:16 PM

          “You damn cousins with faint praise then proceed to criticise him in nxt breath

          I can’t speak for people who post on here…some think cousins could b future others think differently….that’s fine and well

          As for your claim to b one of the few on here that provide a balanced argument…. in the matter of cousins your so one sided in your opinion it’s not even open to debate”

          Bingo!!! Most everyone recognizes this. And the fella wonders why I called him a pompous windbag and know-it-all…lol.

        • goback2rfk - Nov 14, 2015 at 1:29 AM

          If Rg3 started the year we would be 5 and 3 maybe 6 and 2 right now. No doubt homes.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 14, 2015 at 8:45 AM

          squawonthewarpath

          As for your claim to b one of the few on here that provide a balanced argument…. in the matter of cousins your so one sided in your opinion it’s not even open to debate”

          Bingo!!! Most everyone recognizes this. And the fella wonders why I called him a pompous windbag and know-it-all…lol.

          squawohnthewarpath I don’t know it all but I know far more than you can hold. I really never see any valued comments from you just like the other trolls Gas and You Like That. I assume you learned the game off the back of football cards. There are too many comments I provided on Cousins with compliments for you to be able to count at least. You just don’t know what constructive criticism. You don’t like me because I’m more a of fan to this team then you and all you family put together.

        • squawonthewarpath - Nov 14, 2015 at 11:07 PM

          squawohnthewarpath I don’t know it all but I know far more than you can hold. I really never see any valued comments from you just like the other trolls Gas and You Like That. I assume you learned the game off the back of football cards. There are too many comments I provided on Cousins with compliments for you to be able to count at least. You just don’t know what constructive criticism. You don’t like me because I’m more a of fan to this team then you and all you family put together.

          This just proves my point about you even further. How can you possibly say you know far more than I can hold? Just further evidence that you are the pompous know-it-all you’ve frequently presented yourself as. The reason you see few comments from me on here is, as I’ve stated previously, I am here because I enjoy Rich’s commentary and reading opinions from other fans, including yours on occasion because you do sometimes offer good information pertaining to the team. People who sit back quietly and absorb information tend to learn more and find it unnecessary to shout to the world how smart, intelligent and knowledgeable they THINK they are. It’s not always what you say, but the audacious attitude you exhibit when someone disagrees with you. On one of my few posts a couple of months ago I mentioned that perhaps RG3 was benched in favor of Cousins because he is injury prone and you proceeded to falsely call me an RG3 hater/Cousin lover. Your response to what I said was unwarranted and uncalled for. Your attitude is why I don’t like you. BTW-I learned about football and became a fan of this team when I was a little girl watching Sonny Jurgensen and Charley Taylor. Do I know everything about football even after all that time? No…nor do I pretend to by shouting out to the world how smart I am or becoming obnoxious when someone has a differing viewpoint from my own.

      • John - Nov 14, 2015 at 12:11 AM

        Every team in the league has to deal with injuries. The Redskins are not in a vacuum. Galette never made it into a preseason game. So we can’t say that if he were playing, he’d be a holy terror.

        The problem with the team is we lack those stud players in key positions and have a lot of complimentary players. I like Pierre Garcon and DJax but at the same time, they are not Mike Evans, Dez Bryant, Julio Jones to name a few. Ever notice that most top flight quarterbacks have someone like that?

        Who do we have on the defensive line that scares anyone?

        Do we have anyone in the secondary that makes any other offensive coach stay up all night wondering how to get by them?

        What about our running backs?

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 14, 2015 at 8:56 AM

          “Every team in the league has to deal with injuries. The Redskins are not in a vacuum. Galette never made it into a preseason game. So we can’t say that if he were playing, he’d be a holy terror.”

          This season the Redskins were recently ranked 2nd in the NFL with most injuries. The injuries have come from both sides of the ball. Now, a team like the Redskins does only have but limited depth to absorb a moderate amount of injuries. So many positions where performance suffered was and is due to the excess in injuries this year. Hell, we didn’t even go over the injuries the specials was hit by during preseason (Paul, Hayward, Paulsen, Spaight). As for Galette he was a far higher chance of success playing opposite of Kerrigan than Murphy/Smith. Regardless, you attacking every positions like you did was obvious bias for a QB you are overly passionate about protecting. Protecting Cousins by falsely slandering every other position doesn’t make the good guy. It certainly doesn’t make you look like you are logically balanced about what you think about this team.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 14, 2015 at 9:07 AM

          “The problem with the team is we lack those stud players in key positions and have a lot of complimentary players. I like Pierre Garcon and DJax but at the same time, they are not Mike Evans, Dez Bryant, Julio Jones to name a few. Ever notice that most top flight quarterbacks have someone like that?”

          Does Tom Brady, Teddy Bridgewater, or Cam Newton have a guy in the class of Mike Evans, Dez Bryant, Julio Jones to throw to right now? No. Aaron Rogers doesn’t even have guys on the field that can match what you are listing. These are elite receivers and ones very hard to find. Again, you seem unbalanced logically because you are asking for elite players at MANY positions to compliment a QB that hasn’t established where he is as a player. How about let’s find out if the team has a long term starter at QB before asking to fill 6 or so other positions you list with elite players. If you also don’t see Matt Jones as having the potential to be a stud then you are not watching football.

      • John - Nov 14, 2015 at 12:27 AM

        The problem is that even if healthy, they still lack playmakers on defense. We don’t have anyone in that group that makes opposing offensive coaches stay up all night trying to figure out how to get past them.

        When the Redskins start accumulating injuries, the team quickly slides downhill.

        Keep in mind that before all the injuries, most thought the most the team soul win was what, 6 games?

      • John - Nov 14, 2015 at 1:02 AM

        News flash, this is not the only team that has to deal with injuries. Pittsburgh has had to play without Big Ben and Bell. The Cowboys have had to do without Romo and Bryant. Green Bay has lost Nelson and so on.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 14, 2015 at 9:21 AM

          “News flash, this is not the only team that has to deal with injuries. ”

          How many times and ways do you want to carry this discussion?

      • John - Nov 14, 2015 at 1:23 AM

        Every team has to deal with injuries. She excuses as last year when we had no safeties, D Hall out and Orakpo out.Whatihas Dallas done without Romo and Bryant. Pittsburgh without Ben and L Bell.

        Plain and simple. We lack talent. The team was expected to win only 6 games before a qb was chosen and before the injuries. When we lose players to injury its just that more difficult.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 14, 2015 at 9:19 AM

          You do realize the two statements above contradict one another but I do agree your second of the two wins that argument. The injuries last year are not near as common or severe as this season. Again this is a team ranked 2nd in the NFL with injuries when I last checked. Compare Cincinnati’s injuries this year and tell me their performance is not aided by the lack of injuries they have had to deal with. This isn’t fantasy football. There are “studs” on this team that just need to grow. They may not be on the receiver list but studs don’t grow on trees and don’t materialize instantly. Players like Breeland, Smith (if they move him to the D-line), Jarrett, Jones, Crowder may have the ability to become.studs.

  10. goback2rfk - Nov 13, 2015 at 11:36 AM

    Congrats to Bacarri Rambo that is next in the long line of Ex-Redskins players that are doing big things elsewhere.
    Great game last night Rambo, you never did anything like that for us. Good job man.

  11. wildbill1952 - Nov 13, 2015 at 11:46 AM

    The improved stats are directly attributable to several things 1) an improved right side on the offensive line (Scherff and Moses vs Chester/Polumbus or Compton), 2) improved pass protection by the OL as a whole, 3) the second year in Gruden’s offense, and 4) the maturation of Cousins as a QB and his quick release vs. the painfully slow recognition of defenses by RGIII and his propensity to hold onto the ball while waiting for receivers to clear instead of throwing the ball to a spot.

    The OL still has a long way to go, but as I’ve said before, I’m more interested in seeing what the OL looks like in the second half of the season than the first half. Rookies and sophomores are easily fooled and spend more time reacting in the first half of the season. As far as the OL goes, the rest of the season will look better. Still, this team has a huge hole to fill at center and left guard is still iffy. The Skins need a good journeyman offensive tackle that can come in for a game or three if Williams or Moses get injured. We’ll see what the offseason brings. Get the journeyman in FA. Get a bigger, stronger, more talented center in the second round unless the Browns still want to deal Mack. Without a push by the center of the line that makes a run up the gut a real alternative, red zone is going to remain an issue when the defense puts 7 into passing lanes and the only real choice is a pass play.

  12. babyteal1 - Nov 13, 2015 at 3:22 PM

    redskinsnameisheretostay ….such a bitter man

    • hail74 - Nov 13, 2015 at 4:02 PM

      I actually really like reading his posts because he’s an intelligent and passionate fan but his name calling of anyone who likes cousins is immature.

      • squawonthewarpath - Nov 13, 2015 at 10:22 PM

        Same here hail. Some of his points are very valid and informative. It is just his overall attitude and presentation especially when someone disagrees with him or offers a different viewpoint that makes him unlikable.

  13. kenlinkins - Nov 13, 2015 at 7:31 PM

    I am not a RG3 fan, in fact I hated the deal but I do understand the RG3 fans concerns with the process that gave Cousins the starting job. Remember it was Cousins & McCoy fans who were the first to cry foul when RG3 was named the starter back in March without even taken a snap in 2015. Then RG3 was given a $16 million option for 2016 before Cousins could get back from Fla. and working out with the head coach’s big brother. All of the Cousins fans were up in arms. Remember the “where the QB battle” and “Cousins was not treated fairly” crying on this web site. Then after less then 30 plays in the preseason (and a minor injury) it was “Cousins team”. Did anyone understand the process that caused that to happen? “Cousins won the job in practice” or “RG3 didn’t develop to the level of a starting QB” or ” With $16 million at risk they can not play RG3″ or “RG3 can not play in the pocket and doesn’t make reads in Gruden system” were all I heard. Well, I am not sure you can make that determination on the sample size of plays RG3 had in “live fire” before the Redskins were “Cousins Team” (P.S. the smile on Gruden’s face when he made that statement rubbed most RG3 fans the wrong way, me too, something just didn’t seen right). The problem most RG3 fans have now is wondering what would have happened if RG3 had played with all the new talent. We see the improvement Cousins made but are left to guess how well RG3 would have done. I understand that the NFL is not fair and there are many things that happen in the back round we fans never get to see, but that doesn’t make it easier when to believe that your guy, if given the chance, would win more games. I am not saying RG3 should replace Cousins, but I am saying that I still wonder just what we Redskins fans might be missing and if RG3 could be better then 3-5 right now. From an asset viewpoint, you have to ask if the Redskins (or maybe it was Gruden) closed the book on RG3 too soon and if RG3 doesn’t play again for the Redskins we fans will not know. You have to wonder if that was not by design (i.e. Gruden placing his job on the line to get his QB on the field and taking the risk for the results). IMO if the Redskins fall off the cliff again Gruden will be hard pressed to sell the fans on Cousins again for 2016. I for one do not want to read the RG3 fans comments if RG3 becomes successful somewhere else without even playing him in one game in 2015, no matter the reason! You can not win the debate not knowing, but only guessing what one side of it would have done.

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 13, 2015 at 10:06 PM

      Great read Ken!

      The move to start Cousins with no formal QB competition is the worst aspect of it all IMO, It further aided my dislike of Gruden as a HC when he tried to claim there was one later. That was a bold face lie to the fans. Regardless, my optimism about RG3 doing well with Gruden’s as HC was never high. I don’t think they are a good match. Gruden coached a very different QB before arriving here and since he has so little NFL experience that is all anyone can go by.

      I’m very confident RG3 can be an elite QB. Under the right system he’ll excel but I see no chance of that being here. He may need some more time before excelling for another team but it needs to be reminded he is still very young.

      • squawonthewarpath - Nov 13, 2015 at 10:52 PM

        Ken..I think all of us fans wonder “what if” when it comes to Robert and we will never know what his contributions would have been had he been given a chance to start/play this season. I am not a Griffin lover nor am I a Cousin’s lover. I just love this team no matter WHO plays and when the decision was made to start Cousins I accepted it and moved on. Some fans have not had an easy time making that adjustment it appears.

      • John - Nov 13, 2015 at 11:24 PM

        Is it not just possible that there was a qb competition all along And that RG3 was named the “starter in name only” to keep the press and daily talk shows from bringing up the issue all during the off season, training camp, etc., to minimize distractions and in the end, Cousins won the job.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 14, 2015 at 10:01 AM

          Every aspect of the situation deviates from Gruden’s claim of a QB competition:
          1) RG3 was announced the starter by Gruden before mini-camp.
          2) No reporter during OTA or TC heard or saw evidence that there was a competition. If there was one then it would have been big news.
          3) Reporters actually wrote about how Cousins and McCoy were switching between playing with the 2nd and 3rd teams. So the only open competition at QB was between McCoy and Cousins for backup.
          4) Every preseason game up to the last one, RG3 played against the 1st team.
          5) RG3 was reported to have scheduled to start the preseason against the Ravens before the concussion mishap.

          The writing is on the wall that Gruden held no QB competition between Cousins and RG3. It seems clear to me the concussion issue complicated matters but opened up an opportunity for Gruden to go with his gut and place Cousins as the starter. This is something I feel he wanted to do all along and an opportunity presented itself for Gruden to pull the plug on RG3.

          No one would know better here than Rich. So Rich if you are reading then it’d be great to see you feedback on this claim.

        • Rich Tandler - Nov 14, 2015 at 11:42 AM

          There was competition at QB in the same way there is competition at all positions. There aren’t always alternating reps with the first team, changing every other set of reps. A less significant change last year but a clear example. Tyler Polumbus was the starting right tackle until he wasn’t. Tom Compton didn’t alternate snaps with the first team or anything. He showed in practice that he was the better choice and was moved in as the starter.

          The coaches watched OTAs and training camp, and the preseason game and decided that Cousins was the best option at quarterback. It’s that simple. I’m struggling to comprehend two things here:

          –Why this concept is so hard to understand.

          –Why it is still a point of discussion coming up on three months after the decision was made.

        • kenlinkins - Nov 14, 2015 at 1:12 PM

          Rich, IMO for your statement to hold water wouldn’t the Redskins have to admit that if RG3 out played Cousins in practice before the end of the season or if the coach’s believed RG3 gave them the best chance at winning he would become the starting QB (without concerns to the $16 million, which Gruden has stated is a non factor)? If we are to believe the Redskins then RG3 has still not progressed to the point of beating out Cousins ( no reports on RG3 progress in a while)? Isn’t that decision made weekly (i.e. who gives the Redskins the best shot at winning each week, like every position)? My point was that the RG3 fans do not think the story matches the reality which I understand. You yourself have stated that a major reason for RG3 not playing is the $16 million option, but to have the head coach state that is not a concern just does not ring true. Somewhere a long the line a mistake was made (i.e. naming RG3 the started, a $16 million option, waiting for the 4th preseason game to name Cousins, etc) but I have yet to hear a Redskins Mgt type take the hit for the mistake no matter what it was. The Redskins may have got it right by making Cousins the starter but the story line on how that came about leaves too much room and gray areas for RG3 fans not to feel cheated in some way (i.e. not knowing what he could have done in 2015). Being 3-5 for the 4th year in a row should lead any fan the question all the decisions no matter when they were made. I for one would feel better if the Redskins just said “we made mistakes or we were wrong about RG3”, or even “As fans you guys know what happened, do we really have to admit it, it is now Cousins team and we will live / die what that”. HTTR

        • Rich Tandler - Nov 14, 2015 at 4:02 PM

          Well, it might make you feel better if someone admitted a mistake about RG3 (or anything for that matter) but it’s not happening. And I know you’ve been following the NFL long enough to know that that is not a uniquely Redskins thing.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 15, 2015 at 12:34 PM

          “–Why this concept is so hard to understand.”

          It’s not hard to understand, it’s just now how NFL QB starters are normally chosen. What you are explaining is not the norm in the NFL for quarterbacks. It may apply true for most other positions however not the QB position. Try to list specific examples of a similar decisions. How many established starting QBs lose a chance to start the regular season due to less than full 2 quarters of exhibition games played without a head-to-head competition with another QB?

          Sorry, the idea that some film study in practices and a small sample of preseason games, was sufficient to make a switch after naming RG3 the QB is not proof of any QB competition.

    • goback2rfk - Nov 14, 2015 at 1:21 AM

      Why is there so much wonder about what Rg3 would be able to do. Rob proved time and time and time again he could not get it done. There is no reason to believe he would change his ways. I am not a Cousins lover or a Rob lover I just am a regular long time fan of the Skins. However, there is nothing absolutely nothing that signaled Rob had worked out all his kinks. He needs a chance to grow in the right system with the right coach. Like Mike Shanahan said he has to use his legs again. He has the wheels and needs to use them. If he thinks he can drop back like Tom Brady and win games Rob is wrong. If Rg3 could learn how to run and protect himself at the same time I think he will be much better off. His slides are horrendous. 1st task is to learn how to slide man! Get down Rg3 get down bro! I wish the best for Rob but he is now like an ex-girlfriend you sometimes want her back but know deep down that sh|T is not gunna work.

      • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 14, 2015 at 10:16 AM

        “Rob proved time and time and time again he could not get it done. There is no reason to believe he would change his ways.”

        Then you don’t understand the difference between a talented QB that struggles with his development for many reasons not his own and a QB that just doesn’t have the talent. That kid has one of the most accurate arms in the game and a stronger one than Kirk. Sure mentally the field hasn’t opened up to him using a west coast system that was very new to him. However, don’t act like Kirk and Colt also didn’t struggle with that same system last season. Kirk played under a similar system since he was at Michigan State. So don’t come here and tell me he proved he could not get it done. He needed time and you like many are just too fickle to allow him to get comfortable in a system that was far foreign to him than any of the other two QBs/

    • bangkokben - Nov 14, 2015 at 9:31 AM

      Ken, great summary. I was crushed for Rob at the time of the announcement but knew all along that what happened was a very plausible outcome. The organization DOES NOT have to be transparent with its fans and ISN’T. (It may even be deliberately misleading if that suits its goals.) This fact seems to be lost on some of us. We’d like to think that what we see in preseason is all that goes on into evaluation and therefore we are just as qualified to make the right decision as to who starts at whatever position and whether there is adequate time to make that decision. Again, this is ridiculously inaccurate. So each of us that still held hope for Griffin will always have our own varying degrees of what could’ve been in B&G. Some of us move on relatively quickly while for others it may take years (35 years ago, I knew folks that were still upset about reconstruction.) So however the future unfolds for Gruden, Cousins, Griffin, and the Redskins will continue to affect those who continue to be grieved by this year’s QB decision. For the next 15 years it may be brought on discussions like this as frequently as Marty Schottenheimer’s firing.

      • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 14, 2015 at 10:11 AM

        “he organization DOES NOT have to be transparent with its fans and ISN’T. (It may even be deliberately misleading if that suits its goals.) This fact seems to be lost on some of us.”

        Nice try but there is a glaring difference between lack of transparency and a bold face lie. Not only did Gruden lie about a QB Controversy he stated that it wasn’t what RG3 did, it was what Cousins did. That’s synonymous to when you announce a breakup and you try to cushion the blow with the little white lie “It’s not you, it’s me”!!!

        Look I don’t mind if a competition is kept from media and fans. However, don’t make a call and then after the fact fabricate a competition that never existed.

        • bangkokben - Nov 14, 2015 at 10:13 AM

          You say potatoe; I say potato. So you misspell it when you say what to I care.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 14, 2015 at 10:18 AM

          Nice retort there Dan Quayle

  14. goback2rfk - Nov 13, 2015 at 8:31 PM

    It will be interesting to see where Rob ends up. Obviously he is going to hit free agency in the offseason. I hope he stays in the division so we get a chance to crush him. I would like to so Keenan Robinson smash up Rob.
    However, i do wish the best for the once playmaker out of Baylor Robert Griffin III. It was one hell of a 2012 season but those years are behind us. Maybe he will take the league minimum and stay on the team? He will end up somewhere and I don’t expect him to be great. More like a Michael Vick. Does some good things, gets hurt a lot, and never quite makes it to the top 10 qb’s in the league.

  15. bangkokben - Nov 14, 2015 at 9:49 AM

    Tim, you said: “If Cousins would hold on a bit longer and let a rout develop a little he might hit for some big plays.”

    I completely agree. Cooley recently called out Cousins for not doing this on several third and longs against the Patriots. These are situations where the team is down by more than two TDs late in the game where taking a sack in order to wait for a route to develop is no worse than prematurely hitting the check down when that check down has no chance of getting you the first down. Very valid criticism.

    I think/hope that this can be fixed with experience as this is more of a deeper awareness of situational football. In a close game or in the 1st half hit the check down and maximize the field position but when your down and needing a comeback make a play or die trying.

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 14, 2015 at 10:50 AM

      “Cooley recently called out Cousins for not doing this on several third and longs against the Patriots. ”

      Did Cooley list these instances? I didn’t see several instances where he checked down before the deep route developed and I went and checked all his throws against from the “coaches angle” on NFL.com. There may have been two or three opportunities I could see where a deep ball could have been thrown instead of the check down. However, NE was playing a deep cover 1 and many routes only had one WR going deep. So none would have been an easy completion.

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