The Washington Redskins lost to the New York Giants last night, 32-21. While there were problems on both sides of the ball for Washington, their biggest issue was one that ‘Skins fans know all too well: starting quarterback Kirk Cousins threw two interceptions, marking the eighth time he has thrown multiple interceptions in a game.
Now, it’s an obvious fact that any team with a turnover-prone quarterback is going to struggle in the NFL. But this banality is especially true when it comes to Cousins in Washington: in the 8 games in which Cousins has thrown more than one interception, the Redskins’ record is a gruesome 0-8.
Let’s take a look at some of his throws from last night: Here’s his first interception
This is a standard play-action play and Cousins forces a throw he shouldn’t. Giants cornerback Prince Amukamara jumps the route nicely, but this is simply too risky a throw to make with Cousins’ skill level, especially considering how deep the Redskins are pinned in their own half.
Here’s the reverse angle:
His second interception of the game, in the third quarter, was again the result of simply forcing an unwise pass. He gets a little unlucky that the ball pops high into the air and that there are only Giants defenders nearby, but if he doesn’t force this throw than he doesn’t turn it over.
This next pass, while it didn’t result in an interception, just about sums up Cousins’ night:
As Pro Football Talk noted, Cousins’ rate of interceptions is historically bad. He’s thrown 23 picks and 21 touchdowns in 514 passes. For some reference, Blaine Gabbert — widely considered a bust — has thrown 23 TDs and 24 interceptions at a similar rate, while JaMarcus Russell — no longer in the league — threw 23 interceptions but in 166 more total passes.
Oddly enough, the Redskins two other quarterbacks, Colt McCoy and Robert Griffin III, have also both thrown 23 interceptions in their careers. The only difference is that Cousins has reached this number with significantly fewer throws. McCoy’s 23 interceptions came in 831 passes, while Griffin took 1,063 throws to reach 23 interceptions. Remember, Cousins has thrown just 514 passes. In other words, he is throwing interceptions about twice as often as Griffin.
And somehow, Redskins head coach Jay Gruden insists that he’s sticking with Cousins. We are only three weeks into the NFL season, but it seems clear that Cousins is at best a game-manager and at worse a turnover machine.
If Cousins continues to throw so many interceptions, Gruden really ought to give McCoy or — dare we even suggest it — Griffin another shot as the starter.
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