October 28, 2015

Cousins: A Tale of Two Quarterbacks

There have been two Kirk Cousins in 2015.

Seven games into his first season as a full-time starter, in four home games Cousins has shown a confidence and competence that make a strong case for him as a legitimate NFL quarterback:

108-for-144 (75%), 1006 yds, 6 TD, 2 INT, QB rating 101.8
Record: 3-1

That's a top-ten guy. Elite, no. Legit, yes.

Unfortunately, NFL teams play half their regular season games on the road. And through his first three road games in 2015, Cousins has simply not looked like the same player. His body language has been different, his decisions and throws have been different, and of course, the results have been different:

76-for-124 (61.3%), 731 yds, 3 TD, 6 INT, QB rating 65.6
Record: 0-3

That's a guy you have to scroll pretty far down the stats page to find.

And therein lies the rub. When you put the two Kirk's together, by NFL standards you have Just A Guy:

184-for-268 (68.7%), 1737 yds, 9 TD, 8 INT, QB rating 85.1
Record: 3-4

So where do the Redskins go from here? Easy. They spend the balance of 2015 finding out if Kirk Cousins can take his act on the road and be more than Just A Guy.

They might find out he cannot. They might even find out he heads the other direction and brings his shaky road act home. But until and unless that happens, his performances and results at home have shown enough promise to make it imperative the Redskins let him play out the season as starter. They cannot cave to public sentiment or anything other than pure football merit and pull the plug on Cousins in 2015.

As a rebuilding team long starved for legitimate, consistent quarterback play, the Redskins need to let him either prove he can take his act on the road, continue to grow as a player and leader, or if he is unable to overcome the road demons that have thus far scared the dickens heck out of him and anyone with a passing interest in the burgundy and gold.


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