It was a hard days night for the Washington Redskins Sunday as they ended their London adventure with a tie against the Cincinnati Bengals. Although no team prevailed, Kirk Cousins made headlines with a record-breaking performance.
Analyzing all aspects of this game can lead to many negative assumptions of the Redskins performance. They missed numerous opportunities, had countless penalties, and they continued their struggles in the red zone, but sometimes you just have to appreciate the positives.
Kirk Cousins put on a passing clinic at Wembley. Cousins finished the day 38 of 56 for 458 yards along with two touchdowns and 1 interception. His 38 completions broke his previous team record of 33. Cousins 458 yard performance has him second in most yards in a game behind Brad Johnson’s 471 yards set in 1999. Sunday was Cousins 16th 300 yard passing game. That now has him tied with Sonny Jergusen for most in team history. Jay Gruden praised Cousins following the win, per Jake Kring-Schreifels of Redskins.com.
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Oct 30, 2016; London, United Kingdom; Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden reacts during game 17 of the NFL International Series at Wembley Stadium. The Redskins and Bengals tied 27-27. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
I think Kirk did a great job today. I think it was one of the better games he’s played since I’ve been here, so hats off to him and the offense. They did some great things, but you’re right, we do need to get some bigger plays.
The big plays that Gruden refers to are the plays in the red zone where the Redskins have been nothing short mediocre. Behind Cousins, the Redskins have the third best offense in the league averaging 410.2 yards per game, along with the third best passing offense averaging 298.8 yards per game. They move the ball as well as anybody, but when they enter the red zone, they collapse. In terms of red zone touchdown percentage, the Redskins are 31st in the NFL; averaging a touchdown just 40.62 percent of the time. Chalk that up to play calling or just sheer inability in clutch situations, but one thing is for sure. Playoff teams score in the red zone.
If Kirk Cousins and the offense can overcome their red zone woes; they have the potential to be a dangerous team.
Cousins is on pace for 4,908 yard season. That would be the 13th most prolific quarterback season in history. Cousins currently has 2,454 yards this season, along with 12 touchdowns and 7 interceptions and 93.1 passer rating. Cousins said the following of the tie, per Jake Kring-Schreifels of Redskins.com.
It’s a unique experience, but now we move forward. I think that’s the key is that you always look towards whats next–whats the next challenge? We don’t live in the past in this league, so it is what it is and what I’m proud of is the fact that so many guys laid it on the line and gave us everything they had and I was proud of the effort and the mental and physical toughness that guys showed through the course of the game.
Cousins has the led the Redskins to a 4-3-1 record at the mid way point of the season. The Redskins best mid-season record since 2008. We will now wait and see what they can do in the second half of the season.