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Oh, how great life was for the Redskins after Week 11… Washington had just squashed Green Bay 42-24 (the Packers were then dead and buried by all…but then went on a six-game win streak to end the season as division winners). Kirk Cousins was getting in the face of his GM, and all of us crowed about how rich Cousins was going to be soon.
…and then the Redskins collapsed from there.
How do you like Kirk Cousins now?
I have to say…”I don’t like that. Not at all.”
Washington stumbled to a 2-4 finish after their apex win against Green Bay…completely botching what seemed like a foregone conclusion that the Redskins would waltz into the playoffs. Cousins put up numbers but didn’t put up wins…and gaffed in the Week 17 finale against an unmotivated Giants team.
How do the Redskins like free-agent-to-be Kirk Cousins now?
Cousins is the quintessential Ryan Fitzpatrick (in his ‘prime’) franchise killing quarterback. Too good to just walk away from. Too bad to ever hope he will carrying a team on his back to the Super Bowl. It’s the ‘Deal or No Deal‘ quarterback choice. There are two cases left. The million-dollar case is out there. So is the $0 case. The banker offers you $200,000 dollars to walk away from making a random choice for the $0 or the $1M. Which do you choose? $200K is pretty sweet; pretty life altering. However, a million dollars if definitely LIFE CHANGING. But what if you get the zero? You may never be able to live with yourself if you passed up $200K for a big, fat zero.
NFL teams constantly settle for a $200K deal for fear of the $0…and would never think to go for the million. Most people wouldn’t go for the million or nothing 50-50 chance either. I suspect most would settle for the $200K. The owners and coaches constantly demand the players leave it all on the field. Win or die trying. Most NFL executives and coaches live their work life completely the opposite of what they tell the players. They mostly go for the field goal on a 4th & 2. The almost always go for the XP and not the two-point conversion. They constantly play the game in a defensive posture…a game of chicken to see which teams makes a mistake and loses. They don’t play to win…despite what Reverend Herm Edwards spews. He didn’t play to win as a coach either. It’s your fault…you and me – the fans. If Mike Tomlin ‘goes for two’ too many times, then Terry Bradshaw will call him a cheerleader and not a great head coach, and then black and yellow face painters will debate it for weeks. Tomlin should just do everything like everyone else and stay away from the extra criticism.
We live in a world that extols ‘going for it‘ from sneakers to energy drinks to vodka to tortilla chips. If anyone does ‘go for it’ they get torn down and second guessed if anything didn’t work out to perfection instantly. It would take brass balls to let Cousins walk away, but it’s what the Redskins need to do. Don’t settle for the average results/team because they aren’t beating Dallas for a while as long as Cousins is the QB. Be willing to take a zero and regroup. Take a hit for a year. Try to find a better solution…or die trying.
I know they won’t.
You know why?
The Redskins did not agree to a long-term deal with Cousins this past offseason. They smartly had concerns. Instead, they franchise tagged him for the year. At this very date, last year, the Redskins knew there were questions and risks with Cousins. Knowing the downside peril…what did the Redskins do to minimize the risk at quarterback for the future? They kept Colt McCoyand drafted nothing QB prospect Nate Sudfeld. They could have drafted an insurance chip QB 2nd-3rd-4th round. They didn’t.
They have no Plan B.
They likely couldn’t find a Plan B if they tried…and the fear of that alone will drive them.
They’ll take the $200K case because they have $0-confidence in themselves to withstand the media assault the moment not having Cousins hurt them in some way.
They’ll probably franchise him again (very costly for a year the second time)…the ultimate puss move, and then still not draft a legit QB hopeful.
Washington is doomed to an 8-8 life under Cousins with Dallas in high gear within the division.
As far as the Giants go…no one likes them outside of New York fans, and yet they just keep winning. I’m still not a believer. They are better than average, but this is a team that did something just as bad as Washington did losing this must-win game. The Giants had bigger aspirations going into Week 16, and somehow lost/were handled by the Eagles. The Giants are good, but I don’t think they are near good enough to win three road games and then capture the Super Bowl. Eli is not that guy anymore. I’ve been wrong most of the year on NYG, so I shouldn’t speak.
— Janoris Jenkins (1 tackle,1 PD) returned from injury and played 23 snaps. I watched him to see how he was moving and was he ready for the playoffs. He looked fine. He was shutting down whatever came his way. The only time the Redskins had a TD drive in this game was in the 4th quarter…when Jenkins was out of the game.
That’s what was extra sad about the Redskins losing this game – the only time Washington’s offense did ANYTHING in this game was when Jenkins was out. As soon as the Redskins tied this game…the Giants drove right down for a score to win it…without Odell Beckham in the game. The Redskins got embarrassed more than you know…the Giants opened the door for them in the 4th quarter by sitting two key players – and the Redskins could not take advantage.
— Speaking of Odell Beckham (5-44-0/7 targets), I would have NEVER let him play in this game…because of Josh Norman. Beckham doesn’t need more reps with Eli…the damn guys hit it off the second OBJ arrived from LSU. Give me a break on extra reps.
Instead, Beckham goes out there and plays 2–3 quarters, and Josh Norman is showing that he is willing to hurt Beckham if he has to in order to stop him. There was no Week 17 ‘already on vacation’ play. Norman got called for one personal foul on OBJ and nearly had another. The Giants put their best player in harm’s way for no reason whatsoever.
Never change, NFL.
— FYI, Jordan Reed (5-40-1/6 targets) looked back to near 100%. He looked like his normal self.
— Could the flop to the finish in Washington be because they inexplicably turned to Robert Kelley (12-33-0) to be their main RB…which gives them the worst running back talent in the league as a starter? They did it to themselves. They could have signed Terrell Watson off a practice squad or even Andre Williams. Nope, sticking with Rob Kelley. You’re not ‘changing games’ with Kelley.
Washington will be in the market for a free agent RB and/or will draft an RB prospect for sure. Unless…they…they can’t possibly think that…that Kelley is their future. Stranger things I have seen in the NFL…
— Paul Perkins (21-102-0, 2 targets) started this game. I don’t mean started for a play and then Rashad Jennings (18-52-1, 1-5-0/1 target) came in and they took turns. Perkins played like the whole first two series at least. He also ran for 100+ yards.
Is Perkins the starter now? Probably not. Like I’ve always said – Jennings has compromising audio tape of NFL head coaches speaking locker room talk off camera with Billy Bush – and Jennings threatens them with it to keep employed as a starting RB in the NFL every year. They guy is bulletproof.
The offseason debate will be whether Perkins is the Giants workhorse in 2017. I think there will be some media momentum for that, but in the end – the Giants will add another viable RB via free agency or trade. Perkins is OK, but he’s closer to Rob Kelley than anyone would admit. Jennings is an unrestricted free agent. We’ll see what foolish team gives him a look next year…there will be one…probably, wherever Tom Coughlin winds up.
— What happened to Jamison Crowder (2-16-0/3 targets)? He was on fire midseason and then finished out with 2.4 catches for 24.5 yards and 0.20 TDs per game over the final five games. He’s a solid WR, but more a bubble-screen type weapon…and the Redskins turned down the frequency with which they ran what was successful for some reason for a third of a season.
Crowder is a sketchy WR3 for 2017, at best. He has a little upside because Washington will likely let Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson head off elsewhere in 2017. It might be Josh Doctson (if he can get healed) + Crowder as a 1-2 punch in 2017.