Dropped passes by Josh Doctson and Terrelle Pryor have been a huge frustration for Quarterback Kirk Cousins and may have him thinking of exiting into the waiting arms of the man who drafted him in San Francisco.
Kirk Cousins and the Washington Redskins ventured into Arrowhead Stadium the Monday night before last and nearly pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the year against the Kansas City Chiefs. In arguably the toughest stadium to win a football game, Arrowhead – Kirk Cousins was taking it to the Chiefs defense. In a game that evolved into a back and forth battle between two offenses, Kirk Cousins and Alex Smith lit up the night with their impressive performances.
With the Chiefs up 20 to 17 with just over three minutes left to play, Kirk Cousins took control of the spotlight and was determined to prove to the national television audience that he had arrived as an elite NFL quarterback. In the opener against the Philadelphia Eagles a few weeks prior, Redskins mistakes like dropped passes and a late-game interception cost the team a division win. Cousins now had his prime-time chance for redemption. Heroes are created in clock defying performances during important games and this was his chance.
Kirk Cousins and the Redskins took command deep in their own territory. Cousins scrambled, scratched, clawed and passed the ball downfield and deep into Kansas City territory – right up to the touchdowns door. With 50 seconds left, Cousins fired a perfect 24-yard laser, just clearing a Chiefs defender and hitting wide receiver Josh Doctson directly in the hands. It was an easy touchdown and a soon to be 24 to 20 lead – except Doctson forgot one thing. He dropped the ball when he hit the ground. A harsh reality set in even before Washington kicked the game-tying field goal. Alex Smith now had 50 seconds to drive the Chiefs downfield and into position for the game-winning field goal. It seemed to be a foregone conclusion. The TV audience knew it, the fans knew it and the Washington Redskins knew it. A nervous and upset Cousins looked on as the Chiefs marched on inexorably to the game-winning field goal.
Problems with the Redskins receiving corps has been a sore point with Kirk Cousins since the team reported to Redskins Park for the start of the 2017 season. Cousins had a deep connection with receivers DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon over the course of his young career. When healthy, the trio had combined for some spectacular performances. Washington chose not to retain their services this year and Cousins was forced to rely on two new and unproven receivers.
Terrelle Pryor was acquired in the offseason. Pryor, a former quarterback had one decent year for the Cleveland Browns in 2016, with 77 receptions and 1,007 yards. He has yet to make the full transition to wideout and has a horrible penchant for dropping passes. He shows some reluctance to go over the middle and tends to “short arm” balls. Players have a nickname for receivers who exhibit this trait, “alligator arms.” Not exactly a compliment. Pryor has demonstrated this irritating habit numerous times this season. He dropped a sure touchdown pass against the Eagles in week one, perhaps costing the Redskins a victory.
The other receiver who has yet to live up to his potential is Josh Doctson – last year’s number one draft choice. He has struggled with injuries and has yet to separate himself from the other receivers. Doctson’s dropped touchdown pass against the Chiefs personifies Cousins frustration with the Redskins organization and their commitment to his success. It appears that Cousins may be reaching his breaking point.
Kirk Cousins is one of the well known nice guys in the NFL. Humble and unassuming, he is the poster boy of sportsmanship. Always assessable, Cousins normally participates in the postgame pleasantries at midfield. After the last second loss in Kansas City, however, Cousins skipped the post-game celebration and ran directly into the locker room. It was the antithesis of his normal behavior. It is becoming increasingly clear that Cousins is growing tired of the Redskins casual commitment to him and the talent that surrounds him. It was no secret that Cousins has been unhappy with Washington’s unwillingness to offer him a long-term contract – or provide him the talent that best fits his style. It now appears that Cousins may exit Washington and head for the sunny confines of California.
It has been rumored for months now that San Francisco head coach, Kyle Shanahan is a huge Kirk Cousins fan and speculation had him going to the 49ers prior to the 2017 season. If the Redskins falter again coming off their bye week, don’t be surprised if you see Cousins wearing a red and gold uniform in the city by the bay in 2017. Just like the Monday night game in Kansas City, Cousins may be making a quick exit from Redskins Park in January.