Washington Redskins: Kirk Cousins Proves RG3 is Team’s Starter of the Future
Are you happy now? All season long Washington Redskins fans have been calling for Kirk Cousins to start over Robert Griffin III and we have finally seen what he’s capable of. After the way he’s finished off the season for the Redskins, it’s quite clear that the right guy was under center the whole time.
I’ve written before that Kirk Cousins starting over Robert Griffin III in the final four games of the season was a good idea. It gives Griffin a chance to heal and get at or near 100 percent heading into the offseason. As outlined here, it’s imperative to his future and the Redskins’ future that Griffin goes through a full offseason program. It also gave the Redskins a chance to showcase Cousins to the NFL and see if they could drum up trade interest.
Contrary to what some believed, it was not a quarterback controversy. As we saw in the final four games of the season, Kirk Cousins is widely overrated. While he did lead them to victories over the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns in 2012, those games were not indicative of his true potential. Getting a chance to watch him play over the last four weeks, however, was a great indication of the true Kirk Cousins.
Without looking at the stats, you can make the claim that Cousins isn’t as good as once believed. While he might be a better quarterback pre-snap, post snap is far different. A number of times he overthrew receivers and made poor decisions when he dropped back to pass. One thing that you get with RG3, but not with Cousins, is his ability to scramble and make a play when the pocket breaks down. With an offensive line as bad as Washington’s, you need a quarterback that can move around.
Statistically, Cousins did not outperform Griffin. Through the last four games of the season, Cousins threw for 806 yards (381 yards in the loss to the Atlanta Falcons), four touchdowns and five interceptions, seven if you want to include the two he threw against the Denver Broncos. His completion percentage of 52.2 percent was below Griffin’s 60.1 percent and Griffin holds the edge with an 82.2 passer rating. Cousins finished with a 58.37 passer rating.
Really the only place where Cousins holds an advantage over Griffin is in his pre-snap reads. However, that can be corrected in the film room during the offseason. When it comes to actually throwing the ball, both need to improve. Since Griffin gets to go through a full offseason program healthy, he’ll get a chance to improve his pre-snap reads and make better decisions. Remember, the development of Griffin has been set back an entire year thanks to his knee injury.
Enough with the praise of Kirk Cousins. If there’s anything that the last four weeks of the season have shown, it’s that he’s not the quarterback everyone thought he was. He’s just a backup quarterback and that’s all he’ll ever be. He’s not worth a first round pick and he may no longer even be worth a second or third round pick.
Late in the season, news broke that one reason why Griffin wanted to start the season was because he was worried about Cousins taking his job. After watching the final four games of the season, it’s quite clear that he has nothing to be worried about. Robert Griffin III is the starting quarterback of this for team next season and rightfully so.