Kirk Cousins Showed Us That We Can’t Believe The Hype

by Michael Drahota | Posted on Friday, September 26th, 2014 | 0


Last night (Thurs., September 25, 2014) millions of people fell off the Kirk Cousins bandwagon when the replacement quarterback threw four interceptions and fumbled once in the Washington Redskins’ lopsided 45-14 loss to the New York Giants.

After two strong performances against the Jacksonville Jaguars and Philadelphia Eagles, those millions were quick to anoint Cousins the heir apparent to injured star Robert Griffin III, noting that Cousins had been the better fit for new head coach Jay Gruden’s pro-style passing offense all along.

The end result was a paltry 1-3 record for a Washington team that is quickly going down the drain in the competitive NFC East. Cousins had put up eye-popping statistics, numbers that obviously clouded the vision of fans and “Experts” alike who deemed him an instant fantasy star.

But if they would have looked below the surface, they may have seen that Cousins just hadn’t been all that effective of a quarterback in his previous starts. Of course it’s easy to say that in hindsight the day after his worst game. But the fact remains that he’s still only won one game as Washington’s starting signal caller.

Yes, he lead the team to a Week 2 blowout over the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars, but every team who has played them has basically done that. His 429 yards passing in a Week 3 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles were impressive, but that was more a byproduct of Philadelphia’s terrible pass defense and Washington’s own inability to stop the Eagles’ fast-paced aerial attack.

The same exact thing happened to Cousins when he came in to spell a still-injured RG III at the end of last year. He looked great in some games, and other games he disappeared due to inexperience. Those who saw him perform this year said that he was no longer forced to bear the burden of former head coach Mike Shanahan’s offensive system; that he was now a perfect fit for Gruden’s.

While that could one day be true, Cousins obviously has a long way to go.  Everyone – the coaches, media, and fans – were way too quick to hand the reigns over to Cousins, a still-maturing quarterback who obviously can’t handle the massive amount of pressure heaped upon his shoulders.

Of course, Washington’s defense didn’t do him any favors by allowing the Giants to score 45 points, but they were constantly put in extremely adverse situations off of the Cousins turnovers.

At the end of the day, last night’s ugly game once again showed us that we cannot be too quick to believe the hype that can seemingly come and go on a weekly basis during the NFL season. As former Baltimore Ravens head coach Brian Billick stated before yesterday’s game, you have to beware of a backup quarterback.

He’s likely a backup quarterback for a reason, and Cousins showed us exactly why last night.

Does that mean he won’t be a successful NFL quarterback? No, he has time to develop in Gruden’s system, and with Griffin likely out another 4-7 weeks, he’ll have to play. The team will probably lose a lot of games this year, and that could shake Cousins’ confidence to the core. At the very least, it will heavily tested in tough situation similar to Thursday night’ debacle.

Cousins could pull through and become a decent NFL quarterback, but we saw how labeling people can be trouble. He was supposedly the savior of a struggling franchise after very limited action and one win.

Hyped quarterbacks will come and go in the NFL; that’s just the nature in the game. But if this whole fiasco has taught us one thing, hopefully it’s to wait on more of a sample size before declaring a big-armed passer the next big thing.

Will Cousins actually cause the media to pull in the reins a bit? Probably not, but we can hope.

About the Author

Both an avid NFL fan and analyst, I’ve been following professional football since the late 1980s. I’m also an avid fantasy football player with several league victories under my belt. Check out my NFL articles on TSM for the latest NFL news, highlights, predictions, and more.

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