ATLANTA (CBSDC) — All things considered, Sunday wasn’t a bad day for Kirk Cousins. In the second start of his NFL career, he completed 29 of 45 passing attempts for 381 yards and three touchdowns.
Cousins was also picked off twice by an Atlanta Falcons secondary that featured three rookie starters. The interceptions accounted for just two of Washington’s staggering seven turnovers in the game.
Pierre Garcon, who led the Redskins receiving effort in Atlanta, and Mike Shanahan believe Cousins did a fine job in place of an inactive Robert Griffin III.
“Kirk did a great job,” said Garcon. “We just have to make plays for Kirk. We have to make those tough catches, we have to finish the plays and get into the endzone for Kirk. Kirk did a great job and stepped in and did well.”
Garcon caught seven of 10 passes thrown in his direction off 129 yards and a score.
Shanahan agreed with the receiver’s assessment and blames turnovers for the loss.
“I don’t think I have ever been in a close game and there were seven turnovers and we have to eliminate those to have a chance to win,” he said. “It’s nice to see him go out there and play with a lot of confidence. I thought he kept his composure back there and did a heck of a job in leading us down the field. Just proud of the way he handled himself.”
Cousins was decidedly harder on himself. The Michigan State product took responsibility for a number of Washington’s turnovers.
“We just didn’t do enough to win,” he said. “Two interceptions that were on me. A fumble that you don’t want to have. The failed attempt at a two point conversion, that was on me. Those are four plays right there that if they go differently, it’s probably a much better result. It’s a tough one to swallow right now and we will learn from it and get better.”