WASHINGTON — For Redskins starting quarterback Kirk Cousins, every interception tells a story.
After losing to the New York Jets on Sunday — a game in which Cousins spun two stories — the Redskins are 2-4 on the season and have lost two straight games, and three of their last four. All eight of Cousins’ interceptions have come in their four losses this season.
“I think every pick is its own entity,” Cousins told 106.7 The Fan’s Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier when asked on Monday to explain how he’s improved from last year. “I mean, you can look at the results and say, ‘Okay, too many picks.’ But every interception has its own reason and its own explanation, so they’re all different.”
Through six games in 2014, five of which were starts by Cousins, he had thrown 10 touchdown passes and nine interceptions. The Redskins went 2-4 through that stretch, although Cousins was benched halfway through his final start, with backup Colt McCoy leading Washington to victory over Tennessee. After his first six starts in 2015, Cousins has thrown six touchdown passes and eight interceptions. The Redskins are 2-4.
“I don’t feel like the turnovers this year have been quite as awful as they were last year,” Cousins said. “Some of the interceptions I threw last year were just very poor reads, very poor throws, very poor decisions, and while some of the interceptions this year have been that, I don’t think it’s been quite as many.
“And I think just in general, overall, running the offense, finding completions, putting together long drives — I think we’ve been much, much better on third down and have been able to move the chains and stay on the field. That was something last year that I felt like we weren’t as good on when I was in there.”
Indeed, the Redskins have been more proficient in third down efficiency under Cousins this season. Per Pro Football Reference, the Redskins — with Cousins under center — converted 36.5 percent of third down plays into first downs in 2014. By comparison, the Redskins successfully converted 34 percent of third downs with Robert Griffin III last season, and 34.4 percent with Colt McCoy.
In 2015, 45.2 percent of Washington’s third down plays have resulted in a first down, also according to Pro Football Reference.
“There’s no doubt strides are being made,” Cousins said. “But we just have to keep working together, keep building and trust that, if we keep doing that, good things will happen if we just keep focus on the process.”
After Sunday’s loss, coach Jay Gruden said he’d like to see the film before “we move forward with any kind of crazy decisions,” that the “intent” was still to start Cousins for the remainder of the 2015 season.
“I’d like to see what happens when we get our full cast of characters back,” he said of the offense, which was missing receiver DeSean Jackson, running back Matt Jones, tight end Jordan Reed, and offensive linemen Trent Williams and Kory Lichtensteiger against the Jets, not to mention lineman Shawn Lauvao, who went down with a season-ending injury in Week Three.
The question is: Will Gruden see the progress his quarterback sees after reviewing the film?