October 27, 2015

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) If Kirk Cousins throws an interception in a game, he throws a second, and the Washington Redskins lose.

If Cousins plays a pick-free game, the Redskins win.

It really is that simple so far this season.

As the Redskins (3-4) head into their bye week, with a Nov. 8 road game against the New England Patriots (6-0) looming next on the schedule, they have a lot of problems that need to be addressed.

One that really does sway the outcomes of games is the up-and-down play from their starting quarterback.

''You have to see results. ... Now you're looking for some consistency. We had a great win against St. Louis and laid an egg against the Giants. We had another big win against Philadelphia. We played poorly the next two weeks against the Jets and the Falcons.

''Now to have a big comeback victory against Tampa Bay, we'll see what we can do after the bye week against New England,'' coach Jay Gruden said.

''That position is all about consistency, but it's also about getting better and better and better and showing us he has the right to be a starter. And he's done that over the first seven games,'' Gruden added. ''But we still need to see more consistency from him - and everybody - for us to be where we want to be.''

Gruden announced near the end of the preseason that Cousins, and not Robert Griffin III, would be his QB this season and has stuck to that, despite the swings in play.

''He's obviously shown flashes of being one heck of a quarterback. And he's had some times where you, like, scratch your head sometimes. That's what a lot of quarterbacks go through from time to time. It's not always going to be perfect. They're going to make a bad read - maybe a bad throw - from time to time,'' Gruden said. ''You just have to bounce back from it. That's what we're hoping Kirk does in the long run.''

In three of Washington's games, Cousins has managed to avoid an interception, and the club is 3-0, including Sunday's terrific 33-for-40 performance for 317 yards and three second-half touchdown passes in a 31-30 comeback victory over the Buccaneers.

In the other four games, all losses, Cousins has thrown two interceptions each time.

He's also not exactly slinging the ball downfield on a regular basis. Cousins' average of 6.5 yards per pass attempt ranks 30th in the NFL among quarterbacks with at least 80 throws. His 85.1 passer rating ranks 24th.

But at least he finally pulled his TD-to-interception ratio into positive territory at 9-8 with his showing against Tampa Bay.

''I don't hit the panic button when things are going bad,'' Cousins said, ''and I don't feel like we've got it all figured out when we win.''

Notes: LB Preston Smith said he and three other rookies footed the bill of about $22,000 for a dinner for Redskins defensive players at a D.C. restaurant Monday night. A few players put photos of the receipt on social media. ... WR Andre Roberts missed Tuesday's no-pads practice because of ''a personal deal he had to take care of,'' Gruden said. ... LB Ryan Kerrigan (broken bone in right hand) said he doubted he'd be able to play if the Redskins had a game this Sunday, but because of the bye, he is holding out hope of being back for the game at New England.



AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and AP NFL Twitter feed: www.twitter.com/AP-NFL


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