Tha Sports Junkies 101

Redskins Week 5 Preview: Cousins Looks to Make a Statement

Cousins Baltimore


The Washington Redskins will attempt to do something Sunday that they haven’t done in 61 years; win a football game in Baltimore. The last time these two played in the regular season, Kirk Cousins got his first taste of success in the NFL

As a young quarterback matures in the National Football League, he adds accomplishments to his resume. Kirk Cousins is trying to build one, in hopes of a big payday. Two weeks ago, Cousins led the Redskins to an upset over Eli Manning and the New York Giants. On Sunday, Kirk Cousins aims to take down another former Super Bowl MVP quarterback in Joe Flacco.

Flacco is no stranger to the situation Cousins is in. Prior to the start of the 2012 season, Joe Flacco considered himself elite. Flacco banked on himself, and the rest is history. The Baltimore Ravens won the Super Bowl and Joe Flacco got paid. Washington can only hope for the same results, but they’d better hope Kirk Cousins brings his “A” game on Sunday.

After Haloti Ngata essentially ended the career of Robert Griffin in the 2012 matchup, Cousins came of the bench to lead the Redskins to victory late in the game. Cousins threw a touchdown pass to Pierre Garcon, and then converted the game tying two-point conversion. The following week, Cousins picked up his first win as a starter on the road, against the Cleveland Browns.

Beat up the Bully

Once again the Baltimore Ravens lead the NFL in total defense. They’re 3-1 primarily because of their defense. Allowing 256 yards per game. The Washington Redskins are 2-2 are because of rushing attack fueled by Matt Jones. What was once an area of concern heading into the season, is now becoming a strength for Washington. Running against Baltimore’s run defense is a necessary evil. The consistency with the ground game will keep Ravens’ defenders honest. Jay Gruden and Sean McVay have to remained balance with their play calling.

Jones has been on a tear since the fourth quarter since the Giants game two weeks ago. Kirk Cousins is at his absolute best when the Redskins run the ball. Cousins has career averages of 81.9 completion percentage, 123.2 quarterback rating, 279.6 passing yards, two touchdowns, and 0.8 interceptions when Washington runs the all 25 times or more

The Redskins need to get Jones into a rhythm early and often. These are the type of games that Desean Jackson flourishes in. Shareece Wright will have the task of guarding Jackson. Wright has had is struggles struggles this season. He’s allowed 16 catches, 205 yards, and five touchdowns over the past three weeks.

Defensive Woes

The Redskins possess one of the worst defenses in the NFL. Washington is currently ranked ranked 29th in total yards, 25th in passing, and 30th in rush defense and yards allowed per carry. The defense is also last in third down percentage, allowing a whopping 57 percent of all third down conversions. Joe Barry’s defense has been a mess all season.

Starting safeties DeAngelo Hall and David Bruton Jr. are both lost for the season. Washington signed three-time Pro Bowler Donte Whitner and four year-pro Josh Evans on Wednesday. Will Blackmon and Duke Ihenacho will both start at the safety positions for Hall and Bruton. Bashaud Breeland will also miss his second straight game to an ankle injury.

Joe Flacco could be in store for a big game against Washington’s defense. Steve Smith Sr. remains Flacco’s number one target. Smith Sr. leads the Ravens with 24 catches, 281 yards, and one touchdown. Josh Norman will have his hands full with his former teammateMike Wallace leads the Ravens with three receiving touchdowns.

Game Prediction

The last time these two teams shared the field was August 2015. Kirk Cousins won the starting quarterback job for the Redskins because of his performance in the game. Head coaches John Harbaugh and Jay Gruden had to be separated, and the Redskins won the game. More importantly, Kirk Cousins has developed into a potential franchise quarterback. These are the games the Cousins has to deliver in.

The Ravens suffered their first loss to the Oakland Raiders. A team with a similar offense to the Redskins. It is imperative that Cousins is decisive and accurate with the football. The Redskins can pick apart the Ravens if they are balanced on offense.

Defensively, the Redskins are a struggling group, but one area that they are not deficient in, is turnovers. Since the start of the 2015 season, Washington has recovered a league high 22 fumbles. They have a +3 turnover ratio, and eight turnovers in through the first four games of this season.

With injuries along the offensive line, the blindside of Joe Flacco could be at risk. First round pick Ronnie Stanley is doubtful with a foot injury. Baltimore will start either James Hurst or Alex Lewis. at LT. The Redskins desperately needs the pass rush to get going. Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith, and Trent Murphy are more than capable of either exploiting either Hurst or Lewis. Murphy leads the Redskins with four sacks.

Although Washington are underdogs in this game, I like their chances. Jay Gruden understands that the offense needs balance and will look to get Matt Jones at least 20+ touches. Once again turnovers will be the saving grace for Joe Barry and his defense as the Ravens are -1 in that category.

Washington 35 Baltimore 31