Kirk Cousins can't outduel Carson Wentz as Redskins fall to Eagles | Forum

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smithlucky Oct 24 '17
PHILADELPHIA -- The Washington Redskins have a good quarterback, one to build an offense around. The Eagles have a QB to build a franchise around, one who elevates the talent around him and can make plays when nothing seems available. There's a difference, and it was evident Monday night. Elite Men's Randy Gregory Navy/White Jersey: NFL Nike Dallas Cowboys #94 ThrowbackThere's a lot that quarterback Kirk Cousins does well for the 3-3 Redskins -- and it's why they are in good shape as long as he's with Washington. But Philadelphia's Carson Wentz does what every team wants. He makes plays when the pocket collapses and has an arm strong enough to throw a 64-yard touchdown pass, yet he also can drop a perfect dime when touch is needed. He did all that in the Eagles' 34-24 win on Monday. When the Redskins' line started to struggle -- or lose players -- the Eagles were able to contain Cousins and limit his ability to make plays. The Eagles applied pressure up the middle and kept him in the pocket. They could force him into mistakes -- look at the interception in the fourth quarter under duress. When Cousins had time, he was good, but when the line started suffering one injury after another, the Eagles capitalized on his limitations. But aside from one throw -- he was hit on his lone interception, but it was still a bad pass -- Cousins was good. He did throw for 303 yards and three touchdowns. However, Wentz was spectacular and a difference-maker. There's a debate on where Cousins fits in the league's quarterback rankings; most would put him at around 10 to 15. Wentz should be in the MVP discussion. "Kirk competed and made some great throws, some great plays, and threw three touchdowns," Redskins coach Jay Gruden said. "But for the most part, there's a few ... I'm sure he wished he had back. Some I wish I had back and everybody in this locker room wishes they had back." During his conference call with Philadelphia reporters on Thursday, Gruden bemoaned the fact that Wentz ended up with the Eagles. He was scratching his head at how that happened, joining the entire city of Cleveland -- save for the Browns' "brain" trust, which traded that pick. That move will haunt one city for years, as well as the rest of the NFC East. Wentz fired four touchdown passes on Monday, including two late in the first half that grabbed the momentum away from Washington and gave Philadelphia a 17-10 halftime lead. "He's a great player, hard to bring down," Gruden said of Wentz. "We got to him early, tried to rattle him a little bit, but he just played with great poise and made the big throw for a touchdown, and then got the touchdown at the end of the half. Then we tried to get some momentum to cut it to seven, and he had that big-time scramble." The Redskins' biggest concern entering the game focused on Wentz and his ability to make plays. Wentz does what franchise quarterbacks need to do: make others better. He extends a play under duress, gets hit and finds Corey Clement for a touchdown. Wentz had a 64-yard strike for another score. It's not that Cousins lost the game; that's far from the case. He faced a better defense than Wentz did, which is part of the problem. Cousins isn't getting enough help from receivers Josh Doctson or Terrelle Pryor Sr. But even when Wentz was stopped, he really wasn't. His 17-yard third-down scramble when he appeared all but tackled in Adam Joseph Duhe Youth jersey the fourth quarter was unreal and pivotal. "That's what he's been doing all year," Redskins linebacker Mason Foster said of Wentz. "He's making big plays all the time." Washington safety D.J. Swearinger went one step further: "He gets out of trouble, he breaks tackles and he throws dimes. He's a great quarterback, and he'll be one of Adam Joseph Duhe Youth jersey the greats in this league for a long time." The Redskins spent a long time trying to decide what Cousins was worth. Just a strong guess: It'll someday cost them a chance to keep him long term. The Eagles won't hesitate to pay Wentz whatever it takes; there won’t be any debates.