The stats did not show exactly how good of a game Kirk Cousins had against the Eagles, but it was by far his best performance of the season this year. Cousins had 263 yards on just 18 attempts, which is a good average of 14.6 yards per completion. The Redskins could run and pass the ball virtually at will throughout the day. Week 7 against Detroit, Kirk Cousins is facing a defense that has struggled all year to stop anyone, Kirk has a great opportunity to start stacking good performances on top of one another.
The Lions has the 25th ranked defense in yards, 22nd in points, 23rd in passing yards per game, and 32nd in quarterback rating at 119.3 for opposing quarterbacks. A defense that has even struggled to stop Case Keenum of the Rams who threw for 311 yards and 3 touchdowns. This is not a knock on Case Keenum, however his team is ranked 28th throwing the football this year, but even he had an outstanding day against this secondary.
So when looking at Cousins it is important for him to bring the attitude and mindset he had against Philadelphia, on the road to Detroit. Kirk threw with confidence, good touch and anticipation. Not only did he make plays in the pocket but he extended plays with his feet, attempting to create when he felt nothing was there and succeeded. He made a number of throws outside the pocket, even threw the football away to avoid bad plays. Also, running for a first down on 3rd and long. The Lions have given up 17 passing touchdowns this year, which is last in the NFL and the Redskins brings in the 2nd best receiving corp according to Pro Football Focus , and the 5th best passing attack statistically, this week presents a great opportunity for Cousins and the receivers to have big games.
Matt Jones has the exact same opportunity Kirk has, but just like Cousins he has been inconsistent to this point. Statistically he is fine, running for over 400 yards and averaging 4.9 yards per carry. However he has often left yards on the field missing cutback lanes, struggling to cut without slowing down, and failing to use his size to his advantage against smaller defenders. He had a very good game last week and Detroit statistically is just as bad stopping the run as they are defending the pass.
The Lions defense is 21st in defending the run, and 27th in yards per attempt giving up almost 5 yards per carry. Of the six games they’ve played, only the Rams and Colts failed to rush for over 100 yards against the Lions defense. An important part of this years running game for Washington was the major improvement of the offensive line as a whole, they have become one of the best unites in all of football. Each week this offensive line has given running backs opportunities to make plays for this offense, so the running game in general this week should be a huge reason the Redskins has success against this Detroit defense.
Kirk Cousins and Matt Jones obviously are not all 11 members of this offense, but these two players are important to the success of this offense in the air and ground game. Numbers never tell the whole story when looking at an opposing team, however it does tell you that opportunities will be there if those numbers are not good. It will take focus and execution from each member of this offense to have a good day, but this side of the ball definitely has a good opportunity to build on the great performance of last week.