For Kirk Cousins and the Washington Redskins offense, less is more
The Redskins’ offense has ridden on the backs of three players who didn’t normally get recognition as key playmakers in recent years. But perhaps, now they should.
Running back Chris Thompson has blossomed into a dangerous threat on the Redskins offense. Against the San Francisco 49ers, the fifth-year pro logged his first career start. Once again proving his versatility, Thompson earned his second 100-yard receiving game on the season (4 catches, 105 yards) in addition to carrying the ball 16 times for 33 yards. He’s on pace to become the fourth player in NFL history with 100 carries and 1,000 receiving yards, per ESPN’s John Keim. His output running the football hasn’t been consistent, but he’s a threat week in and week out.
Meanwhile, Vernon Davis has experienced a career renaissance with the Redskins. Many questioned if Davis had much left in the tank when he first arrived in Washington. But now, in just his second season with the Redskins, Davis is averaging 20.5 yards per catch. In consecutive games, Davis has caught a pass of at least 50 yards. On both plays, the wily veteran picked up most of those yards after the catch. He had zero catches and received only one target in the first game against Philadelphia in Week 1, but since then, he’s picked up the pace. He has 11 catches for 250 yards and a touchdown in four games.
And last but not least, wide receiver Ryan Grant is quietly emerging for the Redskins. He had only one catch against the Rams in week two, but it was the game winning touchdown. Against the Chiefs, he scored a touchdown against Marcus Peters. Against the Niners, Grant had three catches for 39 yards, all of which resulted in first downs. In fact, 11 of Grant’s 13 receptions on the season have resulted in a first down. Coaches love Grant’s approach to the game and he’s rewarding them with clutch plays. He recorded four catches for 61 yards against the Eagles in the first meeting. He’s not flashy, but he gets the job done. Cousins and the coaches will take that.
For Kirk Cousins, the trio of Thompson, Grant, and Davis has essentially replaced DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon. Grant has been Cousins most reliable receiver, much like Garcon was in 2016. Thompson and Davis have collectively replaced Jackson with their collective big play ability. Davis still has the speed to burn linebackers on seam routs and Thompson is a threat anytime the ball is in his hands. It’s why the Redskins try to get him the ball as often as possible.
Next: Redskins vs. Eagles bold predictions for Week 7
The Eagles have a solid defense, but they’re far from the Legion of Boom. There are too many options in the Redskins offense for the Eagles defense to handle. The Redskins defense has been hit hard with injuries, but great quarterbacks carry their team. If Washington is to pull off an upset Monday night, they’ll need a Herculean effort from Kirk Cousins. A win is possible, as long as Cousins uses his unexpected weapons. Because for this offense in 2017, less is more.