Whether we look back on this as a crucial week in Kirk Cousins’s career remains to be seen. There are at least signs, though, that this is the week Cousins won over any remaining skeptics.
Want some proof? Here’s Brett Favre.
“I thought he played outstanding [Sunday night] and has played outstanding this year,” Favre said during his weekly SiriusXM NFL Radio show. “Those conditions were more Green Bay-like. Trust me, it’s not easy. It’s not easy throwing into the wind. It’s not easy throwing with the wind. . . . The throw that Kirk Cousins made to [Pierre] Garcon in the second half, the long touchdown into the wind, and it dropped right in the basket? I mean, it was an outstanding throw. I thought, ‘Okay, he’s arrived.’ ”
Favre went on.
“I thought he did an outstanding job,” he said. “I know what it is like to throw in those type of conditions and it’s not easy. And he did it time and time again. . . . He came across as real confident. He’s got a true competitor mentality about him. I like that about him.”
Kirk Cousins just put on a show
— Cris Collinsworth (@CollinsworthPFF) November 21, 2016
And now for some crazy stats. Did you know that Cousins already has more 300-yard games than any quarterback in Redskins history, having passed Sonny Jurgensen Sunday night?
“To be mentioned in any sense with Sonny Jurgensen is an honor,” Cousins said on the team’s postgame radio show. “The man has a gold jacket. So you don’t need to say much more than that. So hopefully I can play here for a long, long time, and keep making a difference. It’s a small step, and it’s great to have a giant like this to stand next to after each game.”
And did you know that Cousins now has more passing yards through 10 games than any quarterback in NFC East history? (Cousins has 3,091 passing yards. Eli Manning leads the Giants with 2,952. Tony Romo leads the Cowboys with 2,916. Donovan McNabb leads the Eagles with 2,711. And no, most-passing-yards-through-10-games doesn’t have any special meaning, but that’s still something.)
Then there’s this.
— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) November 22, 2016
Kirk Cousins just 5th QB ever w/30 att, 70% comp, 12.5 YPA, 3 TD, no INT. Last to do it: Brett Favre vs. OAK in 2003 (after his dad died).
— Cody Swartz (@cbswartz5) November 21, 2016
#1 Derek Carr
#2 Drew Brees
#3 Matt Ryan
#5 Aaron Rodgers pic.twitter.com/3jMeqhW6yF
— Tim Murray (@1TimMurray) November 21, 2016
Anyhow, Favre wasn’t the only one raving.
“He was an ‘A,’ ” Chris Cooley said during his weekly film breakdown. “He was a 9.6. It was the highest grade I’ve given to any player. He was really an A+ in this game. It’s as good as a quarterback can play. It’s as good as a quarterback will play. . . . You can’t ask for better than that. Now you just ask for consistency, which really over the last six games he’s been very, very consistent. And surprise surprise, he was last year over the last eight games, as well.”
“Listen, we see the Andy Daltons with long-term deals, Brock Osweilers, guys who haven’t proved as much as Kirk Cousins has in Washington,” Ryan Clark said on ESPN. “The numbers speak for themselves. . . . Also, you look at this team; 0-2 to start the season, now 6-1-1 since that point. And it’s because Kirk Cousins has been able to push the ball down the field. There’s an arsenal of receivers, obviously we understand that, but it’s Kirk’s ability to get the ball out of his hand, pinpoint accuracy even in the wind of [Sunday] night, and his ability to let the team know, the organization, Daniel Snyder, [Scot] McCloughan, that he’s the guy for this job.”
“I think that’s what he was yelling in the GM’s face: pay me everything you owe me,” Fred Smoot said on ESPN 980. “Hey man, I really loved it. You have to really look at who’s involved and look at what he said. Kirk basically said, ‘Pay me my money,’ and we have no other choice but to pay Kirk his money. He’s earned it.”
“Listen, I’ve always liked him,” Tim Hasselbeck said on ESPN Radio. “I liked him more than Ryan Tannehill when he was coming out. I’ve always thought he was a good player. I thought it was crazy for the Redskins not to reward him last year, and I think they’re going to pay mightily for it.”
“If he can stay healthy and keep on playing the way he’s playing over the next six weeks and hopefully into the playoffs, you’re talking about a $100 million contract,” Joe Theismann told TMZ. “Which is Jay Cutler, Matthew Stafford, Joe Flacco, all those guys have been making that kind of money, so that’s the marketplace that he’s in. I think he’s better than a Matthew Stafford, I think he’s better than Joe Flacco, I think he’s better than Jay Cutler . . . Kirk has done everything at the quarterback position that he has needed to do to be able to go out and earn the opportunity to get that kind of a deal …
“He’s a top-seven, -eight quarterback in this league, going away,” Theismann said. “There’s only about 12 that give you a chance to really win. I mean, look around the league. You see a lot of guys with a lot of holes in ’em. The kid doesn’t have a lot of holes in him.”