If quarterback Kirk Cousins plays well in leading the Redskins to victory in Sunday’s game at the New York Giants, he would not only halt his team’s two-game slide to open the 2016 season but also vanquish some personal demons, as well.
Cousins, 28, has had four starts against the Giants in his Redskins career, and the statistics aren’t pretty. With Cousins at the helm, the Redskins split their meetings with the Giants last season but were beaten by double digits in each of his starts in relief of Robert Griffin III in 2013 and 2014.
In four starts against the Giants, Cousins has completed 88 of 160 throws (55 percent), with three touchdowns, eight interceptions and one lost fumble.
The ugliest outing came at FedEx Field in Week 4 of 2014, which was Cousins’s second start after Griffin suffered an ankle injury in Week 2. The Redskins turned over the ball six times in the 45-14 loss, and Cousins accounted for five of the team’s six turnovers, fumbling once and throwing four second-half interceptions. The Giants scored 31 points off turnovers.
Afterward, Giants cornerback Prince Amukamara said that defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul had noticed Cousins staring down his intended receivers and tipped off the defensive backs where the quarterback was going with the ball. The Redskins’ defense had a hand in the loss, as well, allowing second-year tight end Larry Donnell to score three touchdowns.
Cousins’s turnover problems continued in 2014, and he was benched in favor of backup Colt McCoy three games later.
Installed as the Redskins’ starter at the outset of the 2015 season, Cousins had a tough outing in a 32-21 loss at the Giants in Week 3, with Amukamara and linebacker Uani Unga each picking off a throw. But he reversed the trend with a strong finish to the season, leading the Redskins to a 20-14 victory over the Giants at Fed Ex Field in Week 12. After starting the season 2-4, the Redskins won five of their last six games to clinch the NFC East championship.
Over the years, five current or former Giants defenders have combined to intercept Cousins eight times: cornerback Trumaine McBride (three); Amukamara (two), safety Antrel Rolle, safety Quintin Demps and Unga. Of the bunch, only Unga remains on the Giants roster.
The Redskins are 0-2 entering MetLife Stadium this weekend while the 2-0 Giants sit atop the division. Philadelphia is also 2-0. Through two games, Cousins has a passer rating of 78.5, having completed 58 of 89 throws with one touchdown and three interceptions.
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