PFF likes work from Kirk Cousins, Redskins offense against Eagles

The Redskins won the NFC East with a 38-24 win Saturday win over the Eagles.

The game is over and the Redskins are headed to the playoffs. Before we get that far or even start looking ahead to the Week 17 scenario against the Cowboys, let's review what happended offensively in Saturday's 38-24 win over the Eagles via analysis from Pro Football Focus.

* Let's start where most of the Redskins talk starts this days. Kirk Cousins hammered Philadelphia, throwing for 365 yards and four touchdowns, including two to Jordan Reed, for a QB rating 120.3. Now, sometimes a strong performance doesn't translate into praise from the PFF graders. That can't be the case here, right? Have no fear. Indeed, when it came to Washington's quarterback (and Reed(, PFF liked that performance.

The Kirk Cousins (+4.3) to Jordan Reed (+4.3) connection was in full effect against the Eagles, with quarterback and tight end earning matching +4.3 overall grades after they diced up the Philadelphia defense. Reed collected his nine catches against six different defenders, primarily down the middle of the field, as the Eagles struggled to pick him up in either zone or man coverage. Cousins, meanwhile, earned his highest passing grade of the season (+5.2), and his highest since his last visit to Philadelphia (+5.5) early last season — helping to make up for his inexplicable kneel-down at the end of the first half that cost the Redskins a field-goal attempt.

Cousins was under pressure on 17 drop-backs and completed eight of 15 passes for 88 yards, per PFF. 

Overall, he threw five passes that traveled in air at least 20 yards, completing three outside the numbers left for 71 yards. 

* Sticking with the passing attack, Pierre Garcon found the end zone for a second straight week while setting a season-high in yards (80) while matching his season-high with seven receptions. PFF:

Jordan Reed wasn’t the only Washington pass-catcher to gut the Eagles’ secondary, with Pierre Garcon (+2.6 receiving) ably backing him up on the outside. Garcon got past Walter Thurmond (-2.1) on a double move for his touchdown while putting up nearly 50 yards on rookie Eric Rowe (-0.5) on six targets. Garcon earned a positive grade for the second week in a row and Washington will hope he can back up this kind of form as they know start to plot for a home playoff game.

Overshadowed by Reed, DeSean Jackson and at times the promise of rookie Jamsion Crowder, Garcon has essentially matched last season's production with one game left. His five touchdowns match the most during hs four seasons in Washington.

* Our Chris Russell picked the right way to profile rookie linebacker Preston Smith. PFF on the three sack performance:

Rookie outside linebacker Preston Smith (+1.4 pass-rush grade) certainly got his fill of pass-rush attempts Saturday night, and came up with a trio of big plays against both Jason Peters (-2.0) and Dennis Kelly (-0.8). Smith rushed the passer 51 times last night, 24 more than in any other game so far this season and more than all but two other games combined. Smith’s performance, then, was not about a volume of pressure, but the magnitude of the plays that he made. He rode those big plays to his first positive pass-rushing grade since Week 12.

* Mixed bag for inside linebacker Will Compton. He recorded his first sack of the season and had nine tackles, but per PFF he received the lowest overall grade defensively. All seven passes sent in his direction were completed for 79 yards. Blame Zach Ertz.

* Jason Hatcher received the highest Overall grade defensively, mostly for his pass rushing.

Other notes and grades:

* Top five performers, offense or defense: QB Kirk Cousins (+4.3), TE Jordan Reed (+4.3), LT Trent Williams (+3.1), DE Jason Hatcher (+2.8), S DeAngelo Hall (+2.4)

* Right tackle Morgan Moses played after dealing with a foot injury. He received the lowest Pass Blocking grade (-1.7) among Washington's offensive linemen, but the highest run blocking grade (+3.5). 

* Darrel Young, on just six snaps, received his lowest Run Blocking grade of the season (-2.0)

* Mason Foster led the team in Stops with six. Like Compton, he also allowed production in the passing game. Philadelphia completed six of seven targets for 60 yards.

* Ryan Kerrigan received his lowest Overall grade of the season (-2.3)

* Kyshoen Jarrett was the most targeted defender (10) and allowed seven passes to be completed for 60 yards

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