Morning Manny: Kirk Cousins Missed Big Opportunities On 3rd and 1

The Redskins missed big opportunities on several third and one pass attempts.

Manny Benton often tweets random thoughts regarding the Washington Redskins at random times of the day that typically bring interesting dialog. Now from Monday through Thursday at around 9 a.m., you can find those Twitter-sized thoughts in "Morning Manny." Complete with explanations! 


Redskins' QB Kirk Cousins struggled to take advantage of big opportunities on 3rd and 1 situations:

The Washington Redskins faced six separate 3rd and 1 scenarios in this game. They dialed up a pass play each time, which caused a bit of an uproar for some. Yet, of the six attempts -- four were convertible, one was completed and the other was a botched snap. Per my personal film study, two of those should've-been conversions were potential touchdowns. The Redskins drew up tendency breakers and trusted their QB Kirk Cousins to make the plays. Unfortunately, he was unable to rise to the occasion.   

In the first quarter, the Redskins faced a third and one that had the potential to be a big gain or touchdown. It was a pass to Jordan Reed and it was a brilliant play design. The Redskins hid Reed on the right side of the line with Vernon Davis and Niles Paul next to him. With only one WR outside, it gave a strong run look. Reed was open off-the-snap. Cousins needed to stand there, take a hit and make the throw. Instead he faded and threw a lazy ball off his backfoot. It was the first of several missed opportunities. Cousins would later miss Vernon Davis on a potential touchdown and a routine sprint right throw to Reed.

“We had a couple good looks in the passing game," said Head Coach Jay Gruden of the frequent 3rd and 1 passes. "You know, the first one, we had Matt [Jones] in the flat and Kirk [Cousins] opted to throw it to Jordan Reed and we missed him. And then the second one we had Jordan on a little roll right pass and Kirk missed the throw and usually makes that throw. We tried a fourth-and-one run with Matt, we didn’t get it. We got a fourth-and-one run that he did get it. So, it’s a very big, strong defensive front. We thought that we could outflank them to the flat a couple of times. We had the looks that we wanted; we just didn’t execute properly.”

The one time Washington did successfully execute a 3rd and 1 pass, they had a gain of 16 yards. These were good playcalls that were tendency breakers and would've given the Redskins yardage in chunks. 

You can find Emmanual on Twitter @manny_benton.

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