Morning Manny: Kirk Cousins Has Been Feeding The Critics In December

Kirk Cousins has not had a good December and is on the verge of ending his "evaluation season" on a sour note.

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! 

So far, Kirk Cousins is ending his "evaluation season" on a sour note:

Through three games in the month of December (1-2), Kirk Cousins has a 63.81 completion percentage, throwing three touchdowns and three interceptions in that span. He has in theory resorted back to the Cousins that started the season in September with a 63.71 completion percentage, three touchdowns and three interceptions. Cousins also went 1-2 in the month of September.

In what has otherwise been an inconsistent season for him, Cousins started to silence doubters in November (72.41 completion percentage, 8 touchdowns and zero interceptions). He went 2-1 in that span. However, when we reflect over this season in totality, I think both ends of the "Cousins-spectrum" will leave this year with their stance unchanged. That includes the individuals within the organization who are skeptical about giving Cousins a long term deal.

If there's one word that rings throughout the Washington Redskins organization when discussing Kirk Cousins, it's consistency. The team and fans alike want to see consistency from Cousins and it just has not happened. This is why the topic of whether he should be signed long-term or not is so polarizing. One end of the spectrum says that Cousins is a franchise QB and the other thinks he's not. In reality, Cousins is not that good and he's not that bad. After 15 games in his second year as a starter, I'm left with the same opinion I've consistently had -- Kirk Cousins is simply good enough.

I believe there are four tiers when it comes to grading a player: elite (which is a small group), above average, average and back-up quality. Obviously Cousins is better than back-up quality. But in all honesty, I struggle to box him in any of those other categories. He is too inconsistent. 

The Redskins have lost three of their last four game and have given up the sixth playoff seed twice. They've lost for plenty reasons, including an inconsistent ground game and a putrid defense. But games like Monday Night against the Carolina Panthers simply cannot happen for Kirk Cousins. Gazing at the stat total (32/47, 315 yards and 1 interception) only further speaks to why statistics should be tabled when discussing Cousins. With all that was at stake, including an opportunity to control the team's playoff destiny, Cousins sat for the occasion. He played timid and it had a trickle down effect. It's not like plays weren't there to be made. This was a game the Redskins needed their QB to step up and ball out. In reality, this is a game Cousins needed for himself to prove he can step up in big time moments. If you're going to pay a guy $23-$25 million a year, you better believe that guy can win you big time games. Cousins had an opportunity to further force the Redskins hand by winning that game. Of course, there's still two games to play and Cousins could rebound. But if he doesn't, this Monday Night performance will be a huge blemish on his evaluation sheet.

You can find Emmanual on Twitter @manny_benton.

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