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Kirk Cousins Recognized For Strong Targeting On Particular Route

Kirk Cousins is not the best quarterback in the NFL, but he excels on one particular type of play.

We wait. We wait some more. As the Washington Redskins ponder how to precede with or without Kirk Cousins under center during the 2017 season, Cousins was recognized as an honorable mention for best quarterback targeting post and corner routes by Pro Football Focus.

"Cousins was the only other quarterback to throw for a higher than 60-percent completion percentage rate on post and corner routes. Cousins completed 32 of 48 passes and was second in the league with a 140.6 QB rating, throwing for 881 yards and 9 touchdowns (both league-best marks). Cousins had the seventh-highest aDOT [average depth of target] in the league at 24.08 and averaged 2.69 seconds per attempt. He was dominant versus zone coverages as he completed 20 of his 34 attempts for 610 yards and 4 touchdowns. On his throws of 40 yards or longer down the field versus zone coverage, Cousins completed 4 of 7 passes for 3 touchdowns and 253 yards."

Early on in his career, Cousins was criticized for not having a great arm relative to Robert Griffin III, but his success on the second longest route in football, after go-routes, begs to differ. 

Some of Cousins success throwing down the field on corner, outward breaking, or post, inward breaking, routes could also explain why Washington was a strong team at moving the football in between the 20s, but struggled in the red zone where there was less space to work with.

The only quarterback PFF found better than Cousins in this category was Bengals passer Andy Dalton. Jay Gruden's former quarterback in Cincinnati also receiving the high praise from PFF may suggest that the Redskins head coach may have something to do with Cousins' strong execution on the route type.

The only NFC quarterbacks to be recognized multiple times on different routes by PFF were Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan. None of the three other NFC East quarterbacks, Eli Manning, Dak Prescott, and Carson Wentz, were ranked first or second in these categories.

Here is the full list of rankings for each route type:

  • Slants: Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan
  • Double move: Andrew Luck and Matthew Stafford
  • Go routes: Tom Brady and Matt Ryan
  • In routes and out routes: Matt Ryan and Aaron Rodgers
  • Post and corner routes: Andy Dalton and Kirk Cousins
  • Hitches and comebacks: Tom Brady and Russell Wilson
  • Crossing routes: Jameis Winston and Cody Kessler

Hope that helped distract you from contract talk for a few minutes. Now back to waiting.

Follow Neil on Twitter @NeilDalal96.

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