Kirk Cousins’ first game without Sean McVay didn’t go very well.
McVay, credited during his three-year stint as Washington’s offensive coordinator with helping to develop Cousins as a productive quarterback, has moved on to coach the Rams. Cousins and Washington suffered a rough 30-17 loss to Philadelphia in Sunday’s season opener.
Cousins, who had the third-most passing yards in the NFL last season, completed 23 of 40 attempts for 240 yards, one touchdown and one interception, and was sacked four times.
“It’s a combination of factors,” Cousins told reporters after the game. “But there’s no doubt we’re going to say this week, ‘Hey, we’ve got to protect better. We’ve got to hold up better.’ … And any time I can be more decisive or progress more quickly, I’m going to try to do that, because (an) NFL pass rush is getting home quick, regardless of how good the protection is.”
Only twice in 16 games last season did Cousins pass for fewer than 250 yards.
These are complicated times for Cousins, and not just because Washington has rebuild its receiving corps.
Washington used its franchise-player tag on Cousins for a second consecutive offseason, rather than sign him to a new contract, and Cousins widely is expected to leave the team as a free agent after this season.
WHO’S COACHING WASHINGTON?
Jay Gruden is in his fourth season with only a wild-card playoff game loss to show for it, and Washington is starting over this year with a new offensive coordinator (Matt Cavanaugh, promoted from quarterbacks coach) and defensive coordinator (Greg Manusky, promoted from outside linebackers coach).
The ties run deep in this game. Gruden promoted McVay to be his offensive coordinator in 2014, and McVay worked alongside Wes Phillips, Washington’s tight ends coach. When McVay got the Rams’ job, he hired Phillips’ father, Wade, to be his defensive coordinator. Joe Barry, the Rams’ linebackers coach and assistant head coach, was fired as Washington’s defensive coordinator after last season.
BY THE NUMBERS
— 264: Yards totaled by Washington in last week’s loss to Philadelphia. Washington averaged 377.9 last season, fifth in the league.
— 2: Number of 1,000-yard receivers who left Washington last season, as Pierre Garcon signed with San Francisco and DeSean Jackson signed with Tampa Bay.
— 12: Tackles last week by linebacker Zach Brown, who signed with Washington in April.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Tight end Jordan Reed is a…