GB-WAS grades: Kirk Cousins, Josh Norman earn top grades in Redskins’ win

Highest-graded players and top takeaways from the Redskins' Week 11 win over the Packers.

| 7 months ago
(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

GB-WAS grades: Kirk Cousins, Josh Norman earn top grades in Redskins’ win

Washington Redskins 42, Green Bay Packers 24

Here are the top-graded players and biggest storylines from Washington’s Week 11 win over Green Bay. 

Washington Redskins

Quarterback grade: Kirk Cousins, 85.5

Kirk Cousins solidifies case for big payday

Kirk Cousins saved his best game of the season for Sunday Night Football, and had arguably one of the best games of his career. Cousins completed 18 of 25 passes for 331 yards, three touchdowns, and a 153.8 QB rating while throwing from a clean pocket, and on the rare occasion that he faced pressure (just seven dropbacks), he still completed three of five passes and had an 88.8 QB rating. Cousins was methodical in attacking the Packers’ cornerbacks; he completed 16 of 18 passes for 282 yards, all three of his touchdowns, and a perfect 158.3 passer rating when targeting a receiver covered by either Ladarius Gunter, Micah Hyde, or Quinten Rollins.

Kirk Cousins vs pressure

Top offensive grades:

QB Kirk Cousins, 85.5

T Ty Nsekhe, 83.2

TE Jordan Reed, 79.5

WR Pierre Garçon, 77.5

WR Jamison Crowder, 76.9

Passing attack leads Washington offense

With Cousins having such a great game, it’s no surprise to see some of his pass-catchers finish within the top-five highest-graded offensive players. Garçon, Reed and Crowder combined to catch 14 of 16 targets for 297 yards and two touchdowns; Cousins had a 158.3 QB rating when targeting either of those three. Ty Nsekhe led the offensive line with an 84.5 run-blocking grade and allowed just one pressure in pass protection. Nsekhe was really the only offensive linemen to have a positive game in terms of run blocking; Shawn Lauvao, Spencer Long, and Brandon Scherff all finished with poor grades as run blockers, and if you take out Rob Kelley’s 66-yard run to close out the game, Washington averaged just 2.9 yards per carry.

Top defensive grades:  

CB Josh Norman, 85.2

DT Chris Baker, 82.3

CB Kendall Fuller, 78.0

DE Cullen Jenkins, 77.6

CB Bashaud Breeland, 77.4

Starting corners shine, while safeties are a liability in coverage

While the Washington defense did allow quite a bit in the passing game, starting CBs Josh Norman and Bashaud Breeland certainly were not responsible for the most part. Norman was targeted five times and allowed just one 13-yard catch, but it did go for a touchdown. He also forced the fumble that sealed the win for Washington. On the other side, Breeland allowed just 9 total yards on three receptions and broke up a pass. At safety, Donte Whitner and Duke Ihenacho allowed completions on all of their 11 combined targets.

Green Bay Packers

Quarterback grade: Aaron Rodgers, 79.5

Rodgers still having some accuracy issues

This wasn’t a bad night overall for Aaron Rodgers. He had a few nice deep passes, and interestingly enough, most came heading into the wind. Turnovers have been much more of an issue for him this season than in years past, but he took care of the ball against the Redskins. While Rodgers did have the nice downfield throws, he’s still missing on more throws than when at his peak, particularly on the short, easy attempts. The wind may have been a factor to a degree, but Cousins had relatively no problem hitting receivers in stride.

Aaron Rodgers vs pressure

Top offensive grades:

T David Bakhtiari, 85.5

G Lane Taylor, 80.0

QB Aaron Rodgers, 79.5

TE Richard Rodgers, 78.0

T Bryan Bulaga, 76.0

Offense puts up 24 points, but not enough to keep pace

With injuries at running back and along the offensive line, the Green Bay rushing attack was pretty non-existent. James Starks ran the ball well, but didn’t have a ton of room to really get things going. Out of his 25 rushing yards, 23 came after contact. Outside of Don Barclay, the offensive line did play well in pass protection. Barclay allowed four total QB pressures, while the other four starters and Jason Spriggs, who replaced Barclay after he left with an injury, allowed just three combined hurries on 51 passing plays.

Top defensive grades:

DE Mike Daniels, 81.2

DT Letroy Guion, 80.8

DE Kenny Clark, 79.9

OLB Julius Peppers, 78.7

S Morgan Burnett, 77.7

Secondary woes derail Packers’ defense

To start with the good, for 99 percent of the night, the Packers’ defense completely shut down Washington’s rushing attack. Daniels, Guion, Clark, and Peppers all finished the night with run-defense grades greater than 78.0, led by Daniels, who put up an 86.1 run-defense grade. No matter how good Green Bay was against the run though, they were exponentially worse against the pass. It was mentioned above that Kirk Cousins had a perfect, 158.3 QB rating when targeting Quinten Rollins, Ladarius Gunter, or Micah Hyde, and the Packers’ struggles at cornerback tonight highlighted a problem that’s been plaguing them all season. For the season, opposing QBs have a 136.3 QB rating when targeting any of Green Bay’s cornerbacks who have tallied at least 200 snaps.

PFF Game-Ball Winner: Redskins QB Kirk Cousins

PFF’s player grading process includes multiple reviews, which may change the grade initially published in order to increase its accuracy. Learn more about how we grade and access grades for every player through each week of the NFL season by subscribing to Player Grades.

| Analyst

Matt has been an analyst for PFF since 2013. He is also a contributor to 120 Sports and a former NCAA Division-III football player.

  • GBPFan12

    Well… at least we get early draft picks compared to previous years.
    Resign Perry and let Peppers go, draft someone that’ll eventually have to replace Clay on the outside and get a speedy CB to replace Shields.

    • Joe Doe

      Earning early draft picks pales in comparison to the fact the Dom Capers chapter should be coming to an end. The way I see it, he has been bad since day 1. His system is so bad, and the reason it was serviceable the year they won the Super Bowl was that Clay was remarkable (likely on ‘roids) and the transcendent talent of Charles Woodson could create turnovers out of a defunct secondary scheme.

      It’s my contention that true Packers fans are those hoping for losses rather than wins. This organization is overly complacent, hence why Dom has been around this long while always achieving below the talent they have on the defensive side of the football. They have to be significantly under .500 to make the changes that are needed. Moreover, struggles aside, having Rodgers at quarterback, being in a tame media market and having a winning culture allows the Packers to draw the coaches that underperforming teams would love to have.

    • crosseyedlemon

      And if that doesn’t work, they can always approach the Eagles and ask them if they have another Reggie White they don’t want.