LANDOVER, Md. – ‘Twas the night before Christmas, and Kirk Cousins dressed like a festive, joyful holiday tree.
After the Washington quarterback and his team cooked the Broncos like a Christmas goose, Cousins changed from his burgundy-and-gold uniform into a dark green suit, emblazoned with gingerbread men cookies and bright red ornaments, and a tie and shoes to match. Then The Little Drummer QB marched merrily from the locker room down the hall, decked with boughs of holly, into the interview area.
His wife Julie had purchased the hilarious, jolly ensemble, and packed it for him Sunday morning. “There aren’t many occasions you can wear this for. After a win in a press conference this is about the only place this will work,’’ Cousins said.
Fa la la la la la la la!
He looked like Chevy Chase out of “Christmas Vacation’’ or some yahoo who lives in nearby Chevy Chase, Md. In the first quarter on Christmas Eve, Kirk was the worst Cousins since Eddie and Catherine Johnson at the Griswolds.
Cousins had completed 1 of 7 passes for 6 yards and run once for seven more.
This is the dweeb the Broncos are slobbering to spend more than $150 million for as their quarterback next season?
The Broncos were leading 3-0, and Brock Osweiler was more effective.
John Elway was not stirring in his luxury suite at FedEx Field.
Then, though, Captain Kirk took over. He threw a touchdown pass to put Washington ahead to stay at halftime, 10-3.
Cousins would finish 19 of 37 for one yard shy of 300, with three touchdown passes (15, 48 and 31 yards), one interception (in the end zone) and a 94.3 quarterback rating. Cousins particularly relied on the play-action "keeper" bootleg series that he particularly prefers. I asked him if Mike Shanahan, who had drafted Cousins in 2013 and made him a starter, taught him the concept that Shanahan developed with quarterbacks Elway and Jake Plummer in Denver. "Yes" he simply said with a smile.
The shining star’s giddy-up game, the third best by a quarterback against the Broncos this season, and his post-game getup, which could have been found in Von Miller’s wardrobe, dazzled the defense.
“I’m with everybody else,’’ Miller said afterward when asked about the possibility of Cousins joining the Broncos before 2018. “Like I’ve said before, a lot of teams would literally kill to have a quarterback like that.’’
Von intended to say “figuratively."
As everyone in the wide world of the National Football League knows, Cousins could receive the franchise tag from the DC franchise for a third season – and earn almost $35 million. Or Washington could elect to allow him to become an unrestricted free agent rather than gulp and pay.
The Broncos certainly need a quarterback in the worst way. Their quarterbacks have played in the worst way this season.
Trevor Siemian is hurt (again).
Brock won’t be back, and Paxton Lynch, who was supposed to start on Sunday after recovering from an ankle injury, wasn’t ready, and, it could be assumed, didn’t actually want to play, anyway. Paxton the Pirate can join the others of his ilk in the Caribbean after next Sunday.
As I’ve noted previously and repeatedly, Cousins, 29, should be the Broncos’ first choice over the college quarterbacks and the other veteran free agents.
The two Shanahans – Mike and Kyle – always have believed in Cousins as a future Super Bowl quarterback.
In response to a question about his extensive improvement in reading defensive coverages, Cousins said Sunday that he "was asking that of myself in the beginning of 2015, and it wasn’t clicking, and I kept waiting . . . I remember when we played New England, and I shook Tom Brady’s hands after the game . . . and I said 'When did you start to click for you?’ and he said, 'It’s still clicking.'
“You know, the accumulation of knowledge is a powerful thing as (late coach) Bill Walsh said . . . .’’
Cousins is cerebral, athletic and experienced, and wears a funny suit.
He talked about wishing to “”build on’’ the Washington “brand,’’ so I asked if his statement meant he still had unfilled goals to achieve here.
“Who knows what will happen in the off-season?’’
He had said earlier that the outfit “will go back in the closet for 364 days.’’
Perhaps Kirk Cousins will bring it out again on Monday night, Dec. 24, 2018 after winning a game with the Broncos.
He would be a grand gift for the Broncos in time for next Christmas. Fa. La. La.