Redskins: Kirk Cousins, Aaron Rodgers, George S. Patton and ESPN in the Age of Trump

Redskins: Kirk Cousins, Aaron Rodgers, George S. Patton and ESPN in the Age of Trump


Redskins: Kirk Cousins, Aaron Rodgers, George S. Patton and ESPN in the Age of Trump

If your need more proof that it’s a small world and a round one, look no further than this weekend’s Packers at Redskins game.

The Pack returns to FedEx Field for the second time this year. They beat the host Redskins in the playoffs last season. It’s Round Two of Kirk Cousins vs. Aaron Rodgers.

Rodgers is the player that Cousins agnostics point to finish the sentence, “He’s not [Rodgers.]”

Cousins is ESPN’s poster boy for why they invented the Total QB Rating.

“Cousins’ errors cost him the game, and despite throwing for 119 more yards than Rodgers, Cousins had a Total QBR nearly 30 points lower. QBR is a measure of efficiency, so Rodgers created far more value per play than Cousins did.”

Regular Hog Heaven readers know that we lean towards signing Kirk to a long-term deal. But if Hog Heaven learned anything from last week’s political calamity (Hey, I’m a Democrat.), it is the folly of pooh-poohing views that challenge one’s own.


“If we all think alike, somebody isn’t thinking.” ~ Gen. George S. Patton

NFL Week 10 is the perfect time to look at the argument from the other side.

Cousins’ QBR on ESPN

Kirk Cousins stands in 11th place on’s Quarterback Rating, just outside the Top 10 and tied with Oakland’s Derek Carr (66.6 QBR).

Rodgers’ QBR is 72.0. He ranked sixth place. As the NFL sees it, Cousins ranks higher than Rodgers on passing yards and passer rating.

That’s the point that Trump ESPN makes. Polls Stats alone are not a true reflection of what’s happening on the field. makes their case for its QB Rating using Rodgers vs. Cousins in that playoff game. It’s a long read. We summarize it here.

What is the QBR and why have it?

“ESPN’s Total Quarterback Rating (Total QBR), which was released in 2011, has never claimed to be perfect, but unlike other measures of quarterback performance, it incorporates all of a quarterback’s contributions to winning, including how he impacts the game on passes, rushes, turnovers and penalties. Also, since QBR is built from the play level, it accounts for a team’s level of success or failure on every play to provide the proper context….

“Omitted from Cousins’ stat line, for example, are his 6 sacks taken, 3 fumbles (1 lost) and 2 pre-snap penalties on Washington’s offense. Rodgers, on the other hand, took only one sack, did not fumble and drew a number of defensive penalties that kept drives alive. Each quarterback impacted the game through these plays, but none of them are reflected in the traditional stats.” Emphasis mine.

Cousins was not equal to the moment. Even his backers get why the front office wants to see more from Kirk in the big games.

It’s 10 games later now. Cousins makes his 35th regular season start. Savvy Rodgers makes his 129th. That’s a telling difference.

What will Kirk’s performance tell us Sunday night?

Probably that before the season we should have signed him to a long-term deal at $18+ million per year.

Link: How is Total QBR calculated?


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