EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Washington Redskins had hoped they were a different team and Kirk Cousins a different quarterback. If that's the case, they did not show it Thursday in the 32-21 loss to the New York Giants -- and it started early with an interception that left the Redskins in a big hole.
Cousins, who now has thrown nine interceptions in three games against the Giants, ran a favorite Redskins play: the play-action drift from inside their own territory. It has been a staple since Kyle Shanahan was calling plays. But Giants corner Prince Amukamara read the play perfectly and when Cousins unloaded the throw to Pierre Garcon, he was already running up for an easy interception.
This came on the series after a blocked punt resulted in a safety and 2-0 Giants lead. Amukamara's pick gave the Giants the ball at the 14-yard line and three plays later it was 9-0. Just like that, the good feelings from the past week evaporated and another nightmare unfolded. Turnovers continue to haunt the Redskins.
What it means: After losing for the seventh time in eight games at New York, the Redskins are 1-2 and back in a familiar spot: wondering what direction they will take. It's not as if Thursday's loss spoils the whole season, but if you're really a different team then you'd quit looking so bad in pivotal games. But the Redskins are a rebuilding team and this provided another reminder of the distance they must travel. A win at home against the Eagles next week would be a nice salve but the memory of this game will linger for a little while -- and provide a reminder of why it's tough to trust this team.
What were they thinking? Back to Cousins. On his second interception, he was forced to his right and tried to force a ball to well-covered tight end Derek Carrier. Cousins tried to sneak it to his inside, but he was so tightly covered that the defender poked it into the air where it was intercepted by Uani Unga. What looked like a possible scoring drive was, again, ruined by a bad throw.
One reason to freak out: Well, tight end Jordan Reed remains a big threat, finishing with six catches for 96 yards. Reed was a mismatch for the Giants and certainly was in position for scoring catches that Cousins missed.
One reason to panic: It's not just Cousins' play -- he missed too many throws in the first half -- but a number of things: injuries, a running game that never got untracked and a defense that couldn't produce a big play or crucial stop.
Ouch: The Redskins were hit hard by injuries, with two seemingly more worrisome: Corner DeAngelo Hall left in the third quarter with a toe injury while guard Shawn Lauvao left in the first half with an ankle injury.
Stat watch: Morris ran the ball only six times, the fewest amount of his career (previous low: eight carries). That's partly due to the score as well as Jones' presence.