On an afternoon in which the Redskins' needed to be sharp, the offense had too many mistakes against the Patriots, recording at least seven drops throughout the game.
After preaching fundamentals and precision against a team that's undefeated, confident and nearly perfect each week, the Washington Redskins' offense came out flat on Sunday against the New England Patriots, falling by a final of 27-10.
After the Patriots scored on their opening drive and then recovered an onside kick, cornerback Will Blackmon forced and recovered a fumble, giving the ball to the Redskins for the first time all game.
But on their very first play from scrimmage, quarterback Kirk Cousins dropped back and placed the ball perfectly to Pierre Garçon, but the normally sure-handed receiver would drop the ball before it landed in the hands of the Patriots' Logan Ryan.
It was the first of at least seven drops on the day for the Redskins.
"Yeah, more than we're used to having," Cousins said after the game. "All these guys can catch the ball; they got natural hands. I'm not worried about it. Just a tough deal today, but something that they'll be able to bounce back from, they all have good hands."
Cousins added that he doesn't see the drops becoming a "pattern, but more of just an anomaly."
"I feel like each play was its own entity, you know, and some of these mistakes, they hurt you, they cost you," Cousins said. "But our guys are better than that. That's where, I guess, it's encouraging to know that that was more of a fluke than the norm. So, we will be able to get to work this week, correct those mistakes, and this performance will give us an edge in our preparation getting ready for the Saints."
The fourth-year quarterback, now halfway through his first season as the Redskins' full-time starter, looked sharp against New England in the pocket, unfazed by the hostile Gillette Stadium crowd and the fact the Patriots are playing like the best team in the NFL right now.
While he would complete just 22 of his 40 pass attempts for 217 yards, one touchdown and an interception, the Michigan State product was able to get the ball out quickly to his weapons.
On this day, though, the Redskins simply couldn't produce enough offense, as they scored just 10 points with the touchdown – a three-yard connection between Cousins and tight end Jordan Reed – coming very late in the game.
Check out these top photos from the Washington Redskins' 2015 Week 9 matchup against the New England Patriots Nov. 8, 2015, at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.
Their other scoring drive – a 23-yard field goal conversion by Dustin Hopkins – could have easily been a touchdown, but after driving 16 plays for 75 yards, the offense stalled out on New England's five-yard line.
"We always make a point of emphasis when we get down there, we got to come away with touchdowns, not field goals," Cousins said. "We've got to execute down there. It's tight windows. It's tight throws, good coverage so it's always challenging but we got to make it happen and we'll continue to try to make plays down there to come away with six or seven."
The Redskins now shift their attention to a home NFC matchup with the Saints.
The Saints were on a three-game winning streak before losing in overtime to the Titans last Sunday.
While their offense remains as one of the most potent attacks in the NFL, guided by Drew Brees, their defense, specifically in the passing game, has been woeful.
Through nine games, they've given up 24 touchdowns – five more than any other team – and are allowing nearly 300 passing yards per game.
"I don't think we have to do anything special, I think we just need to go back, watch the film, be hard on ourselves, and come out to practice next week with an edge to us," Cousins said. "In our preparation, and have everybody really add an edge to themselves, so that we get a good productive week of work and then come out next Sunday ready to perform at a high level."