Coming off a career year in which he set numerous Redskins single-season records, Kirk Cousins on Wednesday was ranked the 85th-best player in the league by his peers.
Kirk Cousins' remarkable play during the 2015 season didn't go unnoticed across the league. The Washington Redskins quarterback on Wednesday night was announced as the No. 85 player on the NFL's annual Top 100 Players list, which is selected based on current player vote.
Cousins last year went from entrenched in a backup quarterback battle to being one of the best at his position by season's end, as he set single-season team records for attempts (543), completions (379), passing yards (4,166) and 300-yard passing games (seven).
Additionally, Cousins threw a touchdown pass in all 16 regular season games, becoming the first player in team history to throw a touchdown in all 16 games in a season since the adoption of the 16-game schedule in 1978.
While the Michigan State product had just six touchdowns to eight interceptions through the Redskins' first six games, recording a 2-4 record in the process, Cousins caught fire midseason and didn't stop putting up numbers in bunches.
Cousins threw 23 touchdowns to just three interceptions in the final 10 games of the season, with five different games in which he threw for at least three touchdowns to no interceptions while leading the Redskins to an NFC East title.
In the final five games of the season, Cousins threw 13 touchdown passes to just one interception, earning NFC Offensive Player of the Month honors for the month of December, becoming just the sixth player in franchise history to earn the honor.
"Now it's his team," Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said earlier this month. "We'll see the type of jump that he makes. He played pretty darn good last year. He was almost 70 percent completion, was very good with the football on his turnovers, and we expect him to make a major jump this year with just the control at the line of scrimmage with the protections [and] the cadence. Just simple things like that that people don't understand the importance of experience. It's going to be a great step for him [from] Year One to Year Two."
Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins on Wednesday was named to the NFL's 'Top 100 Players of 2016' list, checking in at No. 85.
Teammates also expect Cousins to take on a more vocal leadership style during the 2016 season, knowing full well he's the guy they're relying on to generate points.
But the calm and collected Cousins isn't feeling the pressure.
"He's the same guy – joking around at lunch today – that we've had in his first four years her," linebacker Ryan Kerrigan said in April. "If anything, any change that comes from him I think will be a positive one. I'm excited to see him continue to grow and continue to lead this team like he did last year."
With a full offseason to work with the first-team offense, too, tight end Jordan Reed expects Cousins to come out sharp early this season, just as he was during the tail end of the 2015 season.
"I just feel like Kirk is a real accurate passer, man, he also can read the defense really well," Reed said. "He did excellent last season at doing that. I feel like I can create separation for him and get open, timing, where he needs me to be and things like that. I think those are some reasons why we were effective last year."