Kirk Cousins once asked “How you like me now?”
On Sunday evening, the answer is that they like him just fine in Green Bay and Detroit.
The Packers and Lions will square off on Sunday Night Football with the NFC North title in the balance, but both teams will live to see Wild Card weekend. Cousins was intercepted by Giants cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in Giants territory with just over a minute to play in Sunday’s game and the Giants left Washington with a 19-10 win when Trevin Wade recovered a fumble for a touchdown on an attempted lateral-filled final play by the Redskins. The loss ends any hope that the Redskins had of making the playoffs.
Cousins put together a pair of scoring drives to tie the game at 10 earlier in the fourth quarter, but he threw three straight incompletions to kill a drive right after the defense forced another three-and-out. That defense broke down on the next Giants possession when little-used wideout Tavarres King ran right past cornerback Greg Toler for a 44-yard gain that set up a go-ahead field goal by Robbie Gould.
That left Cousins with a little over two minutes to drive for a chance to win or tie the game and he completed four passes to move the team close to Dustin Hopkins’ field goal range. Rodgers-Cromartie stepped in front of a pass intended for Pierre Garcon for his second interception of the game and the result was no longer in doubt.
The Giants will be on the road again next weekend, but they won’t know where they’re going until the Packers and Lions are done with their game. They will travel to the winner of that game and they will be bringing a stout defense with them wherever they go. The offense still has some questions, especially when Odell Beckham was out of the game on Sunday, but they did run the ball well against Washington and avoided the turnovers that helped sink the Redskins.
Cousins was 22-of-35 for 287 yards and a touchdown, but the two interceptions — the first was also in Giants territory and came after a big play by Garcon that sparked a grumbling crowd in the second half — and the first-half shutout will loom larger in the memory of this outing. Cousins is now off to an uncertain future as his contract is up and he faces the possibility of free agency, a long-term deal or another franchise tag in the coming months.
Sunday’s loss may complicate that decision, but two years as a starter gives the team plenty of data to use when deciding if Cousins will remain the man in Washington.