- The Washington Times
Sunday, November 19, 2017

NEW ORLEANS — With 31 seconds left in regulation at New Orleans’ 34-yard line, Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins was called for intentional grounding. The penalty was costly, pushing the Redskins out of field goal range and the Redskins went on to lose 34-31 in overtime to Saints.

So what happened?

Apparently, there was a mixup between the coaching staff and Cousins.

Redskins coach Jay Gruden said he was trying to get Cousins‘ attention to audible into a bubble screen to Jamison Crowder. Cousins said he thought the coaching staff wanted him to throw it by Crowder on the originally-designed run play.

Instead, Cousins kept the ball and threw it away to an outside zone and the refs threw the flag.

Both Cousins and Gruden, however, wondered why there was a flag thrown in the first place considering the ball went beyond the line of scrimmage. But there was no one in the area.

“I thought they were saying that if you just throw it by Jamison, in the general area of Jamison, there is an eligible in the area and there’s no penalty,” Cousins said. “So what I didn’t understand was had Jamison turned around and looked at me and the ball (had) been thrown past his head, up and away out of bounds, would that be a penalty? Is it just that he was not looking at me?”

Crowder ran his original route and didn’t turn around near Cousins.

“I thought if he had turned and looked at me and the ball had been 10 feet over his head, I could just say, ‘oh it slipped out of my hand, it was inaccurate,” Cousins said. “And that’s what I didn’t understand was how do you separate an inaccurate throw from a no eligible was in the area.”

Cousins said he didn’t take time to talk to the referees because he was trying to get the next play run.

“I can understand why the call was what it was, but it certainly hurt us,” Cousins said.

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