Wide receivers Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson shrugged off their lack of involvement in the first half of Sunday’s loss to the Detroit Lions and said that game planning, rather than the defense, played the biggest role in their limited opportunities.
Garcon and Jackson both went without a catch during the first half of the 20-17 loss, and during that half, Washington managed only three points. Kirk Cousins targeted each wide receiver twice, but overthrew or underthrew each. Meanwhile, Cousins targeted slot receiver Jamison Crowder five times (completing four of those passes), tight end Vernon Davis four times (completing each of those passes) and running back Chris Thompson four times (all completions) and tight end Niles Paul once (also a completion).
Asked if the defense had done something to take he and Jackson away as threats, Garcon chuckled and said, “Naw, I don’t think anybody can take me and DeSean away, so that’s how I feel about that.”
Said Jackson, “It’s not about other teams it’s about us and what we do here. I think everything is planned out the way it’s going. It’s nothing anyone else is doing.”
In the second half, Cousins went to the two wide receivers more, targeting Jackson six more times (completing five passes for 35 yards), and Garcon three more times (completing two throws for 22 yards).
Garcon said some halftime adjustments were made, but didn’t know that the increase in targets stemmed from that.
“We always go in there at halftime talking about adjustments and things you want to do,” he said. “But when you’re out there, you’ve got to make adjustments on the fly. But, we always make adjustments at half time.”
Asked about the frustrations of not getting many opportunities in a close loss, Garcon said, “It’s part of the game. We just didn’t throw a lot to us, so, you’ve just got to keep moving onto the next play. Can’t really let that stop you.”
Jackson said losing proved more frustrating than anything.
“Definitely frustrating. We feel like we’ve got a lot of good players on this team. Feel like we should be winning.”
Cousins – despite not going to Garcon and Jackson, and despite not having Jordan Reed – had an effective game, completing 77 percent of his passes for 301 yards and a touchdown, while sporting a passer rating of 106.9, and also rushing for a touchdown.
Crowder led the team with seven catches for 108 yards (his second 100-yard receiving game of his two-year NFL career), and Davis had six catches for 79 yards. Meanwhile, Thompson had seven catches for 40 yards to go with 73 rushing yards on 12 carries.
Cousins has after some games admitted that he could have done a better job of looking for Garcon and Jackson. But Sunday, with the offense moving the ball through other avenues, he didn’t feel like he had missed opportunities.
“If we’re completing passes — I think I was like 30 of 39 — I may not be going to DeSean and Pierre every time, but we’re completing the football and going where my reads take me,” Cousins said.
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