The Oakland Raiders went into Washington looking like they might be ready to take a big step forward this season. They left Washington realizing their defense remains a significant issue. Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins shredded the defense to the tune of completing 83.3 percent of his passes for 365 yards, with three touchdowns. He finished the game with a passer rating of 150.7, and that all helped earn him Week 3 NFC Offensive Player of the Week.
Cousins struggled in Week 1 against the Philadelphia Eagles, completing 57.5 percent of his passes for 240 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He bounced back in Week 2, completing 66.7 percent of his passes for 179 yards and one touchdown.
Cousins is playing out the second straight season on the franchise tag, and will once again be looking for a new contract when this season ends. If Washington decides to use the franchise tag for a third straight season, it will cost them $34 million and change in 2018. They have some cap space and might be willing to eat it, but it’s hard to see a third straight tag happening.
Washington travels to face the Kansas City Chiefs, who are on fire, but have just enough question marks in their secondary that Cousins could find himself with a solid matchup. After that, Washington has their bye and then hosts our San Francisco 49ers in Week 6. It will be the 49ers third straight road game after games in Arizona and Indianapolis. That is far from ideal, and will be a huge challenge for the 49ers on both sides of the ball.