Alex Smith trade gives a Redskins a quarterback an awful lot like Kirk Cousins


Alex Smith’s statistics review agreeably to Kirk Cousins in all though a few areas. (Ed Zurga/AP)

The Washington Redskins, in a overwhelming move, acquired quarterback Alex Smith from a Kansas City Chiefs Tuesday night for a third-round collect and cornerback Kendall Fuller, effectively ending a reign of Kirk Cousins.

Since apropos Washington’s starting quarterback in 2015, Cousins has completed 1,132 of 1,689 attempts (67 percent) for 13,176 yards, 81 touchdowns and 36 interceptions. His passer rating of 97.5 over that camber ranks sixth among 24 quarterbacks with during slightest 1,000 pass attempts. The 5 quarterbacks forward of him embody three future Hall of Famers, Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers, 2016 MVP Matt Ryan and Russell Wilson. Only 4 quarterbacks have been improved — Brady, Brees, Ryan and Ben Roethlisberger — if we use practiced net yards per pass, an updated chronicle of passer rating that has a slightly higher association to organisation wins. Luckily for a Redskins, a newly acquired Smith ranks seventh in passer rating and eighth in adjusted net yards per pass among this organisation of 24 competent quarterbacks.

The normal numbers — and a some-more complicated metric, practiced net yards per pass — illustrate how tighten in prolongation any of these passers has been to one another over a past 3 seasons. However, a diversion charters during Pro Football Focus rated Smith as a ninth-best passer in 2017, 10 slots forward of Cousins. ESPN’s Total Quarterback Rating had Smith as a seventh-most profitable passer final season, awarding his efforts a 61.8 QBR, suggesting his organisation would be expected to win about 62 percent of a time given that turn of performance. Cousins, meanwhile, ranked 15th with a 52.4 QBR.

To be fair, Smith set career bests in yards thrown (4,042), touchdown passes (26), interception rate (5 out of 505 throws, 1 percent) and passer rating (104.7), that also led a joining in 2017. If we review that year with Cousins’s best, his 2016 campaign, a results, during slightest in terms of QBR, are a lot closer. Cousins was deliberate a sixth-most profitable passer in 2016 with a 66.5 QBR.

The dual had allied formula on low balls — one of a categorical criticisms for both quarterbacks — during a 2015, 2016 and 2017 seasons. Cousins finished 41 percent of his passes roving 20 or some-more yards past a line of struggle averaging 14.5 yards per chuck with a 106.8 passer rating. Smith finished 42 percent of his low passes, averaging 15.5 yards per try and a 111.2 passer rating. The joining normal in those 3 categories was 35 percent, 12.1 and 87.2, respectively.

Cousins has a corner in opening both in a purify slot and underneath pressure, producing a passer rating of 109.4 and 70.6, respectively, over a past 3 seasons. Smith incited in passer ratings of 106.6 and 66.4 in those situations. To Cousins’s credit, Washington’s pass-blocking ability was ranked 26th twice by Pro Football Focus: once in 2015 and again this past season, after a call of injuries forced a series of starters from a lineup. Its descent line finished 10th in 2016 when a section was mostly healthy. Kansas City, meanwhile, saw a pass-blocking section rated No. 9 in 2015, No. 14 in 2016 and No. 9 again in 2017, giving Smith a advantage even if the end formula don’t have as most to uncover for it.

Smith also was asked to run significantly some-more play-action passes than Cousins, generally recently. In 2017, Smith ran a play-action play on 24 percent of his dump backs, a sixth-highest rate in a NFL. His passer rating on those throws was 103.8 compared to 92.4 on non play-action passes. Coach Jay Gruden had Cousins run play-action usually 19 percent of a time, that is bizarre deliberation he led a joining in passer rating on play-action passes (129.7) final season. The Redskins ran play movement 18 percent of a time in 2016 and 19 percent in 2015, indicating this is indeed a character choice, and not one that was adopted to soothe the burden on a eternally banged-up descent line final season.

Where Smith will expostulate Redskins fans bananas is on third and fourth down, as he doesn’t always get a round past a first-down pen on those pass attempts. Dating behind to 2015, usually 41 percent of his passes on third or fourth down trafficked at least one yard past a first-down marker, a lowest rate among passers with during slightest 300 attempts over a past 3 years. Cousins isn’t significantly aloft (46 percent) though he does have a aloft execution rate on those throws (54 percent) than Smith (50 percent) heading to a aloft rate of initial downs.

There’s also a large difference in age: Cousins turns 30 years aged in Aug while Smith will be 34 years aged in May. Smith’s reported prolongation runs by his age-38 season. Since a partnership of 1970, there have been 27 quarterbacks to chuck during slightest 300 passes and say a passer rating that was above a joining normal in during slightest dual seasons occurring between their 34th and 38th birthday. Just 11 have finished it this century and usually 4 of those — Brady, Brees, Roethlisberger and Philip Rivers — are active. Compare that to 57 quarterbacks — 12 of that are still active — to chuck during slightest 300 passes and say a passer rating that was above a joining normal in during slightest dual seasons occurring between their 30th and 34th birthday and it is easy to see because Cousins is the improved long-term play. Of course, that fact also will expostulate his seeking cost in giveaway agency, a cost a Redskins were apparently reluctant to meet.

Using practiced net yards per attempt, a complicated chronicle of passer rating, here’s how a aging bend would demeanour for a quarterback from ages 30 to 34 and another from ages 34 to 39:


Read more:

Kirk Cousins’s reign in Washington comes to an unaccepted end

Kirk Cousins responds to ‘special’ assessments from Scot McCloughan, Mike Shanahan

Roger Goodell’s opinion of Redskins’ name unvaried after Chief Wahoo decision

Doug Williams’s Super Bowl win 30 years ago altered a diversion for black quarterbacks

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