Jay Gruden adamant in keeping Kirk Cousins his starter

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Jay Gruden didn't even allow himself a moment to digest the question.

At no point during Thursday's 32-21 loss to the New York Giants -- a loss where the score gave off a sense that the game was actually somewhat contested -- did the Washington Redskins coach think about switching quarterbacks and going to Colt McCoy.

Kirk Cousins will remain his starter.

"No. No. Kirk is fine, we just have to play better around him," Gruden said. "There's no quarterback controversy."

Gruden's message was simple: The Redskins need to be a better football team altogether. This conclusion was made despite the Redskins having more passing yards, rushing yards, first downs and fewer penalties than the Giants. A blocked punt early in the first quarter and a plodding offensive line likely will shoulder most of the blame.

When looked at independent of game circumstances, Cousins' numbers are a bit alarming: 29 turnovers over his last 17 games and two interceptions or more in eight of his 17 starts. In three games against the division-rival Giants, Cousins has thrown one touchdown and has eight picks.

On Thursday night, there were at least two opportunities for Cousins to hit tight end Jordan Reed -- the one receiver the Giants could not consistently cover all night -- in the back of the end zone.

Despite this, Gruden remained steadfast. A season -- and offseason, really -- removed from a near constant rotation of quarterbacks has likely forced him to shy away from opening the door to another option under center.

To that point, Robert Griffin III wasn't even active Thursday.

"It's great," Cousins said afterward of Gruden's support. "But I made a couple bad plays tonight and I gotta find a way to clean those up."

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