Kirk Cousins explains his baffling decision to kneel the ball before half

Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins played an almost perfect game in Washington's 38-24 win over the Eagles on Saturday. However, it wasn't perfect though, thanks in large part to the fact that right before halftime, Cousins made one of the worst clock management decisions in recent NFL history.  

With just six seconds left in the first half, the clock was running and the Redskins needed to stop it somehow because they were out of timeouts. 

The obvious move here: Spike the ball. 

Washington was at Philly's 6-yard line, so a simple spike would've set the Redskins up for an easy field goal. 

Instead of a spike though, Cousins did this. 

That's a kneel down, which doesn't stop the clock, so the half was over.

Cousins decision was so baffling that even Redskins coach Jay Gruden was confused. 

"I don't know why Kirk took a knee," Gruden said during a halftime interview

So what exactly was Cousins thinking? 

Basically, he had a "lapse" in judgement. 

"There was a lot of confusion with what the play call was," Cousins said, via USA Today. "For lack of a better word, I just had a lapse in my decision-making and took a knee when I should've thrown the ball away to stop the clock. We were fortunate it didn't end up hurting us."

As for Gruden, he was proud of Cousins for not collapsing in the second half after ending the first half on such a sour note. 

"He came in here and we had the debacle at the end of the half and a normal guy could have gone in and tanked there," Gruden said after the game, via the Washington Post. "He just came in there and kept his composure just like he has all year. Just like he has done his whole career. He kept his composure and just kept his nose to the grindstone and kept battling and competing and doing what he's supposed to do, man."

The good news for the the Redskins is that the Cousins blunder didn't cost them in the end. Washington won by two touchdowns and that was thanks in large part to Cousins, who threw for 365 yards and four touchdowns. 

Not even Kirk Cousins knows why he took a knee here. (CBS/NFL Network)
Not even Kirk Cousins knows why he took a knee here. (CBS/NFL Network)
CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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