"I don't think I've ever been apart of a team that had seven turnovers and still had a chance to win the game."
That was the theme of Sunday's defeat, articulated by Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan to the media after the 27-26 loss vs. the Atlanta Falcons.
With five fumbles and two interceptions, the Redskins turned the ball over the most times in one game in the NFL this season.
Despite the turnovers, the Redskins found themselves down only a score as the fourth quarter ticked away, allowing quarterback Kirk Cousins to lead the offense 80 yards for a touchdown to Santana Moss.
Instead of kicking the extra point and go into overtime, Mike Shanahan chose to go for the win and attempt a two-point conversion. The play failed and the decision to go for two was one of many topics discussed today by Chris Cooley and Chris Russell on the Monday Morning Redskins Roundup.
During his playing days, Cooley had three two-point conversions; one each vs. Indianapolis in 2006, Detroit in 2007 and Dallas 2010.
As a former player, Cooley endorsed the try:
"What I love about it is that Coach Shanahan is coaching for his players right now. That's very true because those players all wanted to go for two, there was no question that they wanted to go for two. Going for two was the key."
There was no hesitation on Shanahan's part, as the Cousins completed 10-of-13 pass attempts on the final drive and the team had one timeout to spare.
Shanahan stood near an official on the sideline and said he was comfortable calling the timeout if the defense lined up in an unfavorable formation. The Redskins liked the matchup, but the Falcons defended well anyway.
"Ultimately, [the Falcons] made a great play call against our play call to win the game," Cooley said. "I think Kirk did a great job of keeping the play alive and giving it a chance but I liked the idea of going for two."
Looking at the X's and O's, Cooley explained that top receiver Pierre Garçon was the hot read on the play.
"From what I understand, it was a play that they absolutely loved throughout the week. Kyle had expected an all-out blitz situation inside the 5-[yard line]," Cooley said.
"They had a 'short pick' on, where [receiver] Aldrick Robinson would set a pick that would set Pierre [Garçon] open into the flat. If you watched throughout the game, the Falcons did a great job of picking [tight end Tony] Gonzalez open, the same kind of idea…the defender walked outside of Garçon, thus making it nearly impossible to pick and get out into the flat like they wanted to."
Cousins was tough on himself after the game, taking the blame for his two interceptions, fumble and incomplete pass on the two-point conversion.
Cooley praised the second-year quarterback that showed veteran composure and hunger to play better after a disappointing defeat.
"What I do like about Kirk Cousins is what he said after the game," Cooley explained. "I like that he is able to take that responsibility as a young player to understand what he needs to do better to make his team better.
"There's a lot that Kirk could have said, 'Hey, look what I did for this football team.' In turn, he said, 'This is on me, it's about winning.' I love that in him."