First up for the Steelers this season is the Redskins, the reigning NFC East champions thanks to the efficiency of quarterback Kirk Cousins. In the last six games of 2015, he threw 14 touchdowns and one interception to lead a 5-1 finish. He finished his fourth season in the NFL with 29 passing touchdowns, 11 interceptions and five rushing touchdowns.
The Steelers' defensive gameplan should center on rattling Cousins, and the method to do so is well within their wheelhouse.
Last season, Cousins threw for 30 touchdowns, including his playoff game against the Packers. All but three of those came against man coverage schemes. The rest were against zone schemes. That is important to know when you realize that eight of his 11 interceptions were against zone defenses. And of the 29 times he was sacked last season, almost two-thirds came when he was trying to read zone coverage defenses.
Get the picture?
Here's a breakdown of the main Monday matchup as related to Cousins: