Remember back to last April when Kirk Cousins was drafted and the move was criticized by some. The point that was perhaps being missed, and more recently has been missed in the should RGIII run or not debate, is Griffin plays a dangerous style of football. In order to be as effective and dynamic as possible he needs to run and put the fear of running into the defenses. While most compare RGIII to Warren Moon, Randall Cunningham, and Michael Vick there is a much better and more accurate comp, and that is Steve Young.
Steve Young was both an accomplished runner and passer, and he played the game with a fast and loose style much like RGIII. The other big thing about Steve Young is he had Elvis Grbac, and that is where Kirk Cousins comes in. Yesterday against the Browns was Kirk Cousins first NFL starts and while he looked good in relief of RGIII last week against the Ravens there was a little mistrust going into this game. It is human nature to fear the unknown and it is the DC sports’ fans nature to distrust management. The drafting of Cousins was viewed as just another mistake made under Snyder and no one knew exactly what level of play the Redskins would receive on Sunday.
Kirk Cousins did not get off to a good start and it was starting to look like it would be a long day for the Redskins as his first four possessions went; punt, interception, punt, punt. With the Redskins trailing by seven it was on the fifth possession that Kirk Cousins would find Leonard Hankerson for a 54 yard touchdown pass on the first play of the drive. That play gave Cousins the confidence to do what was needed and from then on he was in a rhythm. On total for the day Cousins passed for 329 yards on 26 completions out of 37 attempts with 2 touchdowns and 1 interception.
As good of a day as it was for the back-up quarterback none of it would have been possible without the play of Pierre Garcon and Alfred Morris. After a rough first half Morris was able to find his groove in the second half as the Browns defense had to worry more and more about Kirk Cousins hooking up with Pierre Garcon. Morris finished with 87 yards on 27 rushes with 2 touchdowns. Garcon though was the difference make on offense. As soon as the game hit crunch time late in the third quarter and into the fourth he found a different gear. He played with the attitude of a man that would not be denied.
As impressive as the offense was once again credit needs to be handed out to the defense. The Redskins defense is one of the worst in football in allowing yards and scores, but they are one of the best in taking the ball away from the opposition. After creating two interception Sunday against the Browns the Redskins now rank fifth in the NFL in interceptions with 17. As poor as the defense looks in allowing yardage and scores they are good at taking the ball away. With how dynamic the Redskins offense has been this season, ranking third in total yardage, the ability of the defense to get the offense back on the field is not something to be overlooked and was a key in the Redskins victory against the Browns.
Moving forward this week there will be continued discussion over whether RGIII should play against a weak and disappointing Eagles team. If the doctors clear him there should be no question that RGIII should play. Something special is happening with Washington football and RGIII is at the center of it. Kirk Cousins, like most back-ups, is great in small doses, but RGIII is a difference maker with the ability to take over a game. All the Redskins have to do to win the NFC East is beat the Eagles and the Cowboys, and they have a much better shot of accomplishing that with RGIII on the field.