Once a franchise savior, Robert Griffin III is now a quarterback that everyone keeps waiting for him to play like before but probably can’t. Kirk Cousins stepped up for him and not for the first time showed he’s much better in the current offensive system the Washington Redskins are using, and it didn’t hurt to face a team as bad as the Jacksonville Jaguars, coming away with the 41-10 victory.
Cousins also had to deal with DeSean Jackson leaving the field with a minor injury, which shouldn’t keep him out of next week’s game. Things aren’t quite clear about Griffin when it comes to when he’ll be able to play again, but one thing is clear: That dangerous playing style Gruden has been trying to force out of Griffin for the most part isn’t gone, and once against it caused him to be injured.
Cousins finished with 22-of-33 for 256 yards and two touchdown passes to Niles Paul and Darrel Young. The running game had an easy time against a broken down Jaguars team, which seemed to have leave its spirit behind in Philadelphia after dropping a big led there on the opening week. Alfred Morris ran for two touchdowns and 85 yards, Silas Redd added another one. The Redskins finished with a total of 449 yards on offense, holding the Jaguars to 148.
The defense helped out quite a bit. The Jaguars quarterback protection was a joke, as Chad Henne was sacked 10 times during the game. He managed to avoid fumbling the ball, but he was intercepted once, and will probably be having nightmares about Ryan Kerrigan for a while after getting sacked by the linebacker four times during the game. Through the first three quarters of the game, he had 8 completions while being sacked eight times.
Cousins throwing for over 250 yards with two touchdowns while not being intercepted is something Griffin has managed only twice in his career. The Redskins are trying to teach him something new, and Griffin does very well when throwing from inside the pocket. But he can’t restrain himself from going on dangerous runs. Not being as quick and fast as he was for Baylor or pre-injury during his rookie season, he’s not helping anyone by trying to make things happen all the time with his feet.
Cousins fits the current system better. Maybe Griffin will eventually learn how to handle the new orders and regime. But for now, if winning at the moment is what’s important for the Redskins, than giving Cousins the go ahead to start for them, no matter if Griffin is injured or not, is probably the wiser decision to make, even if it means that hailing Griffin as the face of the franchise for the next decade was a bit too rash of a decision.