- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 16, 2012

Quarters

1 - It took 10 seconds to turn Kirk Cousins‘ first quarter as a starting quarterback from pretty weak to pretty good. On the first play of a drive, he rolled right and found Leonard Hankerson with a 54-yard scoring pass and the Redskins tied the score at 7. That was Washington’s first first down of the game. Earlier, Cousins threw an interception to set up the Browns’ touchdown. Cleveland only had to cover 6 yards, doing it in one play with a Trent Richardson touchdown.

2 - Kai Forbath, the rookie kicker who has yet to miss, hit a 44-yard field goal with 5:46 left in the half to give the Redskins a 10-7 lead. Cleveland then went on its first real drive of the game. The Browns gained 63 yards in their first six drives, but on this one, they covered 75 yards and capped it with Richardson’s second touchdown of the day. It gave Cleveland a 14-10 lead at the half.

Play of the game:Kirk Cousins‘ first NFL start started badly. He completed only one of his first six passes. Another was intercepted, setting up an easy Cleveland score. But late in the first quarter, Cousins opened a drive by finding Leonard Hankerson with a 54-yard touchdown pass. Perhaps it would have happened anyway, but Cousins was a different player from there. He finished 26 of 37 for 329 yards and two scores. So he was 25-31 after that 1-6 start.

3 - The Redskins took control very early in the quarter. Rob Jackson intercepted Browns rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden on the second play to put the Redskins to work on Cleveland’s 15. Alfred Morris finished the snuing drive by scoring from 3 yards out. Later in the quarter, Cousins found Hankerson from 2 yards out and Washington went into the final quarter with a 24-14 lead.

4 - Talk about continued control. Washington scored a touchdown on four of its first five possessions in the second half and would have had another had it not chosen to let the clock run out. Evan Royster ran one in early in the final quarter and Morris ran in another late in the quarter. After his slow start, Cousins finished with 329 passing yards and his first NFL victory as a starter.