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RG3 goes down late, but Kirk Cousins delivers to lead OT win
And if the sight of trainers tending to Griffin wasn’t enough to send the price of antacid through the roof in these parts, backup quarterback Kirk Cousins faced a two-point conversion needed to tie the Baltimore Ravens in the final seconds of a game with major playoff implications.
Griffin’s hearing, though, was not affected by the knee-bending hit he absorbed while scrambling eight plays earlier. When offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan’s play call sounded through his helmet radio headset, Griffin’s disappointment waned.
“This,” Griffin thought, “is awesome.”
The call included the option for a quarterback draw. “We didn’t think they’d be expecting it,” coach Mike Shanahan said. Not with Cousins, the fourth-round rookie backup who, like everyone else on the planet, doesn’t possess the combination of throwing and running ability that Griffin does.
Cousins faked the pass, then ran behind his blockers and lunged into the end zone. It sent the game to overtime, and the Redskins won 31-28 on a 34-yard field goal by Kai Forbath.
Cousins has waited and watched for most of the season as his rookie position-mate has become a star. What vindication, then, for him to complete two passes for 26 yards, including an 11-yard touchdown to Pierre Garcon, in relief to help the Redskins win their fourth-straight game.
“It has been communicated to me by some veterans that they believe in me and that if my name has to be called upon that they believe I can get it done, and that means the world,” Cousins said. “First and foremost, Robert has been doing an awesome job, and I have a lot to live up to if my number does get called.”
The Redskins‘ playoff chances benefited. They improved to 7-6 to keep pace with the NFC East-leading New York Giants (8-5), who beat New Orleans on Sunday.
Washington also stayed one game back of the 8-5 Seattle Seahawks, who maintained their hold on the NFC’s final wild-card spot by blowing out Arizona.
A comeback win of this magnitude normally results in unmitigated jubilation. The Redskins trailed for the entire second half until Cousins‘ two-point run tied it and sent the home fans in the bipartisan crowd of 81,178 into a frenzy. Players, however, were concerned about their starting quarterback.
An MRI on Griffin’s knee Sunday night showed no significant ligament damage. “Everything is clear,” Redskins spokesman Tony Wyllie said. Griffin’s status for next Sunday’s game against Cleveland is undetermined.
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About the Author
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