- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 9, 2018

They aren’t Redskins anymore, but they’re still good football players.

Kirk Cousins was impressive in his debut Sunday for the Minnesota Vikings — throwing for 244 yards and two touchdowns in a 26-14 win against the San Francisco 49ers. Meanwhile, in Indianapolis, wide receiver Ryan Grant had eight receptions for 59 yards in a 34-23 loss for the Colts against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Cousins, of course, left the Redskins free agency after Washington decided to move on from the quarterback and trade for Alex Smith instead. The Vikings signed Cousins to a three-year, $84 million deal — instantly turning them into Super Bowl contenders.

In Week 1, the Vikings lived up to the billing. Cousins led the offense down the field and showed great chemistry with wide receivers Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen:

Cousins wasn’t perfect. He was sacked three times and completed only 55 percent of his passes. But there’s time to grow.

Grant, on the other hand, emerged as a reliable target for quarterback Andrew Luck. The wide receiver signed a one-year, $5 million deal with the Colts in the offseason after being a steady option for the Redskins last season.

Grant, at times, received criticism from fans, but he was a favorite of coach Jay Gruden — so much so former general manager Scot McCloughan nicknamed the receiver “Ryan Gruden.”

With the Colts, Grant could easily fill the team’s No. 2 receiving option with no clear favorite behind T.Y. Hilton.

Here’s how some other former Redskins did in their debuts:

Niles Paul, Jacksonville Jaguars

Paul went without a catch in the Jaguars’ 20-15 win over the Giants, but he had one very notable drop. A pass from Blake Bortles was almost intercepted, but tipped right into Paul’s arms, though the tight end could not haul in the catch — which would have been a touchdown. Paul signed a two-year with Jacksonville in March.

Trent Murphy, Buffalo Bills

After missing the 2017 season with a torn ACL, Murphy, now with the Bills after signing a three-year, $21 million deal in the offseason, recorded a half sack in his debut. In 2016, Murphy was second on the team in sacks with nine. The Bills hope he provides the same pass rushing boost.

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