Down 20-10 at the break and a struggling RGIII done for the day, another rookie signal caller for the Skins entered the game and stole the limelight from the hyped No. 2 overall pick in April's draft.
Kirk Cousins, Washington's fourth round selection in April and a Chicago , entered the game and led Washington's reserves to three fourth quarter touchdown drives, bringing them all the way back from a 30-10 deficit. Though Chicago eventually re-took the lead for good following a late 57-yard field goal off the foot of veteran kicker Robbie Gould, Cousins still looked very impressive.
Griffin, finishing the first half with five completions and 49 yards on eight pass attempts, ran for his life in Washington's backfield for much of the first thirty minutes of clock time. Griffin was sacked a couple of times and lost a fumble during one of those sacks, leading to a Chicago touchdown a few plays later.
Griffin simply didn't look comfortable in the pocket and really only had one drive that didn't sputter (9-play, 80-yard drive that ended with a Neil Rackers field goal and ate up 4:30 of the clock).
Washington's questionable selection of Cousins–Michigan State's quarterback who is turning 24 years old today–is starting to look like an ingenious selection on Mike Shanahan's part. Personally, I did not like the selection and thought it was a silly move given how much they are putting into Griffin, but since, at any point in time, RGIII could suffer a season-ending injury, it's nice to have Cousins as insurance.
And I will admit, Cousins' performance last night may have won over a few more supporters in the D.C. area.
The battle for second-string quarterback is a heated one between Cousins and former Chicago quarterback Rex Grossman. But with Cousins playing the entire second half of last night's game, and performing as well as he did, I think he may have the upper hand over Rex at this point in the preseason.
Clearly, whether he struggles or performs well in the last two weeks of August, Griffin is 100% the opening day quarterback for Washington. But Cousins can further solidify himself as his backup and even tighten the gap between him and RGIII if he keeps this up in the coming weeks.
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