Kirk Cousins finally notched a road win on his belt.
Actually, it was the second road game that Cousins started and finished that the Redskins won. But the last one was back in 2012 and he was filling in for an injured Robert Griffin III. This was his first road win when it was “his” team.
“He was great today,” said Jay Gruden. “He was very efficient with the ball . . . I liked the way Kirk managed the game.”
Cousins completed 24 of 31 passes for 300 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for a score in the second quarter. On second and goal at the three he faked a handoff to Matt Jones and scooted about the left end to score easily.
But the day was about his passing. He and Jordan Reed has some great chemistry going; the tight end ended up with nine catches for 120 yards and a touchdown.
The touchdown was a thing of beauty. The Redskins were leading 14-7 in the third quarter and had just been pushed back from the doorstep of the goal line by a delay of game penalty. On third and goal at the five, Cousins patiently stood in the pocket waiting for Reed to work himself free. He got a tiny opening over the middle and Cousins rifled the ball to Reed for the touchdown and the tight end left a trio of helpless Bears defenders in his wake.
“This week it was a different kind of slant,” said Reed. “It was going to take a little longer. The coach’s point was that I needed to just keep running no matter how many defenders are in there. I just needed to keep running and try and cross [the defender’s] face. That’s what happened.”
For a while it looked like the Redskins would cruise to an easy win. They scored two touchdowns on drives of 80 and 93 yards on their first two possessions. Cousins was on fire, completing nine of ten passes during the two drives for 108 yards. The first was capped by a one-year Alfred Morris touchdown run and the second ended with Cousins’ touchdown run.
It wasn’t a perfect game for Cousins by any means. He took three sacks. In both cases he looked like he had time to pass but tucked the ball in and took the sack rather than throwing the ball away. In the third quarter he created a scary moment when he tried to throw down the right sideline for Pierre Garçon. But cornerback Kyle Fuller got a bead on it and picked it off. That set up a 21-yard touchdown drive that tied the game at 21-21.
“I didn’t not see the defender and that would be the basic, simple answer,” said Cousins. “When you don’t see him and he is there, he can make the play.”
But Cousins went to work immediately to atone for the error. From the Washington 36 he found DeSean Jackson deep running towards the left sideline. The receiver bobbled the ball momentarily but he had control inbounds for a big first down at the Chicago 36. The Redskins were able to get a few more yards to set up Dustin Hopkins’ 47-yard field goal, a kick that proved to be the game winner.
Although he was happy with his effort, he realizes that the NFL is a week-to-week proposition. “I have had games where people want to run me out of town, the next week we win and I am the greatest thing since sliced bread,” said Cousins.
So Cousins put another sliced bread week in the books, this one on the road. The Redskins are still tied for first place in the NFC East and, yes, Cousins likes that.