Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins passes for less than 200 yards in Washington's victory, but the Pro Bowler was effective in marching the offense to a game-winning touchdown.
For much of the first three-and-a-half quarters of Sunday's victory over the Rams, Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins never seemed to completely settle in against a tough Los Angeles defense. He had trouble getting in-sync with his receivers at times, while the offense was mainly powered by the running game. When it mattered most, however, Cousins delivered.
With 7:16 left in the fourth quarter, the Redskins got the ball back after a game-tying field goal from the Rams' Greg Zuerlein that knotted the game at 20. With the help of an impressive showing from rookie running back Samaje Perine, Cousins orchestrated a 10-play, 70-yard drive that lasted more than five minutes that put the Redskins in front by a touchdown.
The drive was capped off by an 11-yard touchdown strike to wide receiver Ryan Grant on a key third down play.
"Good play call by Jay [Gruden], the coverage took me to Ryan [Grant] based on the pre-snap and post-snap alignments," Cousins said after the game. "Ryan did a great job creating separation, slipping through there, kept two feet in bounds and made a great play."
"That one felt really good."
The touchdown pass to Grant was the cherry on top of what was a flawless drive for Cousins. He completed all three of his passes for 42 yards, including a clutch third down completion to Jamison Crowder and a 23-yard catch-and-run by Terrelle Pryor.
"Huge throw at the end of the game," Gruden said. "Kirk managed the game, managed the clock. Got us in the right runs and pretty good job overall."
Prior to the game-winning drive, Cousins had completed 15 of his 24 passes for just 137 yards and no scores. Despite the pedestrian showing in the first three quarters, Cousins' resiliency helped him seal the deal on the Redskins' first win of the year.
"In this league, it's always going to be up and down and when you run the ball as well as we do, it creates a different type of game," he said. "So, glad we won. Found a way to be resilient, make plays and showed a lot of character."
Check out the top images from the Washington Redskins' offense in their 2017 Week 2 matchup against the Los Angeles Rams. 17, 2017, at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
Like he did on the go-ahead touchdown drive, Cousins benefitted from a great performance from the running game all day. The running back trio of Rob Kelley, Chris Thompson and Perine combined for 229 yards, two touchdowns and a 6.2 yards per carry average.
On the Redskins' first touchdown drive of the game, Cousins wisely stepped back and let the running game take the reigns.
"The one drive we scored on, I believe we didn't even throw a pass, if I remember right. I don't know how many times that happens during a season – to have an entire drive running the ball. That was unique," Cousins said.
The drive lasted six plays and traveled 65 yards, all via the running game.
It may not have been a standout game on the stat sheet from Cousins, but he knew to feed the ground game when it was rolling and delivered a touchdown drive when it mattered most.
"Why would you abandon the run game if it's going so well?" Cousins asked. "Just keep doing it until they can prove they can stop it."