The Washington Redskins' first-team offense got its third test of the 2015 season Saturday vs. the Ravens. Here's how the night went for the Redskins.*
After an eleventh-hour change at starting quarterback, Kirk Cousins handled the first-team offense duties Saturday night against the Ravens. Once he got rid of some first quarter jitters, he engineered two touchdown drives, the first time this preseason the Redskins' first-team offense found the end zone.
Both drives consisted of eight plays – the last one an impressive 83-yard hurry-up that took just more than two minutes – and Cousins demonstrated his poise as he found a rhythm in the pocket and some reliable weapons to aid him.
The first scoring drive occurred midway through the second quarter and two rookies helped motor the offense. Wide receiver Jamison Crowder grabbed a short pass for 7 yards. Running back Matt Jones, seeing his first action of the night, followed with a 17-yard pickup on a float pass from Cousins down the right sideline.
Jones then followed a 7-yard completion to wide receiver Ryan Grant with a pulverizing 18-yard run up the middle. Two plays later, Cousins intended a strike down the seam to wide receiver Andre Roberts. The ball was deflected and fell into Crowder's hands, who walked it in for his first professional score.
The 64-yard drive accumulated close to four minutes on eight plays and the Redskins trailed 13-7.
Using a similar attack, this time with running back Chris Thompson, Cousins found wide receiver Ryan Grant, a 12-yard pass followed by a 26-yarder that Grant ran and stretched out to the Ravens 1-yard line. Thompson punched in his next handoff to put the Redskins ahead for the first time in the game, 14-13.
Cousins went 5-for-5 on the drive that utilized two time outs and smart clock management.
The first drive, understandably, started a little shakier.
Check out the top photos from the Washington Redskins' 2015 Preseason Week 3 matchup against the Baltimore Ravens Aug. 29, 2015, at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.
Cousins used running back Alfred Morris twice -- first on a one-yard carry, then on a five yard pass -- to get the offense rolling, and quickly converted a third-down situation to Andre Roberts for a six-yard completion. Two plays later, Cousins attempted a lateral pass to Pierre Garçon but Terrell Suggs jumped above Morgan Moses and intercepted the pass.
The Redskins were pinned deeper into their own territory to begin their second drive, and after a worrisome fumble exchange with Morris, Cousins started to find a groove.
He found tight end Jordan Reed for 13 yards to the right sideline for Reed's first catch of the preseason. Two plays later, Grant grabbed another 13-yard pass on a slant route that Cousins snuck between two defenders.
The offense drove into Ravens territory and Reed snagged another pass, an eight-yard diving catch, just shy of a first down, which Morris couldn't collect, forcing a turnover on downs.
Near the beginning of the second quarter Cousins, after a few short gains from Thompson and Morris, found wide receiver Jamison Crowder for a 2-yard catch for a first down after getting flushed from the pocket. The next third-down situation, Cousins missed Ryan Grant deep towards the left sideline, bringing on the punt team.
Cousins finished his half of play passing 20-27 for 190 yards, which included a touchdown and an interception. Grant caught five passes for 64 yards, Crowder caught five passes for 49 yards and Matt Jones led rushers with 20 yards on two carries.
The offense collected 14 first downs and were 5-of-7 on third downs.