The Washington Redskins on Sunday opened up their 2014 slate of games at FedExField in style, mauling the Jacksonville Jaguars 41-10 on a gorgeous September afternoon in Landover, Md.
The Redskins – who improved to 1-1 with the victory – were clicking in all three phases against the Jaguars, much to the delight of the 80,000-plus fans who hadn't seen a Washington regular-season victory since early November.
When it came to finding the end zone on Sunday, the Redskins were balanced. Three of the touchdowns came via the run – two from Alfred Morris and a final exclamation point from rookie running back Silas Redd – and the other two came via the pass, as backup Kirk Cousins, playing for an injured Robert Griffin III – connected with fullback Darrel Young and Niles Paul.
For a full recap, let's take a look back at the action as it happened.
No. 1: Darrel Young Sneaks By For Wide-Open Touchdown
About halfway through the first quarter, the Redskins were forced to overcome a great deal of adversity when starting quarterback Robert Griffin III went down with an injury to his left ankle. Griffin III was obviously in a great deal of pain on the Redskins' sideline, and had to be carted off to the locker room for further evaluation.
In came backup quarterback Kirk Cousins, who strives to always be ready in case of an emergency. And, just two plays later, Cousins showed why he's one of the best backups in the league.
On 2nd and 16, Cousins, lined up in the shotgun with an empty backfield. On the snap, Jacksonville cornerback Dwayne Gratz elected to cover Pierre Garcon instead of Young, who lined up out wide and snuck by wide open down the sideline.
From there, all Young had to do was make an easy catch in the end zone. The fifth-year fullback can do it all: run block, pass protect, run with the ball and catch it, as well, and Sunday's touchdown was his fifth-career touchdown reception.
Nos. 2 and 3: Alfred Morris punches it in from a yard out
Redskins running back Alfred Morris loves racking up big yardage every opportunity he can get, but getting the opportunity to score a touchdown from just a yard out is perhaps even more exciting for the third-year Florida Atlantic product.
Morris had two of those opportunities in the second quarter of Sunday's game against the Jaguars, and cashed in both times.
The first play came with 14:18 remaining in the second quarter with the Redskins leading 7-0. On 2nd and Goal from the 1, Cousins handed off to Morris to his right, who used a big lead block from Young to reach the end zone untouched.
The second play came about five minutes later, again on 2nd and Goal from the 1. This time, instead of taking the handoff to the edge, the Redskins elected to send Morris between the tackles. He dove for the end zone around the three yard line and took a big hit, but did enough to earn his second touchdown of the day.
Morris' second touchdown gives him 22 in his young career, tying him with Don Bosseler for ninth-most in team history. It was also Morris' first multi-touchdown game since Dec. 30, 2012, when he ran for 200 yards in the Redskins' NFC East-clinching victory over the Dallas Cowboys at FedExField.
No. 4: Niles Paul Gets His Redemption
Tight end Niles Paul badly wanted a chance to redeem himself after losing a fumble inside the 10-yard line after a long reception Week 1 against the Houston Texans.
So after making several nice plays Sunday against the Jaguars, Paul made the play.
Early in the fourth quarter with the Redskins up 24-7, the Redskins were threatening again. On 2nd and Goal from the 2, Cousins lined up under center and sent Paul in motion out wide to the right.
Off the snap, Cousins liked the one-on-one matchup out wide, took the snap and delivered a quick back-shoulder pass to Paul, who made a nifty move against safety Chris Prosinski, jumped in the air and held on to the ball to the ground for the touchdown.
No. 5: Silas Redd Puts The Cherry On Top
Silas Redd went undrafted this year out of USC, so after busting his tail to work his way up the depth chart throughout the offseason and make the Redskins' 53-man roster, he feels as if he has something to prove every time he touches the ball.
So with the game already in hand with two minutes left in the fourth quarter and the Redskins leading 34-10, they elected to run the ball with Redd on 4th and 7 from the 14-yard line. If he doesn't make the first down, then the Panthers are pinned deep in their own territory and down by 24 points. If he does make the first down, then that's a nice bonus.
But Redd decided a first down wouldn't be enough. He took the handoff from Cousins and began to head to his right, but saw the entire defense was shifting his way, so he used his quick feet to shuffle back to the left, leaving all the help in the secondary scrambling to catch up.
By the time they got to him, it was too late. Redd was in the end zone for his first-career touchdown.