The Washington Redskins have moved into first place in the NFC East with a 38-21 rout of the Cleveland Browns, in Cleveland. The Win improves the Redskins to 8-6 overall, in a tie with the Giants, who were blown out by the Falcons 34-0. The Redskins are 3-1 in the NFC East while the Giants are 2-3. So who gets the Thumbs Up and Thumbs Down?
QB Kirk Cousins: Starting out, kudos to Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan for having the guts go with the rookie over the veteran. Kudos to Kyle Shananhan for having Kirk Cousins and having a chat with him heading into the locker room at half time. Cousins delivered big for the Redskins, competing 26 of 37 passes for 329 yards and 2TDs. Furthermore, given his 1 for 6 start, Cousins portrayed some tough mental poise to hang in and lead the Redskins to a whopping 38 points on the road as a backup quarterback. Cousins showed tremendous poise in the pocket and great vision scanning the field for open receivers before checking down. In essence, you could not ask for more from a backup quarterback, especially a fourth round rookie. Cousins completed 70% of his passes, striking on two TDS, a 54 yarder to Leonard Hankerson in the first half and a 2 yard TD pass to Hankerson in the second half.
Front seven on defense: They came up big for the Redskins. Redskins defense forced two interceptions, both by linebackers London Fletcher and Rob Jackson. Ryan Kerrigan had a helluva game, coming up big with two huge pass deflections. That is something Redskins fans are getting use to with #91. The front seven got decent pressure on Cleveland QB Brandon Weedon all day, including sacks from Jackson and Barry Cofield. They only allowed 28 yards rushing to rookie Trent Richardson and 57 total yards rushing.
DJ Johnson: Johnson gets hammered here for giving up the late home run strike. Well deserved.
WR Pierre Garçon: Let me first state that Garçon was a critical factor in this win. He came up with some big catches and a critical fumble recovery. Great game by Garçon. However, the antics after the catch have to stop. The Redskins have prided themselves this run of taking care of business. Garçon has to keep that in mind. Take care of business and get back tot the huddle. Antics can be costly and thankfully it wasn't too costly. But, this is not a first for Garçon. Keep your head in the game. With little other options for thumbs down, it was just a victim of circumstances name Garçon. Not many other options in an excellent team performance.