IT WAS OVER WHEN... TB Alfred Morris capped a beautiful 8-play 76-yard drive with an 8-yard gash over left guard into the end zone to put the Redskins up 38-17. The drive took 5 minutes and 11 seconds and left the Browns with only 5 minutes to make up 17 points.
STATISTICALLY SPEAKING... RG3 leads all quarterbacks with 8.3 yards per pass attempt this season, but Kirk Cousins topped that today, averaging 8.9 yards per attempt against the Browns... Cousins threw for 329 yards today, six yards more than RG3's highest total this year... Cousins had a passer rating of 104.4 today, about equal to Griffin's passer rating on the entire year... Washington's 28 points and 4 second half touchdowns today are the most points and most touchdowns the Redskins have scored in a half this season... Of Washington's six possessions in the second half, four ended in scores, one ended in a punt and the last ended the game, with the Skins in victory formation... The Redskins had the ball three times in the fourth quarter, scoring two touchdowns and kneeling down to end the game the third time... The Redskins had almost twice as many first downs as the Browns, 25-13... The Redskins have had trouble on third down this season, but today went 8-16 on third and fourth downs... The Redskins converted 4 of 5 red zone opportunities into touchdowns and settled for a Kai Forbath field goal on the fifth, for a total of 31 out of a possible 35 points... despite the Browns defense over-committing to stopping the run, Washington stayed with it, rushing 35 times for a total of 122 yards and 3 TD... 35 rushing attempts and great efficiency on 3rd and 4th downs led to the Skins dominating time of possession 36:17 to 23:43.
AP Photo/Rick Osentoski
I LIKED THAT... Kirk Cousins overcame a rough 1-7 with one INT start to finish 26-37 for 329 yards, two TD and 1 INT... At no time did the game seem bigger than Cousins and he handled the pressure of his first NFL start, on the road, quite nicely... the linebackers played a great game, with Ryan Kerrigan and Rob Jackson both knocking two passes down, Jackson and London Fletcher both intercepting a pass and Jackson also getting a sack, bringing him to 3.5 on the year... Alfred Morris got the ball 27 times today [plus two receptions] and did not fumble... Josh Morgan had a nice game, catching all 4 passes thrown to him for 60 yards.
I DID NOT LIKE THAT... on the second-to-last play of Washington's last scoring drive Santana Moss took a short pass and raced toward a first down, but fumbled because he wasn't covering the ball up properly. Fortunately, Pierre Garcon alertly jumped on the ball to preserve the drive and Alfred Morris scored on the next play, but Moss is a veteran and he CANNOT fumble in that situation... Garcon continues to treat every reception as if he just won the game and today he earned a 15-yard taunting penalty that destroyed a promising drive... DJ Johnson got caught peeking into the backfield in the fourth quarter today and the result was a 69-yard TD pass from Brandon Weeden to Travis Benjamin. Once again, the secondary did the one thing it must not do -- allow a long scoring pass while defending a 4th quarter lead.
AND IT ALL MEANS... the Redskins are 8-6 and thanks to a NY Giants loss in Atlanta today, on top of the NFC East thanks to a superior division record. The Cowboys won at home against the Steelers, improving its record to 8-6, so we have a 3-way tie in the NFC East, though the Redskins are currently in the lead. The Redskins face the Eagles in Philadelphia on Sunday and then return home to defend their own turf -- and perhaps clinch a division championship -- when Dallas comes to DC on December 30, the regular season finale. The Giants go on the road again this week to face the Ravens in Baltimore and then finish the season home in New Jersey against the Eagles. The Cowboys host the dangerous New Orleans Saints on Sunday and then, of course, come to DC in week 17. Washington's schedule looks as good as any of them. What's more, all the Redskins have to do is continue doing what they've done the last five weeks -- win. Two more wins and the Redskins are champions of the NFC East, no matter what anyone else does. No need to look for help or check the scoreboard anymore -- the Redskins are in complete command of their own destiny.