Overall, it was an impressive performance for Cousins, who managed to lead the first-team offense to more success than it has had in previous weeks. With doubts still remaining over Griffin's health, Cousins did himself no harm in securing the job should Griffin not be ready to return against the Dolphins on opening day.
During a 31-13 exhibition victory over the Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium, Cousins seized an opportunity with Griffin sidelined and made a strong impression. It wasn't as strong as his numbers looked — 20 of 27 for 190 yards, one touchdown, one interception, led two touchdown drives — because a good portion of those statistics came during the second quarter, when Baltimore was transitioning from its first- to second-team defense. But if you judged him on resiliency and the overall flow of the offense, Cousins should receive a favorable grade.
3.) Running back competition? - There hadn't been one thus far, but Alfred Morris' lack of effectiveness, and the spark that Matt Jones provided do combine to raise questions as to whether the team has a running back competition on its hands. For a second straight game, Morris struggled to make an impact. He didn't break through many tackles, he didn't make defenders miss. He managed only four yards on seven carries against Baltimore. Morris did do well in limited action as a pass-catcher.
"We're all as confused as you are," Gruden said. "People have to understand this has nothing to do with the Washington Redskins. I know people want to make it out that we're incompetent, but this had nothing to do with us. It was totally an independent doctor. A verbal [report] being said to our doctor, and then, all of a sudden, the written report is different. We followed proper course and did what we thought was right for Robert and what the report said. We followed everything by the book ... This was all put on us at the last minute."
It's not as if Cousins was perfect in the Redskins' 31-13 win over Baltimore. He fumbled a snap, threw an interception and missed a few throws, including tossing one behind open receiver Ryan Grant over the middle. Grant had room to run too. There's a lot Cousins must prove, and one night does not wipe out all concerns by any means. But when comparing his game to Griffin's in the preseason games, he's operating at a more efficient level.
Down—FS Dashon Goldson: Twice he had a bead on Ravens receiver Steve Smith and twice he was unable to make the tackle. One misplays resulted in a first down, the other in a 63-yard touchdown (David Amerson also had a shot at Smith on that one). Your last line of defense has to make those plays.