The Washington Redskins opened their 2015 preseason campaign with a 20-17 road victory over the Cleveland Browns. In the wake of it, the lead discussion of is the performances of current starting quarterback Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins, who is looking to reclaim said position.
Griffin’s night entailed two drives where he went 4/8, 36 yards, 0 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. The team’s lone score under Griffin’s watch came at the foot of kicker Kai Forbath, who booted a 33-yard field goal through the uprights with 0:34 remaining in the opening quarter. Although there were some passes Griffin would like to have back, he appeared more poised and decisive during his outing than what we’ve seen of him previously. Griffin was even robbed of what would’ve been a 67-yard touchdown to Pierre Garcon when the wide receiver was unable to corral a bomb that came his way 2:30 into the opening quarter. Still, this makes it four consecutive preseason games where Washington’s first team offense has not produced a touchdown.
Cousins, however, was under center for two quarters. In that, he went 12/14, 154 yards, no interceptions and scored a touchdown with his feet. In addition, Cousins led the offense on two scoring drives that included a 52-yard field goal from Forbath with 0:45 remaining before halftime and a 1-yard run from running back Trey Williams, resulting in a touchdown.
On the surface, Cousins had the better night of the two statistically. As a result, a majority of Washington Area media and its constituents appear to be of the belief that Cousins is the more productive signal caller of the two. Before leaning further in Cousins’ direction, the quarterback battle warrants being picked with a fine-toothed comb.
Cousins’ performance against Cleveland, while stellar, was done with more operating time, against second team defenders. One can assume that Griffin played at a morsel of time to preserve him for the remainder of the preseason. This was a commendable move on coach Jay Gruden’s part, considering the injuries suffered by Niles Paul, Silas Redd and Matt Jones, along with Griffin’s history with injuries. Despite preventive measures, there has to be more balance of playing time between Griffin and Cousins in order to properly assess who is the best fit as this team’s starting quarterback.
Considering the mystification that comes with the current Redskins quarterback situation, it is anything but wise to prematurely anoint anyone as the sure-fire starter. Both signal callers are not without their share of mishaps. Is Griffin completely healed from previous, injury marred seasons? Has his overall pocket presence improved? When faced with adversity, can Cousins show the resolve needed to keep his team competitive?
I may be in the minority with the current structure of Washington’s quarterback carousel, but both Cousins and Griffin are still in the process of securing their respective roles as the quarterback moving forward. For the moment, for various reasons, it’s a struggle to give either a ringing endorsement.
Hopefully a fair, equivalent competition is put in place to determine who leads this offense.
Until then, the only thing I know for certain regarding this matter is ONCE AGAIN, REDSKINS NATION IS IMMERSED IN A QUARTERBACK CONTROVERSY…BUCKLE UP!
Written by Antoine Hoffman