Robert Griffin III is the most dynamic player in football, hands down. With incredible arm strength, sound decision-making skills, the speed of a track star and moves of a running back, Griffin is truly one of a kind. But for every phenom, there’s a copycat waiting to replicate that style. They just aren’t usually found on the same team.
Kirk Cousins was able to pull off that feat on Sunday, as the Redskins backup quarterback came out from behind the overwhelming aura that is RGIII to finish off what the rookie sensation had started. Cousins didn’t just fill in for Griffin, though. He undertook his entire repertoire.
With Griffin visibly ailing from a leg injury late in the game, Cousins, a rookie himself, came on to try and finish off a game-tying touchdown drive.
Cousins looked poised in the pocket as he completed an 11-yard touchdown pass to Pierre Garcon on just his second play off the bench. He then showed off his skills on the ground, running the two-point conversion in on a draw play and tying the game at 28 just before the overtime.
The rookie didn’t have nearly as big of an impact in the overtime, as a 64-yard punt return, not Cousins, is what set up the game-winning 34-yard field goal. But whether he was responsible or got credit for closing out the win, Cousins clearly played a major part in the outcome.
It’s pretty obvious that Cousins doesn’t have the same skill set as RGIII, or is even in the same class as a player. But what was extremely evident on Sunday evening was Cousins’ ability to be a successful NFL quarterback.
That opportunity will not be in Washington, D.C., that’s all but certain at this point. Griffin is the man in the capital city. He’s put the Redskins back on the football map, and he’s taken the league by storm with his dynamic play. But Cousins is a more than capable backup, and if given more opportunities, may even prove how underrated he was as a fourth-round pick last April.
Cousins clearly has the size, skills and makeup of an NFL starter. He doesn’t have the opportunity readily available, at least not just yet. But don’t think suitors won’t be prowling around come seasons end, especially with the sort of fearless leadership he displayed on Sunday.