If you watched the Washington Redskins vs. Jacksonville Jaguars game on Sunday, I’m sorry. You are either a fan of one of those teams (sorry!) or you have a bunch of Jaguars and Redskins on your fantasy team (again, sorry!).
Washington defeated Jacksonville 41-10, but played most of the game without ‘star’ quarterback Robert Griffin III. RGIII dislocated his ankle in the first quarter.
Backup Kirk Cousins came into the game and immediately threw for a 20-yard touchdown. The crowd went crazy and RGIII looked like someone stole his girl.
Are the Redskins better off with Cousins as their quarterback?
In my weekly post in which I pick every game against the spread, I mentioned the Redskins are a lost cause unless Griffin realizes he’s not a pocket passer and plays like he did his rookie season (and risk injury) or he just gives up the starting job short-term to work on being a pocket passer. Well, RGIII’s injury makes what might be a difficult decision out of his hands.
Experience is the reason I favor Cousins over Griffin. That’s it. Yes, they were in the same NFL Draft class, but Cousins is two years older than Griffin. He was a fifth year-senior and started three seasons in college. I know quarterbacks have succeeded in the NFL after a ‘one-year wonder’ season in college, but there’s something about Cousins that is hard to ignore.
Cousins was an unheralded, two-star prospect when he was offered a scholarship at Michigan State. Coach Mark Dantonio signed Cousins after he failed to land any blue-chip quarterback prospects. He was redshirted his first year and then backed up current Cleveland Browns QB Brian Hoyer. He didn’t have the job going into his sophomore year, but beat out Keith Nichol to earn it. He then started the next three seasons for Michigan State. He led the Spartans to a great record and was a perfect 4-0 against in-state rival Michigan.
Cousins works hard and has the intangibles that don’t show up in a box score or even on film. He has to work hard because he wasn’t born with the physical skills that come easy to Griffin. Quarterbacks who succeed in the NFL need to keep getting better and evolving. This is why Redskins fans and many scouts now love Cousins.
The best case scenario for Griffin is said to be at least eight weeks. Worst case, he could be lost for the entire season. Ankle dislocations are tricky and have a wide timetable to come back.
The Redskins will be just fine. The NFL East is a joke and no one expects Washington to make the playoffs…but, I have a feeling Cousins will force the front office to make a few difficult decisions this off-season.
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.