LANHAM – Falling fast in the NFC East standings after dropping two consecutive divisional games to the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys, the Washington Redskins needed to rebound against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday if they had any ambitions of getting into the playoffs.
Fortunately for the Burgundy and Gold, they had enough firepower from quarterback Kirk Cousins and second-year power back Robert Kelley to obtain the much-needed win.
Cousins went 21-of-31 for 247 yards and hooked up with Josh Doctson as the Redskins were trailing 14-10 with only 1:34 remaining in the game. Doctson stretched out and made an incredible 38-yard diving catch to set up Kelley for the second of his two rushing touchdowns that gave the Redskins the go-ahead score to eventually defeat the Seahawks, 17-14.
“Fortunately there was some separation there, and he was open,” said Cousins about Docton’s late reception to set up a touchdown. “Josh is a laid-back person, but he is competitive, and there is a quiet confidence in him, but when he does make a play, the emotion comes out. He’s got a chance to be a great player in this league, but we just need to develop him and then give him opportunities.
“I was just proud of the resiliency, character, and grit of this team and it is a reflection of this whole organization. It is the kind of thing that you can build on for years to come. We need wins like this to solidify our reputation.”
Washington’s offense got off to a rocky start as Cousins was taken down for a safety late in the first quarter by Nazair Jones.
However, the Redskins found the endzone late in the second quarter when Cousins led a 13-play drive that was capped off by Kelley, who punched in a 1-yard touchdown to take a 7-2 lead.
After Redskins rookie kicker Nick Rose nailed a 28-yard field goal in the third quarter, Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson knew he had to make some plays to keep the Redskins from a runaway victory.
Wilson seized the opportunity to strike back when he hooked up with Luke Wilson for a 10-yard touchdown pass at the start of the fourth quarter and narrowed the gap to two. Russell then kept the momentum going as he hit Doug Baldwin on a 30-yard bomb for a touchdown to retake the lead two possessions later.
It was the first time the Seahawks enjoyed a lead since the first quarter. Nevertheless, Cousins was ready for the challenge, and it just took two chuck plays – a 31-yard connection to Brian Quick and the miraculous catch made by Doctson – to set up the final score of the day from Kelley.
“Right now I’m just glad these guys came out here with a win and it was just a total team victory,” Washington Redskins Head Coach Jay Gruden said. “When we took the lead, Kirk made two outstanding passes and the guys just made plays. I’m just really proud of those guys.
“There is some great competition in the NFC, so we have to keep the pace on the season, or it will leak out on us. It is good to get back to .500, and we have to get ready for Minnesota (Vikings) which has one of the best defenses in the league.”