This week's Redskins Drive of the Game, presented by Ford, was highlighted by Kirk Cousins's decision to hold onto the football on a read option and turn it into his first rushing touchdown of the season - a score that gave Washington the lead late.*
What is the best way to follow up a nine-play, 75-yard touchdown drive? Go on a nine-play, 76-yard touchdown drive to take the lead, of course.
The plays and yardage amounts were just about the only similarities as the former ended on a Robert Kelley touchdown catch to bring the Redskins within three points while the latter finished with Kirk Cousins galloping into the end zone. The Washington defense, which was impressive all afternoon, forced a punt following Kelley's touchdown, giving Cousins and Co. a chance to tie or take the lead with 5:20 remaining.
Trailing 13-10, Chris Thompson started the Redskins drive with a two-yard run, which was followed by a four-yard catch by DeSean Jackson. Cousins then hooked up with Jamison Crowder for a 19-yard completion over the middle to secure a first down. Another sharp pass from Cousins, this time to Vernon Davis for 24 yards, was negated due to an illegal formation penalty on the Redskins.
However, Washington quickly secured a first down as Cousins hit Jackson for 12 yards and Thompson sped around the right end for 13 yards. Thompson ended up touching the ball on four straight plays as he carried for one yard, caught an eight-yard pass and picked up a first down with a three-yard carry. Eight plays into the drive and with Thompson running well, the Redskins had Detroit set up and Cousins knew it. On a read option, Cousins decided to keep it himself and run for just the 12th time this season. It was the perfect decision at the time and Cousins showed off his speed as he ran through an open right side of the field before finally being tackled as he entered the end zone. Washington was on top, 17-13.
"Phenomenal play call by [offensive coordinator] Sean [McVay]," Cousins said after the game. "We had run it the previous play and handed it off. Second time we got to it because we didn't get the look we wanted on a pass play, so we checked to it. The defensive end closed and pulled it. Phenomenal blocking by our receiver on the outside to give me the chance to get there, and great play design."
Although not being known for his rushing abilities, Cousins ran for five touchdowns in 2015. The 19 yard Sunday was his first rushing touchdown of 2016, and although it wasn't enough for a Redskins win, it certainly gives something else for opposing defenses to think about.
"We've been running it for a long time here," head coach Jay Gruden said. "It's been in our playbook. If you read it, sometimes you hand it off. We ran it a couple times in this game and the end crashed and he kept it. It was a great play by Kirk."