Under duress, Kirk Cousins delivered two incredible passes that helped the Redskins lock down a victory over the Seahawks at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.
A brutal night of battling defenses gave way to quarterback fireworks late in the matchup between the Washington Redskins and the Seattle Seahawks.
Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins brought his team back from a four-point deficit with less than two minutes remaining, erasing the offense's struggles from the first three quarters with two deep passes to receivers Brian Quick and Josh Doctson that set up a touchdown by running back Rob Kelley.
The game-winning drive was one to remember, but did not reflect how Cousins and the Redskins moved the ball the rest of the afternoon. Cousins had gone 19-of-29 for 178 yards on the day before the two huge throws and had been sacked six times for a loss of 54 yards. One of those sacks occurred in the Redskins' own end zone, resulting in the first points of the game going to Seattle on the safety.
"On offense, there was a lot of adversity," Cousins said. "The injuries made things tough. We felt like we just had to keep grinding, and you never know when you defense is able to keep you in the game, your special teams, that you may have an opportunity in the fourth quarter."
It took five drives, three punts, a fumble and a safety before Washington's offense finally capitalized on a 71-yard drive.
Cousins completed five passes for 59 yards and, with the help of Kelley, led the offense to its first score of the game and the lead midway through the second quarter.
A 23-yard pass to tight end Vernon Davis highlighted the best of the offense in the first half. The Cousins-to-Davis connection has been a theme in many of Washington's games this season, with Davis recording seven passes for more than 20 yards in 2017, second most on the team.
Cousins credited the defense for keeping the team competitive. The Redskins kept the Seahawks' offense out of the end zone until the second half and prevented a last-second Hail Mary that woud have given the Seahawks a victory.
Cousins also thanked his receivers, especially Brian Quick and Josh Doctson, who he said stepped up in a big way when the team needed them most.
"[Doctson] is a competitor, and there's a confidence there, a quiet confidence, and when he does make a play, it comes out, the emotion comes out," Cousins said. "He's got a chance to be a great player in this league. We just have to continue to develop him and then give him opportunities."
Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said that Cousins showed real leadership late in the game and that he was impressed his quarterback could step up and deliver the deep ball after taking so many hits earlier in the game.
"We needed him to step up into some throws at the very end, he did it and made two big-time clutch throws," Gruden said. "Our offensive line even though they knew we were passing it and they have great pass rushers, they did a great job of giving him just enough time and the receivers finished plays."
On the first pass, Cousins delivered to Quick down the right sideline moments before defensive end Michael Bennett came crashing down on top of him. Seconds later, Cousins threw the most critical pass of the game to a diving Doctson.
With two highlight-worthy plays under his belt, Cousins said the praise should be put on the entire Redskins organization, which he said encourages the team's fearlessness in the face of adversity.
"We want to have a reputation that when we come into a place people say, 'This is a well-run organization; classy players, classy people, total pros," he said. "You need wins like this to be able to solidify that kind of reputation."