The Redskins' balanced attack overwhelmed Green Bay on Sunday night and demonstrated what Washington's offense is capable of at full force.*
Since the offseason, Washington players and coaches have preached the potential of a balanced attack by adding a bruising running game to Washington's aerial assault offense. Those promises came to fruition during Sunday's 42-24 statement win over Green Bay in primetime as the Redskins offense had their way with the Packers defense at FedExField on Sunday night.
In addition to picking up 151 rushing yards and 375 passing yards, the Redskins executed in the red zone and closed the door on their opponent in the final minutes, flipping the script in two key areas that the team struggled with in the first half of the season.
Newly minted starting running back Robert Kelley chose a fantastic time for his breakout party. In his first prime-time game as the starter, Kelley rushed for 137 yards and three touchdowns on 24 carries. His penultimate rush of the game was a 66-yarder with less than three minutes remaining that all but sealed the victory for Washington. He scored a touchdown that put the game out of reach on the following play.
"It felt good to ice the game, man. To let those guys know that it's over," Kelley said.
Kelley was quick to credit the offensive line for giving him consistent holes throughout the night, including the wide-open rushing lanes that Kelley exploited to gash Green Bay.
"[Kelley] makes good reads, he makes good cuts, he constantly moves his feet," guard Spencer Long said. "He fights to the whistle and that's something that he'll pick up, even if the play is stuffed, he'll pick up two or three and that's huge. 2nd and 7 is a lot different than 2nd and 10. The kid just runs really hard and is a baller. He's fun to watch."
Cousins completed 21-of-30 attempts for 375 yards and three touchdowns and zero interceptions for a passer rating of 145.8 in one of his best performances in his NFL career to date.
"He was throwing some dimes out there," tight end Jordan Reed said. "Bad weather, some of those throws in the wind it was pretty exciting to see. It was a great game he played."
Cousins threw for more than 300 yards for a franchise record 17th time in his career, including the postseason.
Cousins connected with each of his top three wide receivers for touchdowns. The Michigan State product found slot machine Jamison Crowder late in the third quarter for a beautiful 44-yard strike that put the Redskins up two scores.
"We watched film throughout the week and saw they had some open spots down the middle of the field," Crowder said. "I didn't necessarily know on the plays that I caught the passes that I was going to get the ball, but the ball came my way, so I tried to make the most of the opportunity and was able to do that."
The Packers responded just two minutes after Crowder's score when a Redskins defensive miscommunication led to a 31-yard touchdown for Packers running back James Starks. In a lightning back and forth sequence, two plays later Cousins responded with a 70-yard touchdown pass to Pierre Garçon, who pranced into the end zone for the score.
"I can do a lot of things, people try to put you in a box, but you know I just enjoy playing football," Garçon said. "Whatever they ask me to do, I'm going to do it 100 percent. Just happy we connected."
In a contentious NFC East and with a showdown against the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving looming, the team hopes the offense can continue to fire on all cylinders for the remainder of the season.
"We need [Cousins] to play like that a lot more," Jackson said. "I think if we can get our guy back there playing like that, we're pretty much unstoppable like we were out there today. Everybody's eating – [Jamison] Crowder, J-Reed [Jordan Reed], I did a little something here-and-there, Pierre [Garçon] had some big catches and things of the nature. So we have to be excited about it, but we put this one behind us and keep moving forward."