Kirk Cousins did his job Sunday.
The Redskins' backup quarterback took over for the sidelined Robert Griffin III and guided Washington to a 38-21 win over the Cleveland Browns. Both of his touchdown passes on the day went to wide receiver Leonard Hankerson, who didn't detect a noticeable falloff from RG3 to Cousins.
"I honestly don't think it was that much different at all because both of those guys are high energy guys, they both come in the huddle with a whole lot of confidence, they talk to us a lot and I think they pretty much come in the same way," Hankerson told WTEM-AM, via SportsRadioInterviews.com. "Even though Kirk hasn't been a starter for the past 13 games, he always in practice, he always comes in with high intensity and he talks to us all the same like he has been the starter. Kirk, he's a guy that prepares hard each and every week like he is the starter and it obviously showed on Sunday."
The Redskins scrapped their "pistol" offense against the Browns, which many chalked up to the absence of RG3. Not entirely true. Washington barely ran any option plays against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 14. The Redskins have weaved in and out of the pistol all season, and we expect them to largely turn away from it next season.
What impressed us most about Cousins on Sunday was his ability to shake off an ugly start and get the offense -- and the passing game -- into a rhythm. The Redskins came in with a clear plan and didn't abandon that design. It was another solid piece of coaching by offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, who has done wonders with his two rookie passers in 2012.
Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.