Kirk Cousins had his moments in his first start of the season, but he couldn't change Washington's self-destructive tendencies.
Here's what else we learned:
- Cousins showed why Shanahan wanted to get him into the lineup. He made a number of terrific throws. Washington attempted and completed more vertical plays from the pocket than they did with Robert Griffin; Cousins finished with 381 yards.
- Then again, Griffin would have found success against this ragged Falcons defense too. While Cousins threw a number of impressive passes, his decision-making and accuracy crumbled for most of the second half until a late touchdown that could have sent the game to overtime. (If Shanahan was at all interested in overtime.)
- The Falcons helped out an old friend with this win. There's a chance that the St. Louis general manager Les Snead will be holding the No. 1 overall pick in April. The Rams hold Washington's first round pick because of the Robert Griffin III trade. The Falcons' chances of getting the No. 1 seed are slim now.