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Kirk Cousins drives Redskins to late rally over Bucs

*The Washington Redskins stormed back from a 24-0 first-half deficit to beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-30 on a last-minute touchdown throw from Kirk Cousins to Jordan Reed. It marked the biggest deficit overcome in franchise history. Here is what you need to know: *

  1. Give Kirk Cousins credit for bouncing back after a terrible start to the game. The Redskins were outgained 203-21 yards in the first quarter. Cousins was sloppy and off target early while under pressure, his fumble returned for a touchdown put the Redskins in a 24-0 hole. But in the second half, play-action passes and quarterback rolls helped him see the field.

Cousins got into a rhythm and he never let up. In four second-half drives he led three touchdown marches and a field goal. On the game-winning drive, Cousins smartly took the open underneath throws to march down the field, then hit Jamison Crowder on a dime to set up the winning touchdown to Reed. It was the best and worst of Kirk wrapped into one game.

  1. The Bucs were down to just two healthy receivers after Vincent Jackson and Louis Murphy left with knee injuries. Mike Evans made it not matter. The skyscraping wideout earned a plethora of chunk yardage plays, including catches of 40 yards (touchdown), 25, 24 and two 20-yarders. The Redskins had no answer for Evans' size. Jameis Winston's willingness to let Evans make plays for him is a positive sign moving forward.
  1. Praise for gutsy Jay Gruden! After getting down big, he went all in. Following a touchdown on the Redskins' first drive of the second half, Gruden called for an onside kick, which Washington recovered. The game turned on the call. Another score on the subsequent drive made it a three-point game in the blink of an eye. To the aggressor goes the NFL spoils yet again.
  1. On the flip side, Lovie Smith's squad killed itself with penalties. The early momentum helped mask it, but they crumbled late on the weight of the 16 flags for 142 yards. The lack of discipline cost the Bucs a win. Also, getting stuffed at the goal line and settling for a field goal to go up six instead of stepping on the Redskins' throats proved costly -- play for the win, Lovie!
  1. The Redskins are a different team with Jordan Reed on the field. Cousins is at his best when using Reed as his security blanket, especially in the red zone. After two tough weeks with Reed out, the tight end caught 11 passes for 72 yards and two touchdowns.
  1. Doug Martin's rejuvenation continues. The Dougernaut is so frisky in space, he exploited the soft underbelly of the Redskins' second level, making linebackers and safeties look foolish. He earned 171 scrimmage yards. At times, Martin looks untacklable.
  1. The Redskins played most of the game with a bevy of injuries at linebacker, including Ryan Kerrigan (fractured hand) who left early.
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