Will Griffin be available to back up Cousins?
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NFL.com's Albert Breer reports that Griffin will not dress on Sunday. Rex Grossman will be the backup.
Cousins tried to deflect credit for his two completions and two-point conversion in last week's overtime win. But that poise was indicative of how Cousins has looked since being drafted.
Cousins played very well overall in the preseason, showing accuracy and quick decision making. He impressed coaches throughout training camp. He made a few mistakes in a regular season relief appearance against the Falcons, but also made a couple big throws. He's not afraid.
Washington can absolutely win with Cousins, although it's obviously going to be tougher. Remember: Cleveland is starting a rookie quarterback too.
They are 5-3 since an 0-5 start, including three straight wins. They have home wins over Cincinnati, San Diego and Pittsburgh. They outplayed the Cowboys in Dallas before blowing a late lead. Defensive coordinator Dick Jauron has his defense playing well, and rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden has showed steady progress.
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Could Washington survive a loss and still make the playoffs?
It's not as big a long shot as you'd think. A 9-7 team may very well win the NFC East or get the last wild card, and a non-conference loss wouldn't be a killer for Washington. The Redskins are 3-1 in the NFC East and 6-4 in the NFC. That would help immensely with tiebreakers if Washington won its last two games against the Philadelphia Eagles and Cowboys.