The Washington Redskins extended their at-home win streak to four with an impressive 47-14 rout of the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.
Coming off a disappointing loss to New England, the Skins were hoping to bounce back with a victory. But against the Saints’ poor defense they got much more–their highest scoring game of the season and one of the best ever for quarterback Kirk Cousins.
Cousins went 20-of-25 for 324 yards, throwing a career-high four touchdowns and compiling a perfect passer rating of 158.3 along the way. He also had zero interceptions, which kept New Orleans from scoring any unearned points. Cousins’ performance was key to the victory, which places the Redskins just one game behind the division-leading Giants.
“I’m getting better as a quarterback,” Cousins said afterward. “When you’re in the zone and things are going really well, you’re just playing and your mind is free and you’re not allowing things to inhibit your play.”
On Sunday, Cousins’ touchdowns were not only more frequent, they were longer, too. After not completing a scoring pass for more than 7 yards this season, he connected for 16 and 8 yards to tight end Jordan Reed, 11 yards to receive Jamison Crowder, and 78 yards to running back Matt Jones.
“Kirk’s going to take his lumps, man, but he’s going to keep grinding and you can see the results starting to pay off,” Coach Jay Gruden, who has never wavered in his belief of Cousins, said.
His teammate, and frequent target Reed, agreed with their coach’s sentiments.
“I see his confidence growing each week,” the tight end said of Cousins. “I feel like he’s putting in hard work and that’s given him confidence to know that he’s going to go perform on the field.”
The Redskins were effective on the ground, too. After putting up just 37 rushing yards against New England last week, they rushed for 213 yards overall. 92 of those yards belonged to Alfred Morris, who had 15 carries. It was a breakout performance for Morris, who had just 51 yards on 29 carries in the previous four games.
The 33-point margin of victory was Washington’s largest in a decade–in 2005, they beat San Francisco 52-17.
They will next face the unbeaten Panthers, led by possible MVP candidate Cam Newton. After their performance against the Saints, it will be difficult to dismiss the Redskins as a realistic threat. Contrarily, is is unrealistic to think a dominant outing against a porous defense means the Redskins turned things around overnight. At this point, only time will tell.
With the victory the Redskins now trail the Giants (5-5) by just one game. They are tied with Philadelphia at (4-5), and must face both of those opponents–plus the Cowboys twice–before the end of the season. Their road to the playoffs has a few bumps, but thanks to victories like they had on Sunday, it hasn’t ended yet.