But after opening the game one-for-six, with four yards, and interception and a sack, Cousins came alive, throwing 25-for-31 for 325 yards and two passing touchdowns.
Cousins was helped by strong rushing and receiving performances by his teammates on offense, and led the team on six scoring drives.
His first touchdown of the day came on the Redskins' fifth possession, when Cousins went through his full progression and found
After adding a field goal for the lead, the Redskins went into halftime trailing by four after yielding a Trent Richardson touchdown.
After kicking off to start the second half, the Redskins' defense got the ball back on a
Cousins found receiver
Displaying a new level of confidence, Cousins picked apart the Browns' secondary, hitting
It was then that the Redskins used the roll out, faking the handoff to Morris and throwing to Hankerson, who was totally uncovered in the flats:
Cousins led the offense on 10-play drive that milked 4:38 off the clock and ended with backup running back
What had begun as a defensive struggle had morphed into a blowout, as the Redskins could now score at will.
But the 17-point lead didn't last long, as the Browns needed just three plays to find the end zone, pulling the game back to within two scores.
With 10:05 remaining in the game, the Redskins needed to score and take time off the clock. Cousins and Morris set their sights on the end zone, taking over at the Washington 24-yard line.
On first down, Cousins found Morgan over the middle for a 32-yard gain to get the team across midfield. This was Morgan's longest reception as a member of the Redskins, and his longest since Week 10 of the 2010 season, as a member of the San Francisco 49ers.
Morris did the rest, gaining 17 yards on the drive, including an eight-yard plunge up the middle for his second touchdown of the day: