Kirk Cousins: Washington Redskins QB Must Return to Sideline vs. Eagles

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Kirk Cousins: Washington Redskins QB Must Return to Sideline vs. Eagles
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Kirk Cousins was certainly deserving of his Captain Kirk moniker in Week 15 at Cleveland, but it's time for Cousins to return to the sideline before the Washington Redskins crush RG3's momentum and find themselves in the midst of a potential quarterback controversy heading into the postseason.

Cousins was exceptional minus one interception (which was tipped) in Sunday's blowout win over the Browns on the road, completing 26 of 37 passes for 329 yards and two touchdowns to lift the 'Skins into first place in the NFC East division.

Still, this is Robert Griffin III's team—no matter how hurt he is—and he's the one Washington must and will live and die by under center.

With the Redskins set to take on the Philadelphia Eagles on the road in Week 16 and only two weeks left before the start of the playoffs, it's imperative that Mike Shanahan and the Redskins coaching staff get RG3 back on the field and playing at a high level.

In the case that RG3 is too vulnerable to suit up, Cousins is the appropriate option. Otherwise, there's no excuse not to finish the job with the man who started it in Week 1 in New Orleans

Playing against the Eagles will allow RG3 to experience full-speed football while at the same time taking on a depleted team that's starting lots of inexperienced players on defense at this point in the year. The Eagles have lost 10 of their last 12 games and are playing for jobs, pride and respect.

Not that Griffin has anything to prove in Week 16.

Assuming RG3 is healthy enough to play, who should the Redskins start vs. the Eagles?

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To this point in 2012, RG3 has been remarkably efficient and careful, completing more than 66 percent of his passes and throwing just four interceptions (and 18 touchdowns) all year. Griffin's threat as a runner (6.7 yards per carry), though hampered by his sprained knee, sets him apart from Cousins as well.

In order to have a shot to win the Super Bowl this season, the Redskins will need their best players to be at their best. In order to do that they must be on the field. It's the same for every so-called contender come December. Teams playing well late in the year usually go the furthest. 

The longer RG3 watches from the sideline, the more rust he'll have to shake off in the postseason.

That, along with avoiding a late-season quarterback controversy, is why getting RG3 back to action this weekend in Philly is so critical for the Washington Redskins.

Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter. 

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