Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Kirk Cousins was exceptional at times in the Georgia Dome.
Stepping in for Robert Griffin III was no easy task for Kirk Cousins, given the intense media focus leading up to only his second career start.
But 2012's fourth-round pick mostly handled pressure well and was highly impressive in patches. Cousins flashed the ability to work through reads and make quick decisions from the pocket.
He helped the offense regain its big-play swagger via two completions of over 50 yards. Cousins also adapted well to Atlanta's plan to blitz him early and often.
He eventually stayed calm under pressure to deliver some clutch throws, particularly on third down.
But despite his share of exceptional moments, it is still too early to appoint Cousins a franchise saviour and forget the player whose name ends in a number.
The positive aspects of Cousins' performance have to be balanced against his role in three of the team's seven turnovers.
He threw two interceptions, both on errant passes to the inside. He also lost a fumble, although he was hardly helped by an offensive line that plays as if it has a personal vendetta against Redskins quarterbacks.
Yet despite the odd calamity, Cousins still merits a high grade for how he handled some of the core aspects of playing pro quarterback. In particular was the way he spread the ball around to multiple receivers.
The offense has missed this and many other staple qualities while Griffin has struggled.