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Home Sports Originally published December 16, 2012

No RGIII, Redskins Defeat Cleveland & Take NFC East 1st Place

Washington Redskins Football

by Stephen D. Riley
Special to the AFRO

    Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (12) passes the ball against the Cleveland Browns during an NFL football game in Cleveland, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012 (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)
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With their starting quarterback sidelined and first place in the NFC East on the line, the Washington Redskins defeated the Cleveland Browns 38-21 behind rookie backup Kirk Cousins' career-high 329 yards and two touchdowns at Cleveland Browns Stadium on Dec. 16.

Cousins, filling in for the injured Robert Griffin III, led Washington on scoring drives in every quarter, beginning with a 54-yard connection with Leonard Hankerson in the first quarter.

Cousins' big day, coupled with rookie rusher Alfred Morris' 87 yards and two touchdown runs, powered the Redskins to 430 total yards on offense. Cleveland took a 14-10 lead shortly before the half on Trent Richardson’s one-yard plunge but Washington answered with 28-second half points which were simply too much for the undermanned Browns to overcome.

With an eye on the scoreboard, Washington was able to celebrate a little harder after learning of the New York Giants 34-0 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. That loss put Washington in first place in the NFC East at 8-6 with only two games remaining.

Washington will visit the struggling Philadelphia Eagles (4-10) next Sunday and may be able to welcome Griffin back to the lineup. But with Cousins' career game, they may not be a rush for RGIII to return.