The bizarre and dramatic week surrounding the Washington Redskins led to a clear conclusion.
Kirk Cousins is the best fit for coach Jay Gruden's offense.
This truth isn't new, just more glaringly obvious when comparing a crisp and efficient effort in a 31-13 win over the Baltimore Ravens versus last week's trainwreck against the Lions with Robert Griffin III under center.
This doesn't mean Cousins starts the Sept. 13 regular season opener against the Miami Dolphins at FedEx Field.
If that's the outcome Gruden and general manager Scot McCloughan desire, then, to quote former NBA star Rasheed Wallace, ball don't lie.
Thrust into the starting lineup after doctor's reversed Grffin's status and ruled him out due to not passing a neurological test, Cousins passed the starting quarterback.
Cousins read the defenses and found his targets, even the second and third options. Last season a turnover typically derailed his day. This time, Cousins rebounded, finishing 20 of 27 for 190 yards and a touchdown via a tipped ball hauled in by rookie Jamison Crowder. The slant pass hit Andre Roberts in the hands and fortunately after floating in the air, found Crowder's.
Take away a heave in the waning seconds of the first half and Cousins completed his final nine passes for 90 yards leading to consecutive touchdown drives.
Last week Griffin faced constant pressure and took many hits. Cousins largely avoided taking blows from the Ravens. The return of left tackle Trent Williams certainly helped. The ability to adjust plays and decisions based on th defensive looks did as well. Washington threw the ball 39 times yet did not allow a sack.
No, he wasn't perfect. The Redskins didn't score on their first three possessions against Baltimore's first-team defense. Cousins threw a brutal interception as pass rusher Terrell Suggs stayed home to defend a screen pass and ended up catching the ball. Though it was more about the great play made by Suggs, Cousins erred making the high throw.
Yet even in those initial possessions, the ball, the flow moved as desired.
The game is about scoring points. Even the best of quarterbacks struggle keeping the scoreboard operators busy at times. The key is putting the team in position to score enough so that eventually they breakthrough. That's what we saw Saturday in Baltimore from both Cousins and Colt McCoy, who led Washington to 17 points in the second half.
That's frankly what we've seen in the past from the aggressive Cousins. His penchant for turnovers combined with the all-about-Griffin era we've lived in the past three-plus years put his high points on the back-burner. We were talking about a backup so need to focus on the upside or truly ponder that he might learn from his mistakes. Cousins has played in 14 games entering his fourth season.
Now the question is are we talking about a backup anymore. Cousins could start the opener by default if Griffin isn't cleared by the doctors. Otherwise, if the desire is starting the player most adept at reading defenses, hitting players on the move and making throws even when pass pressure mounts, then Cousins will face Miami.
Of course, it's not that simple. Nothing ever is with this franchise. Starting Cousins over a healthy Griffin isn't just about the season opener, but the franchise's direction. If you want to see drama, watch social media explode should Griffin be relegated to clipboard duty. Truth is, the outrage volume from the Griffin faithful goes to 11 in that case. Benching RG3 before the opener likely means he never steps on the field wearing burgundy and gold again.
If that's the outcome the various decisionmakers desire, ball don't lie.