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Instant analysis: Cousins, 2nd half surge saves Skins against Bucs

Kirk Cousins accounted for four touchdowns including the game-winning pass to Jordan Reed with 24 seconds left in the Redskins' 31-30 win.

LANDOVER -- We can put aside talk of any third quarter woes or quarterback changes at least for another week.

Kirk Cousins threw for 317 yards with three touchdown passes including the go-ahead six-yard toss to Jordan Reed with 24 seconds left as the Washington Redskins rallied from 24-point deficit for a thrilling 31-30 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 

Cousins completed 33 of 40 passes, didn't throw an interception and directed the final 11-play, 80-yard drive for his second game-winning TD pass in the final minute this season He also scored Washington's first touchdown with an 8-yard run in the second quarter after the Redskins (3-4) fell behind 24-0.

The defense sealed the win by recovering Tampa Bay running back Charles Sims' fumble with five seconds remaining.

  • Trailing 24-7 at halftime, the Redskins outscored the Bucs 14-0 in the third as Cousins threw three-yard touchdown passes to Ryan Grant and Reed, who caught 11 passes after missing the previous two weeks with a concussion. The touchdowns were the first in the third quarter for Washington this season. Yes, this season. ...In between the scores came some trickiness on special teams as the Redskins recovered Dustin Hopkins' onside kick.

  • The Redskins were a mess on both sides of the ball in the first quarter. With success through the air plus running back Doug Martin on the ground, the Bucs gained a whopping 203 yards compared to 21 for the home team as Washington's offense didn't generate a single first down without penalty. More bad news in the second quarter as Tampa Bay went up 24-0 on a defensive touchdown off a Cousins fumble. Washington with a 27-21 edge in first downs.

  • Despite losing Ryan Kerrigan in the first half with a hand injury along with inside linebackers Keenan Robinson (abdominal) and Perry Riley for stretches, the defense rebounded after the terrible start. Ricky Jean-Francois' pass rush prowess stood out. They kept the Bucs out of the end zone in the second half as two long drives ended in Connor Barth field goals. His final kick from 21-yards capped an 11-play, 91-yard drive. 

  • Bucs receiver Mike Evans destroyed the Redskins secondary last season. This year was no exception as the 6-foot-5 target dominated Washington's shorter defensive backs all day with eight receptions for 164 yards. His 40-yard TD grab on a perfectly thrown deep ball by Winston opened the scoring. The pair hooked for another apparent score in the fourth quarter, but Evans was called for offensive pass interference. The Bucs eventually settled for another Barth field goal, which the Redskins matched on their next possession.

  • The Redskins, already with Chris Culliver (knee) and DeAngelo Hall (toe), also lost cornerback Bashaud Breeland in the fourth quarter with a hamstring injury.

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