Has Washington gotten over there prime time woes? For the first time since 2012, the Burgundy and Gold were victorious on prime time television at home. After a 42-24 victory over the Green Bay Packers, the Redskins avenged last year's playoff loss with a national television thumping of Aaron Rodgers and company. Here are the highlights from Kirk Cousins and Jay Gruden's post-game press conferences.
* The weather conditions were not ideal for a high scoring affair but Cousins did not mind. The Washington quarterback threw for 375 yards and three touchdowns including three 40+ yard bombs. Gruden was shocked, but Cousins explained his experience and the science behind his success.
"Yeah, especially in the fourth quarter. I don't know how he did it. The one to Pierre [Garcon] was a seventy-yard touchdown, I don't think I could throw the ball ten yards in that thing. But he spun it. He's always been able to knife the ball through the wind, really. He's been a good quarterback in the rain and the wind. He just has a really good release. Good feel for it. That one and the one to Crowder to the one-yard line was another great throw."
"I feel like tonight was tough elements. I feel like early in the first half, I was leaving off the field after a couple of series thinking that tonight might be a night of tough sledding where we win 19-17 or something like that. I wasn't quite sure what kind of night it was going to be so I was surprised with the way it turned out. But having played in the Big Ten and growing up in the Midwest, you are used to playing in some tough elements, but tonight was pretty tough with the wind combined with the cold."
"I've always believed that rotation beats wind. So if you can get a tight spiral, you can cut the wind. The key is having that consistently, which even myself there will be passes that are not as tight as I want them to be. ... It isn't easy."
* Gruden had a couple of tough decisions during the game. First, he decided to attempt two 2-point conversions, both were unsuccessful, instead of kicking the PAT. Questionable at first, but after Mason Crosby missed a 36-yard field and Dustin Hopkins missed a 33-yard PAT, Gruden may have been right to go for two given the windy conditions.
"To go for two, you saw the wind. That's why."
* The other big time decision for Gruden was going for it on fourth-and-1 from the Redskins own 41 yard line with 6:12 remaining in the game, which not surprisingly was the biggest play of the game. Not wanting to punt into the wind played a factor in the choice. Cousins also commented on the high leverage play.
"The fourth-and-1 was pretty simply, it was half a yard, and the wind was pretty strong in our face. Thought our offensive line was getting pretty good movement, we could get half a yard with the quarterback sneak play. "
"I think you just have to because of the amount of time left on the clock, the margin, the way the Packers have been moving the ball, all the players they have on the offensive side of the ball. I think you had to do it and it's just a matter of which play call and how do we execute it versus the front or the blitz they'll bring. Credit Brandon Scherff and Spencer Long and Shawn Lauvao for getting the push inside against some pretty good interior D-linemen to enable me to get in there because I certainly don't get in there by churning my legs."
* For the second straight week, Matt Jones was likely inactive because of his lack of contribution on special teams. Robert Kelley in turn rushed for 137 yards on 24 carries, 5.7 per rush, and three touchdowns. The undrafted free agent might have locked down the starting job for good and Gruden hinted as much.
"We thought he deserved an opportunity and when he got an opportunity, nobody really knew exactly what was going to happen on a Sunday afternoon with him getting the ball as a rookie free agent. We had high hopes because we saw what he was doing in practice, but we are not live tackling in practice. We saw him in the preseason games, but to see what he does with the pads on, it would be tough to get him out of there now. He's a strong back with great vision, runs extremely hard so we're thrilled to death, but he's got to keep working like everyone else.
* Last January, Washington got off to a quick 11-0 lead on the Packers in the Wild Card game. That came to a sudden end when Green Bay left FedEx Field victorious 35-18. Cousins explained that the Redskins used that as motivation tonight.
"As a competitor, you certainly have a sour taste in your mouth walking away from the game last season. When you watch the film, we felt like there were plays there to be made that didn't get made. I think tonight you saw what we felt we were capable of doing last January and just didn't get it done. We're all competitors so we came into this game with a bit of a sour taste in our mouths, a chip on our shoulder, a desire to prove ourselves. It doesn't mean anything if you don't go out and play well, we still had to execute and that's obviously what we're most proud about, the fact that we executed from the first quarter to the last."
* For the first time since September 21, 2014, Pierre Garcon had a 100-yard receiving game. Garcon finished with 6 catches for 116 yards and a touchdown and Cousins was happy to sing his praises.
"Yeah, he has the potential to do it all. He was brought here to be a number one receiver for a reason. ... He has the juice to go down field and can make a lot of plays. He's the real deal and the great thing about him too is he is such a competitor, he blocks in the run game, he competes down in and down out. It matters to him so, he's the total package and he showed it tonight. It's a joy to play alongside him."
* In closing remarks, Cousins was asked about his high intensity conversation with general manger Scot McCloughan after the game.
"I'm just always trying to prove myself. I'm always being evaluated and I'll always be trying to prove myself as long as I'm playing this game."
* Gruden confirmed that there are no injuries to report for Washington, which is important with the extremely short week ahead.
Follow Neil on Twitter @NeilDalal96.
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