Russell Wilson threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Doug Baldwin that gave the Seahawks a 14-10 lead over Washington with 1:34 to go in the fourth quarter Sunday in Seattle.
Immediately, all eyes turned to Kirk Cousins.
Could he lead Washington down the field with so little time remaining? Could he lead Washington to a victory on the road in a hostile environment? Could he?
Answer: Yes, he could. And he needed just 30 seconds to do it.
Indeed, Cousins led a four-play, 70-yard drive that culminated with a 1-yard touchdown run by Rob Kelley, giving Washington a 17-14 win. Instead of 3-5, the Redskins are 4-4 and have all of their goals in front of them.
The drive was, in a word, clutch.
“I thought Jay Gruden, going into this game, had the absolute perfect demeanor for a head coach to have with a team that had no business going up there and winning that game,” NFL on FOX analyst Charles Davis said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “He went up there like, ‘Hey, it’s business as usual. I don’t care that we have 800 people (hurt).’ They had more people who really could not play than they could actually list on the inactive list. That’s how beat up they were.’”
And yet, Washington won despite being outgained 437-244 in total yardage, including 148-51 on the ground.
“When you put it all together – must win, all those things, no shot of winning it and getting it done – if Washington lost that game with the effort they gave yesterday, I don’t know what we would have gotten this week out of them,” Davis said. “Because they put everything into that. It was heart and soul. They set the pace. They outplayed Seattle at just abut every turn. If Russell Wilson had done what he did and that held up, I don’t know what we would have gotten this week. I don’t know if that team could’ve bounced back from that. Instead, now this team has hope. This team has belief. And all those guys who were hurt before and didn’t play this week, I bet they’re feeling better right now.”
Washington, which had lost three of four before beating Seattle, hosts Minnesota (6-2) this Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.
While the Redskins wouldn’t have been eliminated from the playoffs at 3-5, a losing record can spiral from bad to worse in a hurry.
“I got to give Gruden a ton of credit,” Davis said. “His demeanor has been perfect for what we’re talking about. He never once bought into, ‘Yeah, we’re so beat up we can’t play. We’re so beat up it’ll take a miracle to do it.’ He’s like, ‘Yeah, we’re beat up. Okay. We got to figure it out.’”
Gruden’s demeanor embodied Washington’s 2017 motto: By Any Means.
“It sounds like a college slogan,” Davis said. “But it works for pro guys, too.”