Momentum is the most important thing in sports. When it's on your side, anything is possible. Once you attain this theoretical confidence, the goal is to keep it by whatever means necessary. Once momentum turns, so does the game. Mike Shanahan handed momentum to Pete Carrol and the Seattle Seahawks last night. After going up 14-0, Shanahan opted to keep an obviously injured RGIII in the contest, instead of going to battle tested Kirk Cousins. For many, the decision was a tough one, for me, it's black and white. Here is my argument for why Kirk Cousins was the obvious choice.
2. The Redskins had momentum. With Griffin obviously hurting, you have to put in Cousins, his 100% is better the RGIII 60%. RGIII is not a pocket passer, which his injury forced him to be last night. At this point now, you have 2 pocket passers, one of which is basically on 1 leg. The choice is obvious.
3. We (Redskins fans) all love Kirk Cousins. What he did against the Ravens and Browns was phenomenal. He was ready for that moment. He was in many huge moments at Michigan State, and to be honest, when he played in the 4th quarter he looked pretty good. The offensive line fell apart. Kirk Cousins is just as much of a gamer as RGIII is. There is an offensive game plan in place for him.
4. If Cousins comes in on the Redskins 3rd drive, he has an entire crowd, completely confident in his abilities, behind him. He has momentum, he isn't in the flow yet, but the rest of his teammates are. I honestly believe if you put Cousins in, the Redskins go up either 17 or 21 to 3.
5. Watching the deterioration of RGIII was slow, painful, and culminated into a horrific ending everyone saw coming. The air was slowly sucked out of the fans, coaches, players, and Griffin himself. He said he wouldn't have come out of the game, that is false. He knew it was better for the team, and he is unselfish enough to not let his pride get in the way.
6. If Cousins plays for 3 1/2 quarters, somewhere in that time frame the Redskins do enough offensively to win the game. Your offense does not fall apart with a healthy QB, it does with a hurt one, who's injury only worsens as the game progresses.
7. The defense is affected by what the offense is doing. Momentum is not a one way street, as RGIII worsened, so did the entire team's energy. I will say, the defense played inspired football and I am impressed by the way they performed.
8. Finally, this may not mean much, but the media and fans would not have killed Shany for putting Cousins in He's proved his worth on multiple occasions. The fans do love him, and would support him. If Cousins in you'd be 1 protecting RGIII, and 2 putting in the player who was better suited for the situation. If he was left out there to motivate everyone, it did not work. It slowly brought everyone down.
Even though I am bitter with the outcome, the Seahawks played a fantastic 3 quarters and earned the win. That being said, the outcome is different if RGIII is healthy, or if Cousins comes in and plays. Instead, here we are with people putting Shanahan on blast for being reckless with Griffin's health, which I do not find totally fair. I hate playing what if, but in this case it was necessary. If Cousins plays, Redskins nation doesn't watch in stunned silence as our playoff dreams go down with the horrific twist of Robert Griffin's right knee.-Josh Neighbors
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