The Washington Redskins played their most complete game in years Sunday, crushing the New Orleans Saints, 47-14, at home to stay in contention in the NFC East.
The game resembled an old-fashioned AFL contest for much of the first half as the teams traded touchdowns through the air, but a 76-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins to Matt Jones midway through the second quarter put Washington ahead, 21-14, and the rout was on from there. The 33-point margin of victory was the largest for Washington in more than a decade.
Cousins had an outstanding day, completing 20 of 25 passes for 324 yards and a career-high four touchdowns for a perfect quarterback rating of 158.3.
The Redskins defense shut down the league’s third-ranked offensive team in the second half and put some points on the board as well, as safety Dashon Goldson picked off a Drew Brees pass in the fourth quarter and returned it 35 yards for a score.
Kicker Dustin Hopkins added four field goals from 35, 23, 40 and 22 yards. Hopkins has nailed 16 of 17 field goals since succeeding Kai Forbath, who was cut after the first game of the season and is now with New Orleans (4-6).
“It was a great win,” Washington head coach Jay Gruden said afterwards, unable to suppress a big grin as he met with reporters. “I’m real proud of the guys. We now know the expectations for us have changed, so the guys can enjoy this for a few hours but we know we have Carolina next week so we have to get back to work.”
With the win, Washington moved to 4-5 on the season and just a half-game behind the first-place Giants. They’ll head to Carolina to face the undefeated Panthers on Sunday.