What we learned in the Redskins' win over the Ravens

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Sports,NFL,Redskins,John Keim

1 Brandon Banks' tenure in Washington is in jeopardy. Yes, that was sort of obvious after he was made inactive Sunday. Then rookie Richard Crawford returned three punts for 100 yards, including the 64-yarder in overtime. The truth is Banks hasn't really done much as a returner for a while. Banks has returned three of 22 kicks for at least 30 yards, and he has just two punt returns for at least 20 yards. Banks has said he's playing hurt, but that leads to questions about his durability because he was banged up in 2011, too. He was electric at times as a rookie, and it's tough to toss aside speed. But unlike the past two seasons, the Redskins' offense has big-play potential. Washington needed Banks' big plays the previous two years to generate momentum. While a team could use big returns every week, the Redskins' offense has proved it can work without them.

2 Having a quarterback such as Robert Griffin III means there always is a risk of him getting hurt on a run. But having a quarterback who only sits in the pocket carries a similar risk. If the Redskins were calling a heavy dose of quarterback runs throughout games, then a case could be made that they're jeopardizing their long-term future. But the play in which Griffin ran was a second-and-19 in which he was flushed from the pocket. The reason you want a quarterback such as Griffin is because he can turn negative situations into positive gains. The lure of Griffin was his arm and his legs; he must continue to develop as a passer so that part of the game can expand. But there's no reason to curtail another way he can make plays.

3 Kirk Cousins was worth a fourth-round pick. It's not just because of what he did Sunday but rather what he could do going forward. He's far from a finished product, and if he must play for an extended time, he no doubt will make mistakes. Some of them will be crucial, too. Cousins was an aggressive passer in college, in training camp and in preseason games. That means big plays and sometimes big mistakes. But what he showed Sunday is that the Redskins can trust him to enter in a pressure-filled spot and he won't flinch. For a rookie, that's a promising sign.

jkeim@washingtonexaminer.com

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John Keim

Staff Reporter - Washington Redskins
The Washington Examiner