CLEVELAND - Robert Griffin III watched as the Redskins' other rookie quarterback again won.

Rookie Kirk Cousins threw for 329 yards and two touchdowns filling in on Sunday for an injured Griffin to lead Washington to its fifth straight win, a 38-21 pasting of the Cleveland Browns.

Cousins connected with Leonard Hankerson for both touchdowns in his first career start as the Redskins, who'll meet the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday, barely missed a beat without the talented and multi-dimensional RGIII, who sat out with a sprained knee.

Last week, Cousins came off the bench after Griffin got hurt and rallied the Redskins (8-6) to an overtime win. Cousins was behind center from the start of this one and delivered a performance that moved the Redskins into a tie for first in the NFC East.

Cousins may not have Griffin's talent, but the fourth-round pick from Michigan State was efficient, accurate and only made one major mistake - an early interception to set up Cleveland's first TD.

Cousins finished 26 of 37 as the Redskins improved to 5-0 since their bye. They'll end the season with games against NFC East rivals Philadelphia and Dallas, teams they beat in consecutive weeks to start their streak.

Griffin's playing status was in doubt all week before the Redskins surprisingly announced late Saturday night that Cousins would start. If the Browns thought they were getting a break, Cousins proved to be as challenging to stop as his more elusive and hyped teammate.

Meanwhile, Browns rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden struggled from the outset. He went 21 of 35 for 244 yards and two picks, both leading to Washington touchdowns.

The Browns (5-9) had their winning streak stopped at three and faint playoff hopes snuffed out. Coach Pat Shurmur's fate may have rested on the Browns winning out, but that won't happen and his days in Cleveland could be dwindling quickly.

Redskins 38, Browns 21

Washington 7 3 14 14 – 38

Cleveland 7 7 0 7 – 21

First quarter

Cle–Richardson 6 run (Dawson kick), 8:41.

Was–Hankerson 54 pass from Cousins (Forbath kick), 2:16.

Second quarter

Was–FG Forbath 44, 5:46.

Cle–Richardson 1 run (Dawson kick), 1:11.

Third quarter

Was–Morris 3 run (Forbath kick), 13:14.

Was–Hankerson 2 pass from Cousins (Forbath kick), 7:40.

Fourth quarter

Was–Royster 4 run (Forbath kick), 11:19.

Cle–Benjamin 69 pass from Weeden (Dawson kick), 10:11.

Was–Morris 8 run (Forbath kick), 5:00.

A: 65,083.

Was   Cle

First downs 25   13

Total Net Yards 430   291

Rushes-yards 35-122   15-58

Passing 308   233

Punt Returns 2-18   2-15

Kickoff Returns 1-22   7-191

Interceptions Ret. 2-25   1-37

Comp-Att-Int 26-37-1   21-35-2

Sacked-Yards Lost 2-21   2-11

Punts 5-42.6   6-42.0

Fumbles-Lost 2-0   1-0

Penalties-Yards 6-45   5-30

Time of Possession 36:17   23:43


Rushing: Washington, Morris 27-87, Cousins 3-22, Young 3-10, Royster 2-3. Cleveland, Richardson 11-28, Cribbs 1-16, Weeden 1-9, Hardesty 2-5.

Passing: Washington, Cousins 26-37-1-329. Cleveland, Weeden 21-35-2-244.

Receiving: Washington, Garcon 6-65, Moss 5-57, Morgan 4-60, Paulsen 4-47, Hankerson 2-56, Royster 2-30, Morris 2-6, Young 1-8. Cleveland, Little 5-74, Cameron 3-34, Gordon 3-27, Richardson 3-4, Massaquoi 2-16, Watson 2-12, Smith 2-8, Benjamin 1-69.

Missed Field Goals: None.