Kirk Cousins completes strong first half in preseason start for Redskins

BALTIMORE -- Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins entered Saturday night with a chance to secure a starting job. He exited the same way.

With Robert Griffin III sidelined by an apparent concussion, Cousins started and played the first half against the Baltimore Ravens, completing 20 of 27 passes for 190 yards and one touchdown in the team's 31-13 win.

Cousins led the first-team offense on two touchdown drives -- the first touchdowns by the starting offense since 2013. The second touchdown drive occurred mostly versus Baltimore's backups.

Cousins' lone touchdown pass did not go as planned: A pass over the middle skipped off receiver Andre Roberts' hands and into those of Jamison Crowder, who ran the last few yards for the score.

But a protection unit that gave up three sacks against the Detroit Lions last week in a little more than one quarter of action surrendered none against Baltimore.

On the two touchdown drives, Cousins completed a combined 12 of 15 passes for 121 yards.

The big knock on Cousins has been that he throws too many interceptions and then responds poorly. Cousins had a 47.08 passer rating after throwing an interception last season. Saturday, Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs picked him off on the Redskins' first drive, leaping high to snare a screen pass intended for Pierre Garcon.

But Cousins responded well to the interception. On the next drive, he completed 5 of 7 passes, but the series ended with running back Alfred Morris getting stopped on fourth-and-1.

The Redskins plan to start Cousins in Week 1, sources told ESPN's Dianna Russini.

Griffin was injured in the second preseason game against Detroit. He was cleared to play Thursday but after further examining his tests, independent neurologist Dr. Robert N. Kurtzke said Friday that Griffin would not be cleared.

Griffin went through at least a one-hour workout before Saturday's game. He did his normal pregame routine, taking hard drops in the pocket and throwing with velocity. He tossed to stationary targets until he started throwing downfield passes.