Filling in for the benched Robert Griffin III, Cousins led the Redskins on an 80-yard scoring drive in the final three minutes, but came up just short when his pass to Pierre Garcon fell incomplete on the two-point conversion. Mike Shanahan, who likely has nothing to lose on his way out of Washington, gambled by going for the win instead of kicking the PAT.
Cousins finished 29-of-45 for 381 yards, three touchdowns and two picks.
The Redskins struggled to hold onto the ball all game, turning it over seven times with two picks and five fumbles. Cousins accounted for three of those, throwing a pair of picks and losing a fumble. Alfred Morris also lost a pair of fumbles.
After taking a few early shots, Cousins quickly found a rhythm against the Falcons defense. He went 13-20 for 248 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, helping the Redskins rally back from a 14-0 deficit.
His first touchdown came just before the end of the first quarter when he found Fred Davis for a 23-yard touchdown. He then pulled the Redskins to within 17-14 with a 53-yard connection to Garcon. A pair of Kai Forbath field goals gave Washington a 20-17 lead at the half.
The Falcons built their early two-score advantage thanks in part to a particularly nasty three-yard touchdown run by Steven Jackson.
Jackson scored for a second time on a two-yard run midway through the third quarter to put the Falcons ahead, 24-20. The score was set up when Cousins threw his second interception of the game just after the Redskins had made an impressive goal line stand to keep Atlanta out of the endzone.
Matt Bryant hit a 51-yard field goal with 3:31 remaining in the game to give the Falcons a seven-point lead.
Did they cover?
The Falcons came in favored by 5.5 points, according to Oddsshark.com, failing to cover with the one-point win.