Without taking a single snap, Robert Griffin III looks a whole lot better Friday than he did 24 hours earlier.

It was nothing the ballyhooed quarterback did himself but rather what his Washington Redskins replacement failed to accomplish.

Through seven quarters of relief work, Kirk Cousins appeared well on his way to giving RG3 the Wally Pipp treatment. Then came a disastrous outing in Thursday night's 45-14 home loss to the New York Giants that showed Cousins isn't exactly the NFL equivalent of Lou Gehrig in his prime.

Cousins unraveled in the second half. We're talking Heath Shuler bad -- and that 1990s Redskins bust never got picked off three times in a five-play span like Cousins did during the third quarter.

The more Cousins attempted to dig out of this hole, the deeper he sunk. Cousins was intercepted again on Washington's first fourth-quarter series and the Redskins went three-and-out on their only other meaningful possession before the pummeling came to an end.

"When he gets down like that, he starts trying to force some balls and trying to create a spark offensively," Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said. "There was no spark there."

A fiery quarterback controversy already was ignited in Washington before this debacle. Until RG3 is healthy enough to return from his dislocated ankle, every Redskins game is a chance for Cousins to stake his claim for the starting job.

Not only had Cousins sparkled against Jacksonville and Philadelphia, Griffin had done nothing in the preseason or a Week 1 loss to Houston that indicated he was entitled to keep his first-string spot after returning from injury.