Kirk Cousins

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Know that Kirk Cousins has struggled, but don't panic over it yet

Know that Kirk Cousins has struggled, but don't panic over it yet

For the second straight week, Kirk Cousins performed at a level subpar to his ability. Or at least the ability Redskins fans have come to expect during the last two seasons.

In Washington's preseason Week 1 loss to the Ravens, Cousins hardly played and threw only two passes. It was easy to dismiss that outing as too short and too limited for true evaluation.

Against the Packers Saturday night, that was not the case.

The Redskins were not able to even gain a first down until their fourth possession, and Cousins did not get into even the slightest rhythm until he and the Washington offense faced the Packers backup defenders.

RELATED: FIVE OBSERVATIONS FROM LOSS TO PACKERS

His numbers look decent, 14 of 23 for 144 yards and a touchdown. Watching the game, though, the numbers don't properly reflect the performance.

Cousins, and the entire Redskins offense, must be better for this team to have a shot at the playoffs in the 2017 regular season. Must be.

Now all of that said, it's still not time to freak out about Cousins.

Since being named the Redskins starter in 2015, Cousins has thrown for more than 9,000 yards and the Redskins have won 17 games. There is a track record of relative success that fans should be comfortable looking at instead of a string of bad preseason performances. Couple that with a dreadful run game so far, and poor play from their offensive line, and the picture of Cousins becomes less worrisome. 

For his part, the quarterback isn't worried. 

RELATED:BEST PHOTOS FROM REDSKINS' WEEK 2 LOSS

"I haven’t played a live football game since last January, late December, and it takes time to get used to that again," Cousins said after Saturday's game. "I think practice is a false sense of reality, when they’re not actually able to hit you. It’s a different deal when they can, and I probably was moving a little faster than I needed to. My clock was going off a little faster. I think the preseason games will help with that, being able to play next week as well. And I’d like to think that those couple of games with a lot of reps, the clock tends to settle in and you get a better feel before Week 1."

Cousins wasn't sharp against Green Bay. He missed some throws, and probably had some chances for big plays he didn't take.

The Redskins struggled in the red zone, twice, and that's an unsightly continuation of a big problem from the 2016 season. Jay Gruden and Cousins pointed to a touchdown throw near the end of the first half as a reason for some positive momentum.

The truth on that touchdown, a nice pass from Cousins to Crowder, is it likely never would have happened in the regular season. The TD came on fourth down, after Cousins arguably missed an open Josh Doctson for a TD on third down. When the games count, Gruden probably would have kicked the field goal on fourth down, especially given his team's ineptitude near the goal line. 

Gruden voiced similar comments to Cousins about getting used to game speed again. 

"I think he was a little antsy. I think he’ll tell you that. He’s just getting back in the flow," the coach said.

"Just a matter of getting in rhythm, getting used to the wide receivers and Kirk will be fine."

RELATED: STOCK UP, STOCK DOWN

Kirk will be fine. That's the message from the coach and the quarterback. 

In August, even after struggling through two preseason games, that's the right message. 

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Terrelle Pryor sees parallels between his and Kirk Cousins's one-year deals

Terrelle Pryor sees parallels between his and Kirk Cousins's one-year deals

Redskins receiver Terrelle Pryor is on a one-year, $6 million contract (with $2 million in incentives) that gives him a chance to prove he can be a consistently productive receiver in the NFL.

He's only played the position for one full season after starting his pro career as a quarterback. 

Speaking to Clinton Portis during Saturday night's preseason game against the Packers, Pryor said he views his short-term deal the same way Kirk Cousins probably views his own. 

Cousins is playing on the franchise tag after being unable to reach a long-term extension with Washington before the start of this season. 

"It's just like a lot of guys, you know like Kirk, situations where maybe you feel your contract should be better than what it is and what was offered and stuff like that so, and I'm ok with that," Pryor said. 

MORE REDSKINS: Josh Norman found a way to do his illegal celebration

The former Brown said he feels Washington is a good place to prove himself and build from there. 

"This is a great place to do it at and hopefully stay here for a long time. I'd love to do it," he said. "Kirk's on a one-year deal, and it just happens that's what I came on, what I decided I wanted to do."

Pryor's comments reference two separate contract negotiations that didn't necessarily go the way the players wanted.

The first was his own with the Browns. Pryor decided to turn down a multi-year contract from Cleveland, reportedly worth $8 million per season, for the chance to hit free agency and test his value again in 2018. 

But the receiver's words also refer to the contract negotiations between Cousins and the Redskins this offseason. 

The quarterback's camp declined to respond to Washington's long-term offer, which was barely higher than the cost of the franchise tag this year and transition tag next season

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Redskins' Kirk Cousins continuing to show us his musical side

Redskins' Kirk Cousins continuing to show us his musical side

If there's one thing we've learned during training camp, it's that Kirk Cousins sometimes likes to break out in song.

Our first glimpse of his love of song (and maybe dance?) was the quarterback spitting some 'Hamilton' bars while warming up before practice.

MORE REDSKINS: PRESEASON GAME 1 MUST SEE PHOTOS

Then, during Thursday night's preseason game against the Ravens, Cousins hit a few high notes to Whitney Houston's 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody' while walking through the tunnel. The QB sounds pretty good too.

But don't think this talent just came out of the woodwork. His musical abilities go all the way back to his high school days.

One thing that didn't get us as excited as Cousins' singing was the Redskins offense. Cousins missed a connection with Terrelle Pryor on the teams first play from scrimmage then was sacked on third down. He completed 1 of 2 passes for 5 yards.

The defense had a rough time as well. Two potentially serious knee injuries occurred with OLB Trent Murphy and safety Su'a Cravens. They are both scheduled to undergo MRIs. 

MORE REDSKINS: FIVE OBSERVATIONS FROM REDSKINS 23-3 LOSS TO RAVENS