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Need to Know: Kirk Cousins' five best games

Need to Know: Kirk Cousins' five best games

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, June 1, 57 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 143 days ago. It will be 103 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Redskins training camp starts 57; Preseason opener @ Falcons 72; Final roster cut to 53, 94

I’m enjoying a vacation week in the Outer Banks. While I’m gone I’m presenting a few of the most popular posts from earlier this offseason (Note: A few details may not be updated) as well as some posts looking back at some of the team’s best performances. Thanks for reading, see you again on Monday, June 6.

Kirk Cousins’ five best career games (by passer rating, minimum 20 attempts)

158.3 vs. Saints, 11.15.15: 20 comp./25 att/324 yards/4 TD/0 INT—The Redskins piled up stats that contributed to the Saints’ dubious distinction of being one of the worst pass defenses of all time. One of Cousins’ shortest throws led to the biggest gain of the day. He flipped a screen pass to Matt Jones, who rolled 78 yards for a touchdown.

153.7 vs. Bills, 12.20.15: 16/27/235/2/0—The Redskins took a 28-7 lead midway through the third quarter on Cousins’ 77-yard touchdown bomb to DeSean Jackson. The Bills rallied but Cousins put it away with a five-yard TD pass to Pierre Garçon early in the fourth.

128.1 vs. Bucs, 10.25.15: 33/40/317/3/0—You may remember this game for the rally from the 24-0 deficit, the biggest comeback in team history, and Cousins declaring “You like that!” on the way to the locker room. It almost makes you forget the 11-play, 80-yard touchdown drive for the winning score, a touchdown pass from Cousins to Jordan Reed with 24 seconds left.

120.3 @ Eagles, 12.26.15: 31/46/365/4/0—Reed caught Cousins touchdown passes of 12 and 23 yards in the first half to the Redskins into the lead. Cousins to Garçon for 13 yards and a TD clinched the game and the NFC East title for the Redskins.

114.4 vs. Giants, 11.29.15: 20/29/302/1/0—After failing to take advantage of two early takeaways in Giants territory, the Redskins struck quickly with a 63-yard touchdown pass from Cousins to Jackson. They rolled to a 20-0 lead in the fourth quarter but had to hold off a late Giants rally.

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Terrelle Pryor reportedly working out with special glasses based on Antonio Brown's advice

Terrelle Pryor reportedly working out with special glasses based on Antonio Brown's advice

New Redskins receiver Terrelle Pryor has been working out with Steelers All-Pro Antonio Brown this offseason. 

The pair documented their receiving drills, ladder drills and even yoga on social media. But what you didn't see, according to ESPN's John Keim, is Pryor practicing with special glasses that Brown recommended. 

Based on Brown’s advice, Pryor has also worn special sunglasses during offseason workouts, designed to prevent him from seeing an object – in this case the ball – until it is almost upon him. Sometimes he takes his gloves off, just to get a feel for the ball with his hands.

The glasses Keim describes sound more like blinders, or even tunnel vision, but the idea is to help Pryor get an instinctive feel for running routes. 

Despite putting up 1,007 receiving yards with the Browns last year, Pryor has only played the position since 2015. His first four seasons in the NFL were spent trying to make a roster playing quarterback. 

Now penciled into a starting receiver role for the Redskins, he knows he has a lot of catching up to do. 

"The good ones, they ask questions and never think they’ve got it. They always want to learn," Pryor said, "I’m not calling myself a great one, but I think I can get there."

MORE REDSKINS: Redskins Playbook: Some good news for Kirk Cousins

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Redskins Playbook: 2017 schedule reveals some good news for Kirk Cousins

Redskins Playbook: 2017 schedule reveals some good news for Kirk Cousins

The Redskins offense performed at a high level in 2016, moving the ball well though the unit struggled in the red zone. Much of the success comes from Kirk Cousins' ability to quickly advance through his progressions and release the football before he takes too many hits.

Expect more of that in 2017, especially early in the season.

The Redskins don't face their first Top 5 sack defense until Week 9 when they travel to Seattle. From there, Cousins will face another Top 5 sack team when the Vikings visit FedEx Field in Week 10. 

After that, Washington's schedule doesn't feature a Top 5 sack defense until nearly Christmas. Unfortunately for Cousins, those two teams will come back to back in December when the Redskins host the Cardinals and the Broncos.

Sacks should not drive too much worry for Redskins fans. The Washington offensive line only allowed 23 sacks last season, two less than the Cowboys vaunted offensive line gave up on Dak Prescott. Cousins quick release and mastery of Jay Gruden's offense helps too. 

The Redskins have plenty to worry about in 2017, though facing fierce sack opponents shouldn't be too high on the list. 

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