Redskins' Kirk Cousins struggled early but rebounded vs. Packers


Redskins' Kirk Cousins struggled early but rebounded vs. Packers

When Rodgers broke his collarbone in 2013, the Packers managed to win only one game during his absence. But there wasn't much for the FedEx Field fans to cheer about.

Rodgers didn't need any help in carving up Washington's starting defense. But a hamstring injury kept him from playing in the preseason opener.

Cousins didn't look comfortable early. But the drive did come against the Packers' backups, and the same problems that plagued the starters in their brief appearance at Baltimore remained prevalent. In a critical season for his (and the team's) future, Cousins hasn't found any sync with his new receivers, and they've dropped some catchable passes.

Rookie running back Samaje Perine, a fourth-round selection out of Oklahoma, ran for 45 yards on eight carries. The Cheesehead defense did not have any holes when defending the run, allowing just 2.9 yards-per-carry. After the fifth, Cousins had steered Washington to only three first downs-one via a defensive penalty-while completing 8 of 15 passes for 67 yards against a Packers secondary missing two of its top three cornerbacks.

Arguably the best preseason matchup of Week 3, if you go simply by records, would be Green Bay visiting Denver with both clubs at 2-0 in the exhibition season.

But the passing game's early struggles are understandable. But after three incomplete passes the Redskins had to go for three and Dustin Hopkins put it through. "Every year you have to move forward as a team through training camp to get where you want to".

After Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams and Randall Cobb, the last two or three receiver spots should come down to sixth-round pick DeAngelo Yancey, Jeff Janis, Geronimo Allison, Trevor Davis and seventh-rounder Malachi Dupre. On third and six, Rodgers scrambled for 13 yards to the 13. Had he set his feet on the first red-zone pass to Kelley, it wouldn't have been underthrown.

Martellus Bennett had the touchdown catch with 5-minutes left in the first quarter, beating linebacker Zach Brown. He gave up a 38-yard catch but give credit to quarterback Brett Hundley for a ideal throw.

Siemian has been much better in completing 14 of 18 passes for 144 yards and a touchdown - good for a rating of 118.5.

For the Packers, The Green Bay have players looking to build off their success in the exhibition game last week and others attempting to bounce back on track on Saturday night against the Redskins. He pulled it in for a gain of 43 to the Packers' 32.

And receivers Terrelle Pryor and Josh Doctson, whose job it is to replace the dearted Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson, haven't yet developed a rapport with Cousins.

In that final drive, the offense gained 78 yards on 10 plays.

Drive summary: The Redskins started in good field position after Kendall Fuller returned a punt 12 yards to the Green Bay 40.

Backup Colt McCoy finished 7-of-11 for 70 yards and a touchdown pass to Niles Paul placed perfectly over Paul's back shoulder where only the tight end's outstretched arms could reach it. The Packers averaged only 3.8 yards on 29 carries. fourth string quarterback Taysom Hill was the leading rusher with 38 yards.