LANDOVER, Md. — Much of the past eight days in the DMV have been devoted to discussion about how the Redskins' first-team would follow up a discouraging debut vs. the Ravens in their first exhibition game.
On Saturday, folks got their answer: The second showing was actually worse than the opening one, for the most part.
Kirk Cousins and the rest of the starters went three-and-out in their first three drives vs. the Packers at FedEx Field, which meant that the unit was unable to generate a first down on any of their first five possessions of the preseason.
The second three-and-out was particularly noteworthy, because it came after Washington recovered a muffed punt on Green Bay's 16-yard line. Cousins couldn't connect on throws to Robert Kelley, Vernon Davis or Terrelle Pryor, which led to a Dustin Hopkins field goal.
It felt a lot like what happened regularly in 2016, a year in which the Redskins often turned the red zone into the three-point zone.
On their fourth trip onto the field, the first-teamers were aided by a Packers penalty that extended their time with the ball, but ultimately, Kelley was stuffed on a fourth-and-1. It was another night in which Bill Callahan's offensive line had trouble opening up running lanes against the opposing defensive line.
Hoping for some semblance of momentum, Jay Gruden sent the group out for two more attempts, this time while working against the Packers' backups. Finally, in a two-minute drill right before the half, Cousins started to warm up.
Passes to Vernon Davis and Josh Doctson pushed the ball near the goal line, and on another fourth down, the quarterback threw a fastball to Jamison Crowder for a four-yard score. It was about as important as a touchdown gets in August.
With that being said, it was yet another unsatisfactory performance for the unit that should be 'Skins' strength. Cousins' final line — 14 for 23, 144 yards and the TD — is decent, but the meat of those stats came against second-stringers. Kelley, meanwhile, rushed nine times for a measly nine yards.
If not for that Crowder catch, the Washington area would be in a full-blown panic about the lack of production from the offensive starters. Even with it, however, there's still much to question about the way the bunch is playing, and Week 1 of the regular season is only getting closer.