Stressed out or not, Kirk Cousins knows he needs to play his best for the Redskins to get wins, regardless of the pressure he feels.
Speaking with the media on Wednesday, Cousins explained that he has been in high-stress situations already in his career, and was able to deliver.
"There were games that I played very well last year. If you were to say ‘Kirk, against the Eagles with the division title on the line on the road, were you at all stressed? I’d say yeah. I mean, my heart’s racing in that game. I took a knee, right? Right before halftime, I mean, do you think I was feeling happy go lucky going into the locker room at halftime on the road having just taken a knee to cost my team three points or a possible touchdown? No," Cousins said.
"The point is you’ve got to play well through whatever’s going on."
The quarterback has a point: That game in Philadelphia last season secured the NFC East for the Redskins, and, despite the awkward knee, Cousins played fantastic. He completed 31 of 46 passes for 365 yards and four touchdowns.
Washington coach Jay Gruden has repeatedly said how tough it is to play quarterback in the NFL. He's right. Each game carries with it immense pressure, and while Cousins is certainly feeling that pressure with the Redskins at 0-2, he also felt that pressure last season.
"When the consequences are a little greater, the mistakes feel a little more painful," Cousins said. "But I’ve missed throws in the past in games that I’ve played really, really well."
Cousins has missed throws in the Redskins two games. The team likely could have scored touchdowns on deep passes to Jamison Crowder and DeSean Jackson in the first half of last week's loss to the Cowboys, not to mention a very bad interception Cousins threw in the end zone in the second half against Dallas.
"You’re going to miss a few," he said. "It’s just been in some spots where you say, man, it had an effect on the outcome of that series or of that game."
Despite the misses, and three interceptions on the year, the quarterback remains confident.
"This game, playing this position, it comes with the territory. There’s going to be pressure, there’s going to be expectations, there’s going to be failures, I’m going to throw picks. The key is going to be can I continue to just keep grinding and keep pushing, and that’s really all I know to do and all I’m going to do, and we’ll just let the chips fall where they may."