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How Cousins managed to get it done this time vs. Eagles

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How Cousins managed to get it done this time vs. Eagles

A little over a year ago, Kirk Cousins had a chance to finish a game-winning drive against the Eagles. The Redskins trailed by three with two minutes left and had a first and 10 at the Philly 40. But Cousins threw four incomplete passes and the Eagles escaped with the win. 

Today against the Eagles he had another chance to win a game, but this opportunity carried a considerably higher degree of difficulty. Trailing 20-16 with 6:02 to play, the Redskins had the ball on their own 10. Cousins again got in the huddle and took things step by step. They weren’t going to go 90 yards in one play. 

“We try to focus on the process and not the results, so it’s very important for us to take it one play at a time, stay in the moment, stay present,” said Cousins. 

The Redskins took it one play at a time for a clock-killing 15 plays, five of them runs. Their biggest single play in the drive gained just 16 yards and came on an Alfred Morris run to start the drive. It was six yards here, four there, 12 a few plays later. 

Coach Jay Gruden, of course, was impressed by Cousins during the drive.

MORE REDSKINS: 5 THINGS WE LEARNED IN WASHINGTON'S WIN

“You can see that his decision making is pretty good,” said Gruden. “To have that high completion percentage (31 of 46, 67 percent), [one] touchdown, no interceptions . . . he’s really managing the football game. He’s putting us in a position to win in the fourth quarter, and we finally did it.”

Gruden and offensive coordinator Sean McVay put the game in Cousins’ hands after the Redskins reached the Eagles’ 30 with 1:18 left to play. He threw a bullet to Pierre Garçon, who took it away from an Eagles defender for 14 yards. Two plays later Cousins fired to Garçon again for 12 yards to the four. After an incompletion, Cousins found Garçon just over the goal line in the middle of a pack of defenders.

“I didn’t see exactly where I was at, I just knew who was in front of me, had to beat him,” said Garçon. “I looked back and saw the ball coming, reached out for it, caught it and then, I felt hits from all over, hits from everybody. I looked and I was glad that I was on the other side of the white line instead of, you know, a yard short.”

Cousins said that he couldn’t have completed a drive like this one as a rookie. In fact, he couldn’t completed a year ago in Philadelphia. For that matter, he had a couple of chances to tie the Week 1 game against the Dolphins. Whether he could have gotten the job done on any of those drives is a hypothetical to ponder. We do know that he didn’t finish the job. 

Today, he did. We don’t know if this will prove to be a turning point or just a blip on the radar. Time will tell.

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Week 6's Redskins game marked another successful celebration of the THINK-PINK! campaign

Week 6's Redskins game marked another successful celebration of the THINK-PINK! campaign

During the Redskins-Panthers Week 6 matchup, the FedEx Field end zones ditched their usual gold trim for some pink instead. As it turns out, burgundy and pink go quite well together.

The reason for the change was to celebrate the Redskins Breast Cancer Awareness game as well as the 20th anniversary of Tanya Snyder's THINK-PINK! campaign.

Mrs. Snyder started the movement two decades ago by passing out 8,000 handmade pink ribbons at the team's stadium meant to remind people that early detection of breast cancer can make a major difference.

Now, her campaign has gone league-wide and is the reason you see so many players wearing pink in October, fans waving pink towels in the stands and other awareness-raising initiatives throughout the NFL.

"Very, very, very proud," Snyder said while handing out ribbons before the Washington-Carolina game. "We're not finished, but we are making a difference with early detection. So I'm beaming." 

For more information on Snyder and the NFL's breast cancer efforts, head to redskins.com/thinkpink. And for more details about the events held at FedEx Field during Week 6, check out the video above.

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Redskins need a winning streak to convince legion of skeptics

Redskins need a winning streak to convince legion of skeptics

If you want to, you can find plenty of things wrong with the Redskins’ 23-17 win over the Panthers. The home team was up 17-0 in the second quarter and yet had to hang on as the Panthers reached the red zone with a chance to win in the last minute. The game got tight because the Redskins continued their second-half scoring problems, putting up just six points. Alex Smith passed for just 153 yards. 

But you can’t poke holes in the fact that the Redskins are 3-2 and in first place in the NFC East. Sure, there is a long way to go. But consider this—a Redskins schedule that looked rough at the beginning of the season doesn’t look quite as tough. In fact, right now the Redskins have a better winning percentage than any team they will play in their remaining 11 games. 

Yes, that’s right. They have six games to play in the division, two each against the Cowboys and Eagles, both now 3-3, and the 1-5 Giants. Their two remaining games against the NFC South are against the 2-3 Bucs and the 2-4 Falcons. The schedule is rounded out with games against three AFC South teams, the Titans, Texans, and Jaguars. All three of those teams are tied atop the division at 3-3. 

Of course, you can’t expect all of these teams to still be wallowing around .500 when they face the Redskins. It looks like the Eagles and Falcons are on the upswing and in today’s NFL any team can get hot at any time. 

And, as the Redskins demonstrated in their Week 2 loss to the Colts, they are capable of losing to a weak team. They still have plenty of issues they have to correct if they plan on maintaining their winning record and staying in contention for the division title. They won’t survive if they continue to have difficulty scoring in the second half (their only second-half TD this season came in garbage time against the Saints). They need to get more sacks from Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith, who have one combined. Plenty of details need to be ironed out. 

But the fact that they are a flawed team doesn’t take away from the fact that they got a quality win over the Panthers. Carolina was 3-1, coming off of an 11-5 playoff season. On top of that, the Redskins had not beaten the Panthers since 2006, a stretch that included an 0-4 record against Cam Newton. They didn’t commit a turnover for the first time this year and they got a season-high three takeaways. Christian McCaffrey came into the game averaging 83 yards per game and left it averaging 70 after picking up 20 yards on eight carries. 

With all of that said, the Redskins still have to overcome their inconsistency. They have won two games in a row just twice since the beginning of the 2017 season. Nobody is going to believe that anything is different about the Redskins until they can string together three or four wins in a row. Until then, skepticism will abound. 

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Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler is locked into the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS and on Instagram @RichTandler