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Kirk Cousins' stats vs. Dallas were stellar, but one problem persists

Kirk Cousins' stats vs. Dallas were stellar, but one problem persists

DALLAS—Kirk Cousins probably made some more money in his next contract by putting up some strong stats on Thanksgiving Day. But the Redskins didn’t get the win and that is the number that really matters. 

Cousins completed 41 of 53 passes for 449 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. Doing the math that comes to a completion percentage of 77.3, 8.5 yards per attempt, and a passer rating of 120.7. 

But when the Redskins got into the red zone, Cousins and the offense faltered. They had a total of five trips inside the 20 of Dallas and they came away with just two touchdowns. You don’t have to look beyond the fact that Dustin Hopkins hit on two field goals that are shorter than extra point attempts to know that they struggled when the got close to the goal line. 

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“Each play has its own reason,” Cousins said of the red zone problems. “There’s not just one reason that seems to be an overarching fix to all. Each play has its own reason so we have to go back and watch film and learn from it, and coach will spend more time on it in practice and try to do better.”

If there was a silver bullet for their problems it would have been used by now. Washington has struggled in the red zone all year long with rare exceptions. The solutions are elusive. 

But to have red zone problems means that you’re getting there with some regularity and there is no question that Cousins can move the team well prior to entering the red zone. 

On the year, Cousins has completed 68.4 percent of his passes for 3,540 yards with 20 touchdowns and seven interceptions. That puts him on pace for 5,150 passing yards, which would beat his own team record, and for 29 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He also is on pace to shatter the team record for attempts and completion, both set by Cousins last year. 

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Landon Collins earns NFC Defensive Player of the Week

Landon Collins earns NFC Defensive Player of the Week

The wins just keep piling up in Washington, D.C.

Maybe that's not totally true for the Washington Redskins, but they are certainly moving in the right direction. The NFL announced Wednesday that Redskins safety Landon Collins won the NFC Defensive Player of the Week award after his dominant performance Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.

Collins did a little bit of everything in the Redskins' 17-16 win over the Dolphins, recording 12 tackles, one sack, one forced fumble and two passes defensed. 10 of his tackles were solo and one was for a loss.

He was the only NFC player this week to record a sack, a pass defensed and a forced fumble.

Collins has now won Defensive Player of the Week four times in his career. He received the first three honors while a member of the New York Giants and had not won the award since Week 11 of the 2017 season. Collins is the first Redskin to receive the award since linebacker Keenan Robinson in Week 7 of 2014.

He is enjoying a strong start to his first season with the Redskins, as Collins is tied for third in the NFL and tied for second in the NFC for solo tackles. Collins is tied for seventh in the NFL and sixth in the NFC for combined tackles as well.

With Washington, D.C. in the winning spirit lately, between the Nationals getting to the World Series and the Mystics winning the WNBA Finals, hopefully Collins' and the Redskins' Week 6 performances are signs of more to come.

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Derrius Guice hopes to return from injured reserve as soon as he's eligible to

Derrius Guice hopes to return from injured reserve as soon as he's eligible to

Derrius Guice tweeted out a photo early Tuesday afternoon of himself and Alex Smith stepping onto a Redskins' practice field in Ashburn. Then, later on, he indicated the date he's hoping to make his return from injured reserve.

It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that the energetic Guice wants to play as soon as he's eligible to.

When a fan asked the second-year pro on social media if he'd be back after the team's bye week, which is on Nov. 10, the running back replied with a "Yessir."

If he does in fact rejoin the Redskins then, his first appearance for the Burgundy and Gold would be a Week 11 matchup against the Jets. If they had a game in Week 10, he could be activated at that point, but they're off.

NFL rules stipulate that every franchise can bring two players off of I.R. after they've spent eight weeks on it. Guice suffered a knee injury in the season opener in Philadelphia and underwent meniscus surgery soon thereafter. It was an unfortunate obstacle for him especially after he missed all of 2018, but to his credit, he handled it well.

Considering No. 29's potential and the fact that Bill Callahan loves the running game, there's no doubt Washington would like to place him back on the roster when he's ready. Hopefully, he'll start practicing soon and get to a place where he's able to be relied upon. 

It's unlikely Guice's return will coincide with a Redskins playoff run, but it'll still be interesting to see if he can string together a healthy finish to the schedule. Between he, Terry McLaurin and Dwayne Haskins, there should be plenty of young talent to take in on offense in the second half of the 2019 campaign. 

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