The last time the Green Bay Packers and the Washington Redskins met, Kirk Cousins threw for nearly 400 yards and three touchdowns.
On Saturday, it took Cousins half a game to get anything going against the Packers’ defense.
Cousins and the Redskins’ first-team offense stayed on the field for the entire first half, settling for punts, a field goal and a turnover before finally finding the end zone.
The Packers had no such issues, scoring two first-half touchdowns in their 21-17 defeat of Washington in Week 2 of the preseason.
Aaron Rodgers looked sharp, orchestrating a lengthy scoring drive that ended in a touchdown for new tight end Martellus Bennett, before turning the offense over to backup Brett Hundley.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Rodgers is locked and loaded. He led just one drive, but it played like a greatest hits record. In just over seven minutes, Rodgers managed to get all of his major weapons involved, hitting receivers Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams and Randall Cobb. He showed off his celebrated football smarts on third down, catching the Redskins’ defense with one too-many defenders on the field, then scrambled for 13 yards to convert on another third down a few plays later. It all culminated in a three-yard touchdown pass to Bennett, as Rodgers floated a quick pass to the corner of the end zone for the 6-foot-6 tight end.
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DON’T FORGET ABOUT ME
Cornerback Josh Hawkins shined with Davon House and Damarious Randall out, finishing with a team-high five tackles against Washington’s ones in the first half. He swatted away two potential touchdown passes, putting his 5-foot-10 frame to good use.
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After a season of stumbles in the secondary, the Packers’ cornerbacks are showing marked improvement in the preseason. Hawkins broke up a pair of passes in the end zone, including a fade to Vernon Davis that looked like a sure score with Hawkins half a step behind the veteran. He reached in at the last second, punching the ball away and preventing a touchdown.
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It took the Redskins six drives to manage anything more than a field goal against the Packers’ defense. Even the field goal -- a 34-yarder -- was a disappointment for Washington after a muffed punt landed them on Green Bay’s 16-yard line just a few minutes into the game. Cousins and the ones didn’t manage a first down until the final play of the first quarter.
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THEY SAID IT
"They know better. We got them a couple of years ago, too, in the playoffs. There were some angry looks from that sideline." -- Aaron Rodgers on the too-many-men penalty
“I thought our run, pass mix was excellent. Aaron [Rodgers] played extremely well” -- Head coach Mike McCarthy
“I really owe that one to [safety Morgan Burnett], ‘cause he took time to go out there and practice with me so I could get better at that route and continue to build on it.” -- Tight end Martellus Bennett on his touchdown
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The Packers have two more tune-up games on tap before the season begins. They hit the road next Saturday for a game against the Denver Broncos. Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch aren’t on Cousins’ level, but the matchup presents another opportunity for the secondary, while some work against the Broncos’ top-ranked defense should give the Packers’ offense a solid preseason test.