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5 Takeaways: Nov. 25 Kirk Cousins Presser

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Here's five takeaways from Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins' Nov. 18 press conference at Redskins Park in Loudoun County, Va.


1. The Carolina game is in the rearview mirror. It is now time to focus on a very important divisional battle with New York.

No, the Redskins don't ever want to repeat what happened last Sunday against the Panthers. And they shouldn't.

There's nothing they can do now to change the outcome. They can, however, put their best foot forward starting with Sunday's key NFC East matchup between the Redskins and Giants at FedExField.

If the Redskins win, they'll be tied with the Giants for the top spot in the division.

If they lose, they'll be two games back of New York with two losses to the Giants with just five games remaining.

So far this week they've shown a good level of focus for the game.

"Yeah, we have an edge to us," Cousins said. "I feel like there's a lot we can learn from this past game and it's going to make us better in the long run. In this league every week is a test. Some don't go the way you want. We learn from those and we just keep going. We're going to be mentally, physically and emotionally tough. That's what this game and what this league requires."

Cousins added that personally he has a little bit of a "more-aggressive mindset" as well but he doesn't "want to play stupid" come Sunday.

"There's always a balance with that," Cousins said. "You try to take calculated risks. If it's not there, you check it down, you avoid sacks, you avoid those turnovers and I think that's what the thought process needs to be when you start to get behind."

2. Cousins wants to take every game one at a time.

As a fan, it's easy to look ahead to the next two games, which are home against the Giants and then the Cowboys on Monday Night Football.

But for Cousins and Co., neither the Cowboys game, nor any other game on the rest of the schedule, hasn't come to mind. 

When the time comes for those games, the Redskins will put all their chips on the table to get as many wins as possible.

"We go into every week feeling very important, feeling like each game is make or break in a way and that starts Week 1 and that goes all the way through," Cousins said. "So, you know, we see each game as very, very important. It's a divisional game. It's getting out to the latter half — back-part — of the season, so each game carries a lot of significance and this week and next week are no different."

3. The Redskins, especially Cousins, have performed better at FedExField this year so the quarterback is looking forward to playing in front of the home crowd on Sunday.

Check out these photos of the Redskins' offense preparing for their Week 12 match up against the New York Giants Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015, at Redskins Park in Loudoun County, Va.

Had a few plays went their way more against the Dolphins' in the season opener, the Redskins could very easily have a perfect 5-0 record at FedExField. 

Over the last four games in front of Redskins faithful, Cousins has thrown nine touchdowns to zero interceptions, and in his last two appearances at home has led the team's biggest comeback in their 83-year history and put together a perfect quarterback rating.

If the trend continues, he could have another big day against a team he hasn't fared so well against in the past.

"When you play at home, it's pretty common knowledge that you're going to play better over the long haul because it's home because you're in a friendly environment, a familiar environment," Cousins said. "In addition to that, as you've mentioned or alluded to, we've played some really good teams on the road. Carolina and New England to my knowledge haven't lost yet. So when you're not losing and then you go play them at home – you're playing a tough team and the odds are stacked against you. I think that's part of it as well."

4. The last game against the Giants didn't go so well. As a result, it "kind of changed" the Redskins' approach.

While the final score ended up being just 32-21, the Redskins-Giants game Week 3 on Thursday Night Football really wasn't all that close at times.

The Giants moved the ball at a methodical, yet very effective pace, while Cousins struggled to get anything going until the second half.

The loss not only dropped the Redskins to 1-2 on the season, but it opened their eyes to a lot of things.

"I think we kind of had to scrap much of our game plan because we got into a two-minute mode for much of the second half," Cousins said. "Again, a lot of it goes back to turnovers and penalties and some of the same mistakes that are going to hurt you in any of the games that you play and any of our losses this year."

Cousins said the hope is that the Redskins do everything they can to limit the Giants' explosive plays.

"Much like any other game it's going to be an emphasis to protect the football, to not beat ourselves, to not have those costly penalties," Cousins said. "If we do that, we expect to be right there."

5. Cousins and DeSean Jackson finally connected in a big way last Sunday against the Panthers. They want that to continue against a familiar foe for the pair.

After two slow games in his return from a hamstring injury that sidelined him for two months, Jackson broke out against the Panthers with five catches for 87 yards, 56 of which came on a touchdown reception in the first quarter.

As he looks to get himself involved even more, and as Cousins finds a groove with the deep pass, the hope is that he can expose what is easily the worst pass defense in the league this season.

"We're trying to give him an opportunity to give him the football and see what could happen," Cousins said. "He caught some quick-game passes [against the Panthers] as well so we're getting him the football. It's a matter of just being able to control the football, control the clock, stay on the field and that's when the opportunities present themselves."

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