The Washington Football Team is pushing forward with Kyle Allen at quarterback, attempting to make a playoff push in the meager NFC East despite falling to 1-5 with a loss at the hands of the previously winless New York Giants on Sunday.
Head coach Ron Rivera voiced his support for Allen after the game.
"His statistics are pretty darn good,” Rivera said in a Zoom call with reporters. “He was 31-for-42 for 280 yards," Rivera said. "Unfortunately, he did have the interception and the fumble. But we totaled 337 total yards. That gives us an opportunity."
Allen took over as Washington’s starting quarterback in Week 5 against the Los Angeles Rams, replacing the benched Dwayne Haskins. He was forced to exit the game due to a shoulder injury, so he didn’t get to play out his first full game of the season until Sunday.
Washington never led in the contest against the Giants. Allen did put together a late touchdown drive capped by a 22-yard pass to Cam Sims for six, but Rivera rolled the dice and went for a two-point conversion to take the lead with 36 seconds left. Allen wasn’t able to find an open receiver, handing Washington its fifth-straight loss since beating the Philadelphia Eagles in the season opener.
Former Washington returner and current NBC Sports Washington analyst Brian Mitchell discussed the team’s decision to stick with Allen over Haskins on Washington Football Postgame Live after the former Panthers quarterback failed to lead Washington to a win over the Giants.
“The reason that Dwayne Haskins is supposedly benched is because some players were mad because he was happy about a performance,” Brian Mitchell said. “Well, we just lost the game today and [Rivera] is talking about a guy going 31-of-42 for 280 yards. They lost the football game against a terrible Giants team. Dwayne Haskins went 32-of-45 for 314 against the Baltimore Ravens but nobody talked about his stats. They were knocking his stats. They were knocking the fact that he was pleased that he came off a three-interception day and then did something well.”
While Allen is only a year older than Haskins, he was expected to have a much better understanding of offensive coordinator Scott Turner’s offense after playing under both him and Rivera in Carolina over the past two seasons. The Panthers were 6-7 with Allen as a starter between 2018 and 2019, though three of those losses came after Rivera was fired.
For Mitchell, it doesn’t matter who stands under center. He’s just looking for more consistency out of the team as a whole.
“Listen, I don’t care who starts at quarterback,” Mitchell said. “We’re not very good right now, okay? Our up-and-down mindset of what we’re trying to do — we’re trying to win, we’re trying to build, we’re trying to — whatever it is, get better…Defensively, they’re not consistent. Offensively, they’re not consistent. Special teams, they’re not consistent. And the message coming from the coaches is very much not consistent.
“Until they do that, I’m not trying to sit up here and make Kyle Allen like he was some big-time quarterback today. He turned the ball over. He fumbled the ball at an inopportune time, the same time that the other quarterback we all were trying to kill when he did it.”
Mitchell went on to add that he’s not going to make any excuses for Allen. Expectations were high for him after Haskins was demoted all the way to third-string quarterback to make room for Allen and Alex Smith. As Washington heads into a lighter stretch of games over the next few weeks, Mitchell wants to see the team’s quarterback make an impact where it’s most important: the win column.
“This is a guy that knows the offense, been in the league a lot longer,” Mitchell said. “So if this offense is not much, much better, then I don’t give a damn about all this stuff about, ‘What if?’ Who cares ‘if.’ We didn’t, we lost, we’re 1-5 now and that’s what it is. So let’s stop trying to make up stuff to make him look better. You put lipstick on a pig, it’s still a damn pig. And today Kyle Allen was just a pig without lipstick.”