You know how closers sometimes come in to finish an MLB game and their control is bad and they allow a lot of runners to get on base and they throw 37 pitches but, ultimately, they pick up the save? That's kind of what it felt like watching Dwayne Haskins on Sunday against the Niners.
When Alex Smith left the sidelines with a few seconds left in the second quarter of Washington's meeting with San Fran, the thought was he perhaps was just heading in to get some extra treatment on a slight calf ailment.
But then, Haskins began warming up with the first-team offense just before the third quarter commenced, and then, he came in for the visitors' first drive. While Smith was shown on the broadcast walking up and down the bench trying to get loose, it soon became clear: The rest of the action would belong to Haskins.
Fortunately for the former first-rounder who hadn't played since Week 4, he was entering a contest with a six-point advantage and a defense that was totally dominating. He didn't have to lead a comeback and he didn't have to light up an opponent. Instead, he just had to play it safe and guide the club to victory.
And while he didn't always follow the first part of that edict, he did accomplish the second, as the ever-improving Football Team upped its win streak to four and now officially lead the NFC East, thanks to an earlier Giants loss.
Overall, Haskins finished 7-of-12 for 51 yards. He almost committed a major mistake, too, as he overthrew a wide open Terry McLaurin deep in his own territory late in the fourth on a sequence that looked as if it ended with an interception. Luckily, replay showed that the ball barely hit the ground, which nullified the turnover.
As long as Smith is healthy for the squad's next matchup with the Seahawks, he should be back in the lineup. Haskins didn't show a ton of growth like some were hoping to see after his benching, but that's fine, at least in the present. For one half, he needed to be merely OK, and for one half, that's exactly what he was. He earned the save — with a major assist from the defense — even if it was hectic.