Spearheaded by a turnover-filled Week 3 performance, Dwayne Haskins' sophomore year has been filled with more growing pains than progress. While the quarterback has been able to take the moments in stride and continue to work, the same can't be said for the outside.
Questions as to just how long he can remain the starter, and Washington's 2021 NFL Draft plan, have already begun to surface. Yet much like how Washington is still in first place in the NFC East despite a 1-2 record thanks to a poor showing all-around, Haskins is not alone in his passing struggles.
Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott has had no problem putting up points, but Daniel Jones of the Giants and Carson Wentz of the Eagles are largely in the same boat as Haskins. Their first three weeks have been bad.
Jones, who like Haskins is a 2019 first-round pick with the expectations of being a franchise quarterback, has yet to make it there. A 24 touchdown,12 interception performance in 2019 was a solid start to his career, but there is still a lot of work to be done. That can be seen in his No. 25 overall QBR and second-to-last in passer rating.
Natural arm talent and mobility aren't major problems for Jones, but accuracy and a high-turnover rate are. Gaffes can be expected from a new quarterback, but Jones seems to have a knack for giving the ball up. He has four interceptions over three weeks and has also lost two fumbles. His inability to protect the ball when under pressure is a concern, as he lost 18 fumbles in 13 appearances in 2019.
Still, not all the blame can go to Jones. Again like Haskins, he is dealing with a poor offensive line and a lack of weapons around him. Criticism comes and goes, but there is a belief that the right situation will yield better results.
The same optimism is not being given to Wentz. In 2017, an injury late in the season was the only thing preventing the quarterback from being the league MVP. Even when Nick Foles won the Super Bowl, Wentz still had plenty of love and respect.
Fast forward to 2020 and Philadelphia sports supporters are showing their other side. Wentz has looked like a shell of himself this season. Past years have brought inconsistent play and injuries, and a poor start to this campaign has some thinking 2017 was an outlier.
To put in perspective how poor Wentz has been, his passer rating is the worst in the NFL. He's missing throws and making poor decisions, constantly trying to force the ball in places it shouldn't be. A Philadelphia tie with the Bengals is a perfect summation of how the season has gone.
Criticism for Wentz hasn't just come locally, as there is a national perception from analysts and personalities that the quarterback is the main problem for the Eagles.
NBC Sports analyst and former NFL quarterback Chris Simms was recently asked which was more likely to happen in Philadelphia's Week 4 matchup with the San Francisco 49ers: Nick Mullens throwing two or more touchdowns or Carson Wentz throwing no interceptions.
The answer was telling:
"I'm gonna go with Nick Mullens throws two-plus TD passes. I mean, you can't go with Carson Wentz throwing zero interceptions. Is that possible right now? He'll probably have seven guys on his back at one point and try to throw the ball 40 yards down the field. It's what he does," Simms said. "I really like him, and want to root for him, because I see really high-end talent, but that crap pisses me off, I can't lie. Because I like him, but it's like, 'C'mon man, stop some of this stupid crap.'"
Clearly, Wentz isn't garnering the same praise he used to. Besides Dallas, the quarterback situation across the NFC East has far more questions than answers.
For Washington, this doesn't make things any better. Haskins is the only passer that matters to them, and his growth is their only real concern. But, while struggles are never welcomed, his draft counterpart in Jones is facing a similar circumstance. In Philadelphia, it's a veteran quarterback that seems to be regressing consistently. And, Haskins' passer rating tops both of them.
Struggles under center aren't just happening in Washington, they're spread throughout the division. Maybe Jerry Jones should reconsider the contract staredown he had with Prescott.