The Washington offense struggled in Arizona, especially in the first half, and limped to a 30-15 loss against the Cardinals.
At halftime Washington posted just 96 net yards of total offense while Arizona posted 244 total yards. It was abysmal, while the run game and the pass game struggled.
Washington quarterback Dwayne Haskins knows his team must be better, and opened up about the issues after the game.
"Start of the game, we were just trying to figure out how we wanted to attack the defense. In film we saw a lot of cover 3 and cover 4. In the first half of the game, I saw a lot of man coverage, so I had to figure out how we wanted to attack them," Haskins said.
Clearly the Cardinals did enough defensively to surprise Haskins, and it's a good reminder that this was only the second-year QB's 9th career start.
Still, he wasn't good enough for the win even though the passing stats improved in the second half. At halftime he had just 66 passing yards but Haskins finished the game 19 of 33 for 223 yards and one touchdown.
"The biggest thing is that we have to come in each week knowing that we have to be the best that we can be, as long as we’re accountable and everyone owns up to their mistakes," Haskins said. "It wasn’t perfect by any means, but it’s part of the game. There are lessons that we can learn from today, from last week and how we started, and we can try and make the changes for next week.”
Washington coach Ron Rivera usually tells the truth about his players, and he didn't sugarcoat his assessment of Haskins.
"Unfortunately early on he missed some opportunities," the coach said. "When you get chances, you can’t miss them and unfortunately we did. That’s the truth about it. We did not play very well."
Through two games this season - one win and one loss - Haskins hasn't been particularly impressive. He hasn't thrown any interceptions but the Washington offense hasn't shown much flash or dynamic ability either.
It's certainly not all Haskins' fault.
Washington is inept on the offensive line, subpar at tight end and lacks depth at wide receiver. None of that helps Haskins.
What's been most impressive throughout 2020 for Haskins is increased maturity and leadership, areas Rivera specifically challenged the young quarterback to improve. And after the Cardinals loss, Haskins again showed an understanding of the big picture.
"This is a process, and we want to win and aren’t going to quit at all," Haskins said. "But we have to trust in each other, trust in the scheme and trust in what we are doing.”