Dwayne Haskins isn't the primary reason why the Washington Football Team is 1-0 to begin 2020 — that distinction belongs to the pass rush, which introduced Carson Wentz to the ground time and time again on Sunday — but the second-year signal caller did help the cause overall.
While Haskins' 178 passing yards and one touchdown won't put him near the top of either statistical category once Week 1 officially wraps up, his improved performance throughout the contest, clutch completions in the second half and lack of turnovers pleased Ron Rivera.
"Dwayne did the things that we needed him to do to give us a chance to win," Rivera told JP Finlay in a one-on-one interview on Monday. "This is the type of game that you say, 'You know what? He managed the game and made plays.'"
Rivera was especially proud of how Haskins turned around his afternoon following a choppy first quarter.
According to the coach, No. 7 was making the correct reads, but his throws after those reads had "no touch" and "no feel." Eventually, though, Haskins settled in more, decided on his targets a bit quicker and was more effective in how he delivered his tosses downfield.
"That's the guy that I want," Rivera said.
That guy, in Rivera's mind, was more assertive in leading the offense. As a whole, Haskins kept Washington in the matchup, but as the action progressed, he elevated them.
That's an important difference that Washington's leader delved into a bit more.
"To me, good quarterbacks can do that," Rivera said. "They can manage a game or they can control a game. That's what we want to get from Dwayne as he continues to mature in our system."
Against the Eagles, what Haskins did was obviously enough. When Jack Del Rio's defense is swarming like it was, the other side of the operation simply has to keep up and feed off of the other unit.
There will be future outings, however, where the defense won't be able to produce eight sacks and shut out their opponent in the third and fourth quarter. Those will be the weekends where Haskins has to excel, as opposed to merely hang on.
Football is the ultimate team sport — the cliche alarm is blaring right now, sorry — but the top QBs can carry a team to victories a few occasions every year. Rivera believes Haskins can, and wants Haskins to, accomplish that. Let's see if Haskins responds to that challenge as well as he has the others that Rivera has presented him so far.