Redskins rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins played poorly on Sunday, throwing an awful interception in the second half and missing some opportunities throughout the game.
He got sacked six times, so not everything was on him, and the Redskins run game was largely ineffective too. Still, after an encouraging performance in Washington's last game in Buffalo, Haskins disappointed in Sunday's 34-17 loss to the Jets. The young quarterback admitted as much after the game.
"It was okay," Haskins said of his play, where he completed 19 of 35 passes for 214 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.
"It wasn’t good enough."
True words from the rookie, but what gets tough is to reconcile his full showing against the Jets. At halftime Haskins had fewer than 60 yards passing and most of his throws missed the mark significantly. His completions early on largely came at or around the line of scrimmage. His first half was a gigantic step back from the Buffalo game.
In the second half, he found some success, including a 45-yard touchdown throw to Derrius Guice that came on a screen pass. He also connected with Terry McLaurin on a 41-yard deep ball.
"It’s tough. You have guys who have been in the league a long time. As a young dude with a new voice, you have to earn their trust," Haskins said. "You have to earn that ability to ask for what you see out there. As the game went on telling them what I want and what I think would help us make plays. They started listening to me. I have to keep earning that.”
Haskins' success did not come until Washington was trailing by more than four touchdowns. The Jets were mostly playing base defense. He eventually made plays, but they occurred long after the game had been decided. For Redskins fans, that makes a bit of a conundrum. Was Haskins' late surge impressive, or the result of a game already lost?
Put simply: In a lost season where the only thing that matters is the quarterback's long-term development, do garbage time stats matter? Does garbage time even exist in a garbage season? Bad football shouldn't create an existential crisis, but in a way, it has. Haskins was bad most of the game, except at the end, when he wasn't. Almost.
Redskins interim head coach Bill Callahan didn't have much of an answer after the game.
"I think Dwayne's learning. This will be a great learning experience for him and he'll get better from it," Callahan said. "We all have those experiences in life where we fail and don't do as well. Then you come out of it learning a little bit more about yourself about, what you can do better and take it to the practice field."
Learning. Progression. The words exist but it's hard to know if they accurately describe Haskins' play. The Redskins scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter of a game that was lost by halftime.
Was that growth? Whatever it was, for Haskins, it wasn't good enough. The rookie quarterback said so himself.
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