Sunday's game against the Packers will mark the fifth career start for Dwayne Haskins in the NFL. Yet, this one will be very different from the first four.
So far, Haskins has faced off against Josh Allen, Sam Darnold, Jeff Driskel and Kyle Allen. In that group are a pair of second-year passers and a pair of backups who were on the field because of injuries.
When Haskins makes the trip to Green Bay, he will find himself matched up with a marquee QB in Aaron Rodgers. In Haskins' brief tenure as a pro, he has often talked about how he hopes to one day be associated with the most talented signal callers ever, like Tom Brady and Drew Brees. Rodgers is in that group, too.
"He's one of my favorite quarterbacks," Haskins said on Wednesday. "I just like the way he's able to distribute the ball over the field... He's a very dynamic quarterback."
While Haskins is just beginning his journey in the NFL, Rodgers is putting together yet another sterling season. He's thrown 22 touchdowns to just two interceptions and is on pace to record his fourth straight campaign with a quarterback rating above 97. Since 2008, in fact, the worst rating Rodgers has posted is 92.7.
By comparison, the Redskins rookie currently sports a rating of 58.5.
Rodgers' presence won't just affect the Burgundy and Gold's defense in Week 14. His ability to catch fire also puts pressure on his opponent's offense, because if he's in a groove it'seven more necessary to try and keep up.
Haskins, though, explained that he doesn't want to think that way.
"You've got to score points against anybody," he said. "We had to score points to beat McCaffrey and the Panthers. Aaron Rodgers is a great quarterback, he's going to keep his team in every game he plays. So, we've got to go in there scoring points, we know that. There's no press to outduel him or try to throw more than him. I'm just trying to move the chains and make plays when they need to be made."
That's a solid approach for Haskins, but odds are he will have to lead a more effective passing game if the Redskins are to win in Green Bay. Yes, his mediocre play has been hidden in the past two wins thanks to contributions from the special teams and running backs, but at some point a breakout is needed — both for him personally and the overall team.
In addition to battling a future Hall of Famer, Haskins also gets to soon do battle with Green Bay's renowned weather. Fortunately for him, that foe won't be at its most powerful — it doesn't look like it'll be cold enough to snow — and, unlike Rodgers, the 22-year-old knows how to handle low temperatures.
"Try and stay as warm as possible," he said. "Hand warmers, turtlenecks, soup, chicken broth, all that stuff."
So, he's already got the answers for the weather. And in a few days, everyone will get to see if he also has them for Rodgers.
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