It was one play in an otherwise mixed performance, but Dwayne Haskins' second quarter, 55-yard touchdown to Robert Davis against the Bengals was top-notch quarterbacking from the first-rounder.
There was the pre-snap adjustment, where Haskins identified what would be a blitzing defensive back just before he got the ball and alerted his blockers to it.
There was his confidence in the pocket, where Haskins kept his eyes locked onto Davis despite the fact that multiple Cincy defenders were closing in on him.
And then there was the throw — man, what a throw — a perfectly placed ball that landed right in the receiver's path, allowing him to make the catch and continue on his way to the end zone.
See that right there? That's the serious potential the signal caller possesses, the kind of potential that's revealed itself at times this offseason and that made him the 15th overall pick in the 2019 Draft.
Now, there were issues, too, which is in line with Haskins' pro career thus far. His highs are HIGH, but there's plenty of lows in between the bright moments.
No. 7 had other opportunities for major chunk plays to Cam Sims and Steven Sims, yet he overthrew them both. He was also blindsided for a sack-fumble, a difficult thing to blame him for but a turnover nonetheless. There were other sacks as well, on his way to a 7-for-14, 114-yard evening.
One of the other passers that Haskins is battling with, Case Keenum, went 3-for-7 for 52 yards as the starter. Colt McCoy, meanwhile, didn't suit up as he's still battling a leg injury.
So, as far as the QB competition, it's probably still Keenum's job, considering Jay Gruden needs to win and the even veteran likely gives the Burgundy and Gold the best chance at doing that early on. However, if Haskins can deliver another few wow plays to close out the preseason, he'll be hard to ignore.
It's August and it was against backups, sure. Regardless, Haskins' first career scoring strike was an impressive one and an instance where he showed growth after a rough debut. It'll be a long climb to certified stardom for Haskins, but Thursday proved he has the traits to get there.
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