The Redskins lost to the Eagles in heartbreaking fashion on Sunday, but in the big picture, Washington played a near perfect game.
Certainly, fans should hate the final score, and players and coaches deserve every right to be angry after falling to Philadelphia 37-27. Make no mistake about that. The Redskins gave up a late, back-breaking touchdown to Carson Wentz to lose a game that Washington fought hard to improbably win. Plenty of Redskins fought their guts out on Sunday, and came up short, and that's incredibly hard.
In a lost season, however, wins and losses become less relevant as storylines shift to player development. And in Sunday's game against Philadelphia, Redskins rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins played the best game of his NFL career.
Haskins completed 19 of 28 passes for 261 yards and two touchdowns. He finished the game with a passer rating north of 120.
Haskins was great against the Eagles, and it was a performance Redskins fans, players and coaches needed to see.
The rookie passer was already the future of the franchise. That's just the inherent reality with the 15th overall pick. Until Sunday though, it wasn't exactly earned. Haskins had shown flashes of strong play, but never a full game. That changed against Philadelphia, when Haskins showed control of the offense and command of the team. There were great throws, plenty of good reads and more than a few athletic plays.
As the Redskins look to the future, and there's nothing else left to do at 3-11, Haskins is the most important piece. It's incredibly hard for an NFL franchise to consistently win without a stud quarterback, and while Haskins has immense potential, Sunday marked the first time he showed it for a full game.
The Redskins need a star Haskins to win in 2020, or beyond. And they might need a stud Haskins to even recruit a new head coach or football boss.
This team has warts, plenty of them, and that could scare off the best coaching and personnel candidates for next year. But if those same people believe that there is a QB in place in Washington, the warts get easier to ignore.
It also doesn't hurt that the Redskins helped their 2020 draft position with Sunday's loss. The team is now tied with Miami and the Giants for the second-worst record in the NFL, and be honest, Ohio State's Chase Young could be a game-changer with the second overall pick. Next Sunday's contest against the Giants will go a long way in determining that final order.
The bottom line?
2019 is all about Haskins' development, and on Sunday, Haskins took his biggest steps yet. That's far more important than another loss, albeit grueling, in a season full of them.
MORE REDSKINS NEWS: