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Where are we? The state of the Redskins, Week 14

Where are we? The state of the Redskins, Week 14

Here is where the Redskins stand in Week 14 of the NFL season.

Record: 3-9
vs. NFC East: 1-2
vs. NFC: 1-7
vs. AFC: 2-2
Home: 2-3
Away: 1-6

Opposition cumulative record (all games played): 57-51
Opposition cumulative—wins: 12-24
Opposition cumulative—losses: 57-51
Record of teams remaining on schedule: 25-23

Rankings (through Sunday’s games)

Offense (yards/game): 370.2 (11th)
Defense (yards/game): 344.0 (11th)
Passer rating offense: 91.9 (13th)
Opp passer rating: 107.2 (32nd)
Yards/rush attempt: 4.3 (10th)
Opp. yards/rush attempt:
 4.0 (11th)
DVOA through Week 11 (Football Outsiders): -21.4% (27th)

Current playoff position: Eliminated
Current draft position:

Season to date MVP’s

Offensive: When the season is over one of the things that will be dissected and discussed is why the Redskins didn’t go to deep to DeSean Jackson more often. The 42-yard touchdown pass he caught against the Colts, where he adjusted to an underthrown pass and stepped into the end zone, shows that he always has a chance of coming down with the ball. He is still averaging over 20 yards per catch.

Defensive: Ryan Kerrigan gave the Redskins a shot at getting off to a fast start against the Colts with his sack and strip of Andrew Luck. On a defense that desperately needs to make big plays to survive, Kerrigan is one of the few who has made them this year.

Top three storylines:

Can Haslett survive?—As the Colts racked up big play after big play and the defense looked lost at times, defensive coordinator Jim Haslett’s job security seemed to be slipping away before our eyes on Sunday. Perhaps there are reasons to give him another shot but the bottom line is that if the team posts double-digit losses again somebody is going to have to go and that could well be Haslett.

QB stability—Colt McCoy got off to a slow start against the Colts, with the Redskins unable to take full advantage of two early takeaways by their defense. But he got rolling near the end of the first half and played well enough to lock up the starting job—for this week, anyway.

Flipping the script—The Rams and Redskins went in opposite directions in the month of November. Washington couldn’t muster a win while the Rams posted some impressive victories, including one over the Broncos. What looked like an excellent opportunity for the Redskins to post a win a month ago now has them playing to home underdog role.

Next three games

Sunday vs. Rams (5-9)—McCoy will need to have his head on a swivel. The Rams have racked up 22 sacks in their last five games. After a slow start end Robert Quinn now has nine sacks and the Redskins need to hope that Trent Williams is healthier this week than he was against the Colts.

Dec. 14 @ Giants (3-9)—The Giants are imploding and everybody’s job there seems to be on the line. But Eli Manning will remember how he ripped through the Redskins defense in Week 4 and will be looking to get things right in the Meadowlands. Oh, and Manning didn’t have Odell Beckham for that game and, as we’ve seen, he’s pretty good.

Dec. 20 (Sat.) vs. Eagles (9-3)—The two teams looked pretty even when the Eagles won a Week 3 shootout in Philadelphia but that turned out to be an illusion. Chip Kelly’s team could be looking to wrap up its second straight division title while the Redskins once again play out the string.

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Despite a few highlights Dwayne Haskins knows his play 'wasn't good enough'

Despite a few highlights Dwayne Haskins knows his play 'wasn't good enough'

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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Jamison Crowder's performance vs. Washington reminded the Redskins just exactly what they're missing

Jamison Crowder's performance vs. Washington reminded the Redskins just exactly what they're missing

FEDEX FIELD -- There's an age-old saying, 'there's no place like home.'

New York Jets wide receiver Jamison Crowder called FedEx Field home for four seasons but departed this past offseason for New York on a lucrative three-year, $28.5 million deal. At the time, letting Crowder walk did not seem like a big deal for Washington. His final season with the Burgundy and Gold was injury-shortened and unproductive, and the price tag seemed a little steep for a slot receiver.

On Sunday, Crowder returned to Washington for the first time as a visitor, and he certainly felt right back at home. The 26-year-old receiver finished with five catches for 76 yards and a touchdown in the Jets' 34-17 victory over Washington, a game that was not really close at all.

"It means a lot. Great team win," Crowder said on the victory. "Just to come back here to FedEx [Field] against the Redskins, for me, it's a great feeling. I'm just glad to be winning."

In his first year sporting green and white instead of burgundy and gold, the slot receiver has been a valuable asset for second-year quarterback Sam Darnold. Through 10 games, Crowder has recorded 53 receptions for 562 yards and three touchdowns with a 73.8 percent catch rate. He's on pace for 85 catches and just under 900 yards on the season, both of which would be career highs. 

"Crowder did a great job of making catches when [he] needed to," Jets running back Le'Veon Bell said. 

Meanwhile, his former team has struggled mightily on offense, especially over the last month of the season. Rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins' 45-yard touchdown pass to Derrius Guice snapped a 16 quarter touchdown-less streak Washington had been on. That's four full games without a touchdown. The streak was the longest of such in nearly two decades.

Crowder, who played in a relatively high-scoring offense during his time in Washington, was asked whether he was surprised about the team's struggles. 

"I don't know. I haven't really thought about it much," Crowder said. "I think they have a really good ball team over there across the board. Especially on defense, they have a lot of guys that are really good. Offensively, they got a lot of guys that make plays, young guys that make plays. I haven't really thought about what's going on with them."

With Crowder's departure, the Redskins expected second-year receiver Trey Quinn to fill the void. Quinn has been unproductive and disappointing. He finished Sunday's contest with just two catches for nine yards, an unacceptable performance from someone who Washington counted on to make a leap in 2019. In 10 games, Quinn has a total of 198 receiving yards, with no more than 36 yards in any contest. 

Rookie wide receiver Terry McLaurin's emergence as the Redskins No. 1 wide receiver has been a rare bright spot in an otherwise lost season for Washington, but even his production doesn't match Crowder's. 

Crowder was certainly happy to defeat his old team but downplayed having any extra juice entering the matchup.

"There wasn't any extra motivation. I just approached it as another game," Crowder said. "It was just a little different going against the guys that I played four years with. I'm familiar with a lot of guys over there. For me, that's the only thing. For my preparation, I just approached it as another game."

Crowder may have seen Sunday as just another game, but the Redskins should look at his performance and see a player they maybe should have kept.