How well did Haskins play in his home debut?

Ben Krimmel
November 19, 2019 - 11:35 am

In all of the hoopla of the NFL season, it was unfortunate the No. 15 overall pick from the 2019 NFL Draft making his home debut as a starting quarterback got lost in the Week 11 shuffle. 

Washington Redskins fans finally got to see Dwayne Haskins start a game at FedEx Field Sunday, but the performance left a lot to be desired in a 34-17 defeat to the New York Jets.

The final numbers aren't bad, 19-for-35 for 213 yards with two touchdown passes and one interception, but they hardly tell the full story. The offense managed just three points in the first half and didn't score a touchdown (which snapped a 16 quarter drought) until they were down by 31. 

Haskins was sacked six times and twice fumbled without losing possession. Washington went 1-3 in red zone attempts, converted just six of 16 3rd downs, and punted six times.

How well did the rookie passer do overall? Not too good. "He was bad," Redskins reporter Craig Hoffman told The Sports Junkies.

"Dwayne wasn't cleary as comfortable as he said he was with some of these plays, based off his comments and based off his performance," Hoffman said Monday. "There's some stuff (from Sunday) where it's like 'We gave you the simple stuff, we gave you the easy stuff and you missed it. You threw to the wrong place. You threw to the wrong guy. 

This goes back to some of the criticism on Haskins from earlier in the year, Hoffman said: "Which is, if you can't execute the basic stuff then there's only so much we can do. If you can't execute Day 1install stuff, there's only so much stuff we can do to help."

Former NFL wide receiver Santana Moss told Chad Dukes later on Monday he was disappointed the Redskins offense didn't show more creativity coming out of the bye week.

"Be more creative, find other ways, copycat. Do something that worked a week ago with that same team that someone else used. You know, that's football. That's what I've been a part of. So that's what I want (to) see from us because I see that we can sit back and dial-up plays that hasn't worked," Moss said.

"And we know coming into that game yesterday that we was gonna play against a pretty stout defensive front that wasn't going to allow us to rush the ball like we had been in the past few weeks," he said. "So, therefore, we couldn't bank on the play-action pass and try to get the ball down the field. We had to be creative, and I didn't see no creativity to allow those guys to compete yesterday."

And, of course, there were some mitigating circumstances. 

"He didn't get any help from anybody (Sunday)," Hoffman told The Junks about Haskins' play. "There performance (vs. the Jets) is why you need swearing, which makes it hard to describe it on the radio. It was just terrible. And so, I'm not saying this is all on (Haskins) by any means, but if we isolate his performance (Sunday) it was really poor."

The grade from The Junkies' Eric Bickel was a C-, citing several good throws Haskins made in the second half and some bad snaps. Hoffman says that grade isn't far off saying the rookie's play wasn't far off from what was expected of him.

"Because we did ask for some flashes and we got flashes," Hoffman said.

One big positive came on a deep ball to Terry McLaurin in which Haskins stepped up in the pocket to avoid the rush and delivered an accurate throw. However, the play was whipped out by a holding penalty.

"So, while, yeah, he did show some flashes of extreme talent and showed some things I really like, and frankly, I love the fact that he stuck with it," Hoffman added. "I like the fact that in the 4th quarter he did some stuff. I'm not saying it's discouraging in a long term standpoint, but, man, there's some stuff from (Sunday) that's concerning."

The story of Haskins' debut was much like the story of the 2019 Washington Redskins: Even when some things go really well, they are overshadowed or eliminated by things that went wrong.


Listen to Craig Hoffman's full interview with The Junks here.

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