Dissecting Dwayne Haskins’ First NFL Game

Washington’s first draft pick was the electric Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins as the 15th overall pick in the draft. A notable amount of hype surrounded Haskins coming into the 2019 season. Fans asked themselves whether he will start Week 1 or if he’s the solution to Washington’s notorious quarterback issues. Many fans disagreed with Coach Jay Gruden’s decision to start Case Keenum in Week 1 over Haskins.

Keenum’s play has been quite mediocre to starting the season, passing for only 970 yards with 7:4 touchdown interception ratio. Ratings wise, Keenum has a 68.1 completion percentage alongside an 85.1 passer rating — the latter of which rests at 28th in the entire league. 

Haskins didn’t step foot onto the field until Week 4 against the New York Giants. He completed 53 percent of his passes with a 6.3 yard-per-reception rate. With six minutes and 35 seconds left in the second quarter, Washington had just one first down. Coach Jay Gruden knew a change was essential, so in came Haskins for his first career game. At this point, the Redskins were down 14-0 and had no offensive production or momentum. On his first drive, he got Washington down to the Giants’ two-yard line, leading to a Dustin Hopkins field goal. 

The most visible issue Haskins had was in his decision making. His three interceptions were mostly avoidable had he chosen to throwaway or dump the ball on a running back or tight end. Most of the problems seen with Washington’s offense came from the offensive line. It’s obvious that they miss All-Pro tackle, Trent Williams, who started a holdout in the offseason and hasn’t returned since. Haskins was sacked twice by a Giants team that has recently had problems with their pass rush.

Haskins’ first game is nothing to be worried about if you are a Washington fan. The QB was thrown into an extremely unfavorable situation, down 14 with an already struggling offense and few first team reps. The real problem in the game was Jay Gruden’s coaching decision to put a rookie quarterback into a game where the offense is struggling. Gruden is already on the hot seat in Washington, and forcing a rookie quarterback onto the field to save a tough game does not help his popularity status. The coach has been known for odd playcalling decisions, and this is yet another example. Haskins hadn’t even taken first team snaps at practice, so how can Gruden expect him to play well in a real game? 

The future is still looking bright in Washington, though, and my hopes are still high. Their defense improves every year, and offensive talents like Terry Mclaurin and Haskins are just getting started. Haskins has had a rough start in Washington, but that doesn’t mean he’ll fail us all as a quarterback. One game is not the end of the world, and Haskins can still bounce back as the season goes on. Gruden and Keenum’s jobs may be up in the air, but it’s safe to say that Haskins is here to stay in Washington.

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