Haskins overcame three bad quarters to lead the Redskins to a last-second 19-16 victory over the Detroit Lions. Give him credit for not letting the slow start damage his confidence. Perhaps that’s why, after the game-winning field goal, offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell embraced Haskins on the sideline.
Entering his last two drives, Haskins had completed 7 of 20 passes for 88 yards. He threw long to a wide-open Terry McLaurin in the end zone on a first-quarter pass. Even on the score-tying drive, McLaurin was open again for a touchdown and the pass was long. Haskins’ accuracy continues to be an issue.
However, his last pass came under pressure and he stepped up into the pocket and hit McLaurin, who made a leaping catch, for 17 yards on third-and-5 before the field goal. Haskins completed 6 of his last 9 for 68 yards.
Troubling trend: The Redskins have been unable to run the ball in the past two games. In interim coach Bill Callahan’s first four games, the Redskins ran for 461 yards and averaged 4.7 yards per carry. But in the past two games the Redskins have struggled. Sunday, the running backs managed 87 yards on 23 carries. Adrian Peterson rushed 10 times for 27 yards and Derrius Guice had 10 carries for 32. A week earlier, the Redskins were held to 54 yards on 20 carries. They just don’t have the playmakers on the outside to withstand an inability to run the ball. And that puts more pressure on Haskins to deliver in obvious pass situations. That’s a losing formula for Washington.
Biggest hole in the game plan: The Redskins’ defense could not handle the quarterback runs by Jeff Driskel. He ran the ball nine times for 63 yards and consistently looked like he fooled the defense. Sometimes it was with well-designed looks -- a tight end leading him around the corner vs. a corner. Other times, the corners failed to keep containment or the end pinched too hard inside. The Redskins also consistently struggled on any sort of crossing patterns, which hurt them on numerous occasions. They also failed to apply pressure with a four-man rush, typically because they rarely create issues with movement.
Silver lining: The Redskins do have some young playmakers. McLaurin had a strong game with five catches for 72 yards -- but he was open for so much more. And his catch at the Lions’ 21-yard line set up Dustin Hopkins’ game-winning field goal. McLaurin consistently gets open. Then there was Steven Sims Jr. He’s a backup slot receiver with an ability to make big plays. Indeed, he showed his electricity on a 91-yard kickoff return in the second quarter. After avoiding the first defender, he weaved through traffic and showed his speed (20.0 mph, according to Next Gen Stats). He also had a 33-yard return on the opening kick.