Washington Football Team: Studs and duds in Week 3 loss vs. Browns
By Ian Cummings
Dud No. 1 – QB Dwayne Haskins
For three weeks straight, Dwayne Haskins has been a primary factor in his offense’s inability to produce. In Week 1, Haskins was still shaking the rust off, and he wound up winning, so he eluded criticism. In Week 2, Haskins’ lack of production was more stark, but he was going up against Kyler Murray, and visibly hindered by his offensive line, so again, people let it slide.
Week 3 wasn’t the breaking point, but it was the first week in which Haskins clearly shouldered a sizable portion of blame on the offensive side of the ball. In Week 3, his one tangible calling card — that he limited turnovers — was swept into a storm drain, as Haskins coughed up the football four times to the Browns defense, thrice giving them field position inside the Washington 35-yard line.
In the pocket, Haskins was startlingly inconsistent fundamentally. On consecutive plays, he could appear both frantic and oblivious to pressure and pocket fluctuations, occupying both spectral opposites of the “negative play” gradient.
A lot can be said about Haskins’ performance in Week 3, but it’s better to summate it briefly, because at a certain point, the details become redundant. The point is, Haskins isn’t anywhere near where he needs to be yet. Ten starts and two offseasons into his career, he still doesn’t have smooth mechanics from play to play, and his mental process and pocket operation appears just as unpredictable.
The suddenness of Haskins’ poor performance caused many to call for his benching. It’s far too soon for that, as Haskins still offers the most upside in the quarterback room, and still faces plenty of adversity each week. But Haskins has his coaches’ approval, and has a solid, proven support staff in Scott Turner and Ken Zampese. When is it going to pay off?
That’s a question we can start to ask, as Haskins only moves backward through three weeks of the 2020 season.