By: Ryan Cooley
The Redskins fell short in what was a thrilling game at FedEx. Brandon Graham took the last play of the game for a TD to make the score look worse than it actually was. Though the season is a lost cause, it is good to see the players still trying. Some teams will begin to give up, and the players only care about collecting their game checks, but everyone today was playing to win.
Here are five takeaways from their week 15 37-27 loss.
Haskins’ Breakout Game
Haskins had yet to have an impressive game in his previous five starts. It had been frustrating to watch Haskins struggle for that long. We have seen rookie QBs like Murray, Jones, and even Lock have big games right out the gate. Haskins finally had that game on Sunday. Despite the loss, he played well enough to win.
Haskins finished the day 19 of 28 for 261 yds and 2 TDs. He also had four carries for 26 yds. His inability to hit open receivers was a huge concern in the previous games. Today, he looked like he did at Ohio State. For once, he looked like he belonged as an NFL QB.
Haskins checked a lot of boxes today: accuracy, pocket presence, pre-snap adjustments, etc. While this is only one game and he will need to perform like this on a weekly basis, it is at least encouraging to see him finally have his breakout performance.
Peterson Moved Up
Peterson finished with 66 yards on 16 carries and one TD. He also hauled in three receptions for 25 yards. Peterson surpassed Curtis Martin for all-time rushing yards and is now in 5th. He is now also tied with Walter Payton at 4th place for rushing TDs.
Many had low expectations for Peterson when he signed with the Redskins. However, he has exceeded every one of them. He rushed for over 1,000 yards his first year and has over 700 yards this season. Sadly, one knows what role AD will have next year or if he will even be playing for the Skins.
Could Not Stop Sanders and Ertz
The defense had been playing well until this game. I said in my preview that the Redskins would need to stop Miles Sanders and Zach Ertz. Miles Sanders had 172 total yards and two scores. Ertz had 61 yards and one score.
The Eagles were short-handed at WR with Jeffery and Agholor out. The only two players the Redskins really had to focus on were Ertz and Sanders. After this performance, Snyder should have no other choice than to fire Greg Manusky at the end of the season.
McLaurin and Sims Shined
McLaurin started his NFL career in week one against the Eagles when he shredded the secondary with five receptions for 125 yards and a TD. He had nearly identical stats Sunday with five receptions for 130 yards and a TD. He continues to prove that he should have been the first WR taken in the draft.
Steven Sims beat out Cam Sims in the preseason, and a lot of people were upset about it. The decision turned out to be the right one. Earlier this season, Sims started off making big plays on special teams. Due to injuries, he began to get playing time on offense and has impressed to this point. He has been making more and more plays each week.
A Loss Actually Helps
Many Redskins fans will call this the ideal game. They are encouraged by the play from their young players like Haskins, McLaurin, and Sims, and they also improved their draft position.
Some people don’t care about draft position and just want them to win, which is understandable. However, if Chase Young decides to forgo his final year at Ohio State, the Skins could potentially get a future star in the NFL. They could even trade back for a King’s ransom if they end up with the second overall pick. While a loss is usually a bad thing, it really only benefits Washington at this point.