By: Ryan Cooley
The Redskins fell to the Vikings 19-9 in yet another primetime game. They seemed to do the exact opposite of what I said they needed to do if they wanted to win this game. Like usual, they started off promising before collapsing.
Many were encouraged to see Haskins get more action with Keenum missing the second half due to a concussion. However, his performance left much to be desired.
Here are five takeaways from their week 8 loss.
Even after another disappointing performance, it is still not time to press the panic button on Haskins. He finished the night 3/5 for 33 yds and an INT. The interception was about as ugly as it gets. McLaurin was wide open, and he flat out overthrew him.
When asked about the interception after the game, Haskins responded, “it all happened so fast.” That is not something you want to hear from your future QB, but it is normal. Even from his minimal playtime, you can tell he is struggling with adjusting to the speed of the NFL. This is the case for many young QBs.
His pass to McLaurin was rushed, and that is why it sailed. The only way to fix this problem is to play through it. He needs playing time, and there is no way around it. Of course, Callahan said after the game that if Keenum is healthy enough, he is still the starter.
I am not sure what the Redskins are waiting for. They need to see what they have in Haskins before the offseason. Him sitting on the bench is not helping anything. The season is practically over at 1-7, so why not let Haskins try to work through all of his growing pains now?
Holcomb Shows Potential
Holcomb was selected with the 173rd overall pick in the fifth round. He has been up and down throughout his rookie season. He had an excellent first half of Thursday’s game. In the first quarter, he stripped the ball out of the hands of Stefon Diggs after a 32 yd gain. After that, he almost made a fourth-down stop. He was about one yard too late, but it is always positive to see that kind of effort.
Most fifth-round rookies will just try to make a splash on special teams. For Holcomb to be making plays on defense should make fans feel encouraged. The more experience he gets, the better. I would also like to see him put on some weight this offseason.
The Defensive Line Struggled
In the last couple of weeks, the defensive line has played well. They contained the 49ers run game last Sunday but were eaten alive by the Vikings rushing attack. Minnesota had 161 yds on the ground with Cook and Mattison averaging 4.4 yds/carry.
There is no excuse for this defensive front to be run over like they were. They have too much talent for the opposing team to put up those kinds of numbers. Sadly, they face the Bills next Sunday who are 7th in the league in rushing, averaging 135.8 yds/game.
Dunbar Cannot Stay Healthy
Dunbar is the best CB on this team. When on the field, he has been able to shut down his receiver. The only problem is that he cannot stay on the field. He has already missed two games this season and was out for most of Thursday’s game. He missed four games last season before being placed on IR for the last five.
The Redskins are used to seeing players being consistently hurt (ex. Jordan Reed). It is hard for me to say Dunbar can be a true #1 CB if he is only available for half of the season.
Cousins Got His Revenge
Cousins did not have a crazy game statistically. However, he got the job done. A win is good enough, but he finally played well in a primetime game. This has been his Achilles heel for most of his career. He finished the night completing 88% of his passes for 285 yds. He didn’t throw a TD, but he also didn’t commit a crucial turnover.
This may not have been a huge gut punch to the Redskins, but with Keenum and Haskins struggling, it does sting.