By: Ryan Cooley
The Redskins walked onto New Era Field on a bitterly cold November day. While there were no playoff implications for Washington this game, fans were excited to watch. This, of course, was due to Haskins finally getting his first start.
Haskins did not go out and light up the Bills defense. However, he did show significant improvement from his previous outings.
Here are five takeaways from the Redskins week nine loss
The Peterson Show
Adrian Peterson put on a show in the first half. 121 total yards through the first two quarters of the game. This is back to back great games for Peterson. Having a guy like AD to help take the pressure off a young QB like Haskins is important.
The next four games are against teams that struggle defending the run. I expect the running game to be the focal point of this offense, especially since Guice is eyeing a comeback around week 11.
No Turnovers for Haskins
In two relieving efforts, Haskins threw 0 TDs and 4 INTs. He played a top-three defense Sunday and didn’t turn it over once. He did not light it up through the air, but not throwing an interception or putting the ball on the ground is a significant improvement.
The more accustomed he becomes to the speed of the NFL, the better his ball security will be.
Manusky Has To Go
This defense has had problems all season. I was surprised when Gruden was fired that Manusky wasn’t shown the door too. Devin Singletary ate this defense alive with 140 total yds and a TD.
Preston Smith was not impressive in his time with Washington, but in his first year in Green Bay, he is playing at a pro-bowl level. Coincidence? I think not.
Manusky became the defensive coordinator in 2017 and has struggled from the beginning. There is too much talent up front for RBs to be putting up the numbers they are. Maybe they are waiting until the end of the season to let him go, but a change must be made.
Learn to Throw it Away
Haskins was sacked four times, and not all of them were the fault of the offensive line. He needs to learn it is okay to throw it away. There were a couple of plays he tried to do too much, which resulted in a sack.
The WRs will also have to do a better job of getting separation. Haskins will most likely not throw it into tight windows right now. The WRs were playing against a stout passing defense. Entering this game, Pro Football Focus ranked the Bills 5th in coverage with a 78.6 grade. Since the next four games are against teams with a shaky secondary, the receivers should have a much easier time getting separation.
Stick with Haskins
This shouldn’t have to be said, but sadly it does. I am not sure why they are so afraid of committing to Haskins. If you truly believe this is your QB of the future, why are you so afraid to play him?
The best thing for Haskins at this point is the experience. Him sitting on the bench is not helping. If they were making a run for the playoffs, I could understand starting the QB that gives you the best chance to win. However, they are 1-8, and Keenum has had a horrible year.
After the game, Callahan said he is not sure which QB will start against the Jets. If Keenum does start, this fanbase may riot.