Fail: Case Keenum and Dwayne Haskins
Keenum, who may been bothered by the injured foot that caused him to miss a practice last week, was dreadful. In a sign of things to come, he overthrew open wide receiver Trey Quinn on Washington’s first play from scrimmage. Two plays later, he tried to force a ball to Robert Davis, only to have it intercepted off a deflection. When Keenum missed what should’ve been a second long touchdown pass to Quinn by a good five yards in the second quarter, Gruden decided he had seen enough. Haskins, who became the sixth different quarterback to play for Washington in its past 11 games, wasn’t an upgrade. The rookie first-round pick clearly isn’t ready to lead an NFL offense and threw three interceptions in his first career game.
Hail: Tress Way
The Redskins’ best player was busy against the Giants. He averaged 53 yards on six punts, including one that traveled 66 yards, and had three punts downed inside the 20. Is there any question that Way could punt the ball more accurately to the Redskins’ wide receivers than any of the quarterbacks on this roster could throw it? Lest you forget, Way does have some experience as a passer, and he boasts a career passer rating of 118.8. It wouldn’t hurt to give him a look next week against the Patriots.
At least we get to watch Tress Way punt.— Steve Buckhantz (@SteveBuckhantz) September 29, 2019
He's very good.
Washington committed 12 penalties for 58 yards, which contributed to the terrible down-and-distance situations the offense found itself in for much of the day. Holding penalties on Geron Christian and Morgan Moses put the Redskins behind the sticks on their second and third possessions, respectively. A holding call on Deshazor Everett negated an 81-yard kickoff return by Steven Sims Jr. when the game was still within reach. Even one of the five accepted penalties against the Giants hurt Washington. After Keenum’s first-quarter interception, New York was flagged for holding on a third-and-7 play that resulted in an incompletion. With the Giants at the Washington 29-yard line, Gruden elected to accept the penalty, hoping for another stop that would knock New York out of field goal range. Given his defense’s third-down woes, it was a questionable decision at best, and it backfired. The Giants didn’t convert the third down, but they picked up enough yards to convince Pat Shurmur go for it on fourth-and-short. A few plays later, the Giants scored a touchdown to a take a 7-0 lead.
Hail: Saquon Barkley, Prophet
“22 gonna go crazy today,” the injured Giants running back tweeted on Sunday morning. Presumably, Barkley was referring to his teammate and replacement, Wayne Gallman, and not, say, Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey, who also wears No. 22. Either way, he was correct, but Gallman’s success was a whole lot more surprising. The third-year pro out of Clemson helped stake the Giants to a 14-0 lead with a six-yard touchdown reception and a one-yard touchdown run in the first half. Gallman finished with a career-high 111 total yards on 18 carries and six catches, much to the delight of Barkley and anyone who plucked him off the fantasy football waiver wire.
22 gonna go crazy today 😤— Saquon Barkley (@saquon) September 29, 2019
Fail: The Washington Running Game
One wouldn’t have guessed the Giants came into the game with the league’s 31st-ranked defense, as Washington managed only 176 yard of offense. The running game was especially inept. After rushing for 55 yards on 17 carries against the Giants, the Redskins have 199 rushing yards this season. Is that bad? Well, put it this way: It’s the first time since at least 1940 that the Redskins have failed to eclipse 200 rushing yards over the first four weeks of the season. Only nine other teams since 1940 have had less success running the ball through four weeks than this year’s Redskins. Yeah, that’s bad.
Hail: The Saints
With nothing else from the Meadowlands worth celebrating, props to New Orleans for beating the Cowboys at home on “Sunday Night Football.” A Dallas win would’ve been devastating for Washington’s NFC East hopes. Heh.
The Redskins are winless entering Week 5 for the first time since 2001. The team started 0-5 that season under first-year Coach Marty Schottenheimer before winning five straight to get back in the playoff hunt. Washington would finish 8-8 and Schottenheimer was fired after the season. It’s unclear if Gruden will make it that long. With New England coming to FedEx Field this week and the hapless Dolphins heading into their bye after falling to 0-4, the stage is almost set for a showdown of winless teams in Miami in Week 6.
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