Fail: Dwayne Haskins’s accuracy
Haskins deserves credit for making a couple of big plays on the drive that set up Hopkins’s go-ahead field goal, including an 11-yard scramble and a 17-yard completion to Terry McLaurin. For much of the rest of the game he looked awful. The rookie completed only 13 of 29 passes for 156 yards and one interception. He missed a wide-open McLaurin on a crossing route in the first quarter that forced Washington to settle for a field goal, and overshot McLaurin again in the fourth quarter when the rookie had a step on cornerback Darius Slay for what should’ve been a go-ahead touchdown.
“How ‘bout that arm strength, though?” Fox analyst Ronde Barber marveled after Haskins failed to connect with Kelvin Harmon on a deep pass in the second half. Haskins’s arm strength is tremendous, but it’s not exactly useful if his accuracy doesn’t improve.
After the game, Haskins said his wrist was “pretty banged up,” which might explain some of his struggles. His wrist — and accuracy — were just fine on the late-game selfie that launched a thousand takes. No, it wasn’t a huge deal that Haskins missed the final play of the game, but it’s still a bad look for a 2-9 team.
“I think we were the only NFC East team that won,” Morgan Moses said Monday during an interview with the Sports Junkies on 106.7 The Fan. “That’s always good, right?”
Indeed, the Cowboys, Eagles and Giants all lost on Sunday, which kept the Redskins’ slim (read: less than 1 percent chance) playoff hopes alive. The only path to the postseason involves winning the NFC East. Team president Bruce Allen would probably tell you the Redskins are close.
A week ago, the Redskins had a 34 percent chance of landing the No. 1 pick in next year’s draft. Sunday’s win, coupled with an 11th straight loss by winless Cincinnati, dropped Washington’s chances to 6 percent.
Moreau started in place of Josh Norman and had two interceptions, including one in the final seconds that sealed Washington’s first win since Week 6. The 25-year-old cornerback, who has struggled at times this season, had one interception in 40 career games coming into Sunday’s game. His first pick of Detroit’s Jeff Driskel came on a go route intended for wide receiver Marvin Hall. His second was even more impressive, as he jumped a pass intended for Marvin Jones Jr. before celebrating in the end zone with his teammates.
Bruh. Technically, Norman was active against the Lions, despite earlier reports that he would be a healthy scratch. Interim coach Bill Callahan said after the game that coaches informed Norman on Thursday that he wouldn’t start, and it was up to him whether to dress.
“Today, it was really his decision when he came to the stadium whether he wanted to be activated or inactive, because of the fact that he is battling a lot of things,” Callahan said. “So with that being said, he elected to [be active], which I was proud of.”
Here’s guessing Callahan won’t be proud of Norman’s effort on the few occasions he stepped onto the field, which included Detroit field goals and extra points. Pushing a tackling dummy onto the field would’ve been just as useful as sending Norman out to stand there like a scarecrow. Do some jumping jacks or something. Wave. Norman was not made available to speak after the game.
The rookie linebacker had a game-high 13 tackles and his first career sack, which knocked the Lions out of field goal range late in the second quarter. The Redskins’ rookies on offense, including McLaurin, Haskins, Sims and Kelvin Harmon, all had their moments on Sunday, but Holcomb showed they’ve got a good one on defense, too.
After Haskins connected with McLaurin for a 17-yard gain to the Detroit 21-yard line, Washington used its third and final timeout with 20 seconds remaining. With a fresh set of downs, the Redskins could’ve allowed the clock to run and forced the Lions to use one of their two remaining timeouts. They also could’ve spiked the ball and run a play that would’ve left Detroit with little or no time after Hopkins’s kick. Instead, the Lions got the ball back with 16 seconds left and two timeouts.
“Absolutely, we could’ve burned a little more time off,” Callahan said when asked about the sequence. “Absolutely.”
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