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More Realism for Washington Football Team Offense

Another dose of reality for the Washington Football Team offense this past week.

Following the 30-15 loss to Arizona, I thought I’d take to the film again Tuesday night and yes, the need for realism again presented itself.

Reading Twitter and listening to some D.C. radio Monday and Tuesday, one can’t help but notice quarterback Dwayne Haskins is getting the most attention.

Sadly, some are already writing-off Haskins as the possible starter for next year.

These people blame him for everything, already discussing selecting a quarterback in the next draft.

Just as sad, are the Washington fans who are simple-minded and refuse to face the actual fact that Haskins’ play has not been good.

These fans are too quick to excuse Haskins, blaming the offensive line or the “lack of weapons," actually revealing it is too painful for them to even consider Haskins is not performing well.

Taking some notes during the game, I determined, I must remain disciplined, not conceding to impulsiveness.

I wanted to truly be objective and follow the numbers, regardless of what others are saying.

Haskins completed 19 of his 33 attempts for 223 yards, and a touchdown and no interceptions.


Haskins only attempted five passes in the first quarter  gaining a total of 14 yards.

Trailing 14-0 in the second quarter, on third and two, Haskins short-hopped the pass to Dontrelle Inman.

A few plays later, Inman ran shallow crossing route a yard short of the sticks, so Washington was now 0-4 on 3rd downs.

When the half had mercifully elapsed, Washington was down 20-0, and Haskins in his 15 passing attempts had gained a mere 66 yards (4.4).

Midway through the third quarter, Washington had a third-and-seven from the 46.

What happened next was both successful yet conspicuous.

The call from Offensive Coordinator Scott Turner was not for Haskins to look up the field at least seven yards at the first-down marker.

Instead, Haskins instantly threw a wide-receiver screen to Steven Sims, who made a fine run for a 15-yard first down.

A few plays later, it was third-and-goal from the six.

Haskins received good protection; yet his pass to Logan Thomas was rushed, thrown harder than necessary. He seemed to lack composure, had a small margin of error and the pass was incomplete.

With 3:14 remaining in the quarter and in 24 passing attempts, Haskins had only 119 yards (4.9) and a Dustin Hopkins field goal.

Trailing in the final quarter 27-3, Terry McLaurin made a catch only six yards down field, but his excellent run resulted in another 20 yards.

With a first-and-ten at the Arizona 24, Haskins completed a short pass to McLaurin who turned it into a 24-yard touchdown.

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I am not being mean-spirited; but right now things would be even worse if it were not for the yards-after-the-catch abilities of Terry McLaurin and Steven Sims.

Washington had the ball for only 26:15 Sunday, while Arizona enjoyed having possession for 33:45.

Why?

Well, third downs is a major issue.

Washington has gained 37 first downs in two weeks, tied with Minnesota for 29th in the NFL.

Washington has succeeded on 9 of 30 third downs, for a Third Down Efficiency of 30.0%, dead-last (32nd) in the NFL.

Jared Goff of the Rams leads the NFL in Net yards per pass attempt at 8.78.

Buffalo’s Josh Allen is second at 8.46, while Haskins gains 5.04 for 32nd place.

Aaron Rodgers leads the NFL in QBR at 91.7, Josh Allen is second at 89.7, Russell Wilson third at 88.9 and Patrick Mahomes fourth at 87.3.

Haskins is 31st in the NFL at 26.7, yes 26.7.

When Haskins’ completion percentage is only 56.3% for 32nd in the NFL, is it being altogether honest for fans to blame all of this on the offensive line, and the “lack of weapons” at Haskins disposal?

Yet, we must also be honest, it was a missed block that cost Washington a Haskins’ fumble inside the Cardinals 10-yard line in the first quarter.

Their 35.1% pressures on drop-backs allowed by the offensive line is down at 30th in the NFL.

Consequently, Haskins does need more help from the offensive line in pass-blocking.

It's also true that Terry McLaurin leads the NFL with most receiving yards after the catch (84).

In fact CeeDee Lamb and Cooper Kupp are way behind McLaurin at only 58 yards after the catch.

Haskins is receiving huge help from McLaurin

In addition,  JD McKissic rushed for 53 yards, averaging 6.6 per carry.

McKissic and Antonio Gibson (13-55, 4.2) combined for 108 rushing yards.

Washington averaged 5.1 yards per attempt, after averaging only 2.1 in week one.

The defense has also provided the offense three interceptions inside the opponent’s territory, plus 11 sacks and yet Washington has a grand total of seven first-half points in their two games.

Yes, there is enough blame to be shared offensively; yet, for now, doesn’t realism conclude the need for most of it needs to fall at the feet of Dwayne Haskins?

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Ivan Lambert is a lifelong die-hard Washington Football fan, raised in Berryville, Virginia. He is married and the father of two fine young men. He is currently a sports correspondent for The Ledger in Lakeland, Florida and can be found on Twitter @IvanLambert18