The Other Side: Washington Redskins

Scott Hamilton

Chris Russell of Redskins SI Maven gives his take on how things look from Washington's perspective heading into Sunday's game with the Panthers.

Q: Washington is coming off a 19-16 win over Detroit -- seemingly a ho-hum victory, yet a big one for a team that hasn't won since Week 6. What did Washington do to end its four-game losing streak?

A: The Redskins were excellent on special teams, which really helped. Steven Sims Jr. had a 91-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and another big return. Dustin Hopkins had four field goals including both the game-tying and game-winning kick in the final two minutes. Washington did not have a single point generated by the offense but Dwayne Haskins was much better on the final two drives than he was for the rest of the game.

In addition, they got a good sustained pass rush and created turnovers. For the Redskins, it's very rare to see all of these areas come together.

Q: Washington has the worst offense in the league, averaging only 13.1 points and 253.4 yards. How did Washington get to this point?

A: The Redskins passing attack is absolutely dreadful. They are bad on first down and horrendous on third down. They are not a good enough running game to compensate for all of the problems, but at least they are competent in that area.

The main issues have been the offensive line allowing pressure and taking too many penalties. Also the instability at quarterback between Case Keenum, Colt McCoy and Dwayne Haskins has killed the unit. Another problem has been injuries. The Redskins lost their two top tight ends and most versatile running back in Chris Thompson.

Q: From all you've seen, what's Haskins' biggest challenge with getting acclimated to the NFL? What are some positives he's demonstrated?

A: For Dwayne Haskins, he has a lot of growing up to do. On the field and off. He also has to get a lot better in the accuracy department. It seems like he completely lacks touch and rhythm. Receivers have been open at times and Haskins has missed them. He also struggled with pressure identification and blitz pressure affecting his mechanics and accuracy.

Q: Washington made a coaching change earlier this season, replacing Jay Gruden after an 0-5 start with Bill Callahan. What would it take for Callahan to have the interim label removed and be named the head coach going forward? Or is there a better fit out there that we can expect to take over after the season?

A: Bill Callahan's style is old school which is not really meshing with a new age locker room. He works his guys hard and always has. Some players have complained. It's not likely that he's back but if President/GM Bruce Allen remains in charge, the chances increase for him to return.

As far as possible new coaches: I would look for Todd Bowles to be a candidate along with Eric Bieniemy from Kansas City. The big name possibility might be Urban Meyer.

Q: Adrian Peterson leads Washington with 543 yards rushing, including a pair of 100-yard rushing games. He also had back-to-back games in which he had at least 20 attempts in each. But those games were followed with efforts of seven, 11, 12 and 100 carries. Peterson is 34 and has a history of injuries, including some serious ones. How would you grade his durability going into Sunday and what kind of production do you expect for the rest of the season?

A: A-P is dealing with something in his foot that has been bothering him a little bit and may explain why the Redskins have struggled to run the ball the last two games. Before that, he was ripping off 5.1 per attempt in Bill Callahan's first four games.

I would expect him to be more plodding and limited the rest of the season, especially with Derrius Guice back but he's still capable of creasing the hole against a sporadic run defense like Carolina.

Chris Russell can be heard on 106.7 The FAN in the Washington D.C. area and worldwide on Chris also hosts the "Locked on Redskins" Podcast and can be read via subscription to Warpath Magazine. You can e-mail Chris at or follow him on Twitter at @Russellmania621. 

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