What Went Wrong for Washington - Offense
For the second consecutive week, the Washington Football Team fell behind 17-0 to open the game. However, unlike last week’s impressive, come-from-behind triumph over division rival Philadelphia, Washington was outclassed by Arizona in a 30-15 defeat in the desert on Sunday.
What went wrong?
Well, virtually everything. The offensive line — particularly the left side with tackle Geron Christian and guard Wes Martin — had issues. Right tackle Morgan Moses had a critical penalty when Washington was inside Arizona’s five-yard line with the game still within reach. Washington ended up settling for a field goal.
Pro Bowl guard Brandon Scherff went down with what looked like a gruesome leg injury. The severity should be known on Monday.
Then, there was quarterback Dwayne Haskins. Today wasn’t the best day for the second-year passer.
Haskins ended the day completing 19 of 33 passes for 223 yards and a touchdown. And, for the second straight week, he did not throw an interception.'
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Unfortunately for Haskins, he missed several throws, including a potential touchdown pass to tight end Logan Thomas. Haskins was too high or too short on numerous pass attempts. He was also charged with a turnover when Arizona defensive tackle Corey Peters sacked Haskins who lost the football when Washington was inside the Cardinals’ 10-yard line.
That sack was not on Haskins.
Overall, Haskins was sacked four times on Sunday. Most weren’t his fault, but he must do a better job of climbing the pocket when it collapses. At times, Haskins is indecisive in the pocket and runs into the arms of a defender.
Haskins is young and improving. He finished the game strong. What Washington needs is a strong start from Haskins and offensive coordinator Scott Turner.
When Turner was hired in the offseason, there was some disappointment in the move. Mainly because of the lack of experience as an offensive coordinator. Much like Haskins, Turner is learning on the job, too. And Washington’s offense lacks playmakers outside of Terry McLaurin, Steven Sims and perhaps Antonio Gibson.
So, how does Washington’s offense get better in Week 3?
First, Turner needs to find more ways to keep J.D. McKissic and Gibson on the field together more often. The versatility both offer creates options in both the passing and running game.
Next, get McLaurin involved early in the game. The second-year receiver is proving himself to be a legitimate No.1 receiver in the NFL. McLaurin has shown he can get behind the defense, but he is also deadly on quicker routes such as screens, slants and hitches. Getting McLaurin involved earlier in the game would benefit Haskins as well. He needs to get comfortable early.
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Washington could use some serious help at wide receiver and tight end. Unfortunately, that is likely not going to happen during the season. Relying on Dontrelle Inman as your No. 3 receiver isn’t going to speed up the development of your young passer.
Turner has a tough job in 2020. He is trying to tailor an offense to his young quarterback while also working with a shortage of talent throughout the offense. All of this without an actual offseason.
Through two weeks, Haskins has done several good things that should have Washington fans excited. Remember, he hasn’t even started a full season yet.
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The offense must improve for Washington in order for the team to compete in an underwhelming NFC East. Fortunately for Washington, it does play in the NFC East, so there’s always a chance.
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Bryan Manning writes about the Washington Football Team for 'Washington Football' and contributed to All Hokies on SI.com as well. He has covered the NFL, MLB, NBA, college football and college basketball for almost 10 years for various outlets such as Bleacher Report, SB Nation, FanSided, USA Today SMG, and others. For his day job, Bryan works in engineering for a major communications company.