Three takeaways from the Redskins’ 19-9 loss to the Vikings


Washingtonpos For the second time this season, rookie Dwayne Haskins was forced into a game in which it wasn’t expected he twould play, and after another uneven performance, it’s unclear when he will be given the full-time opportunity to be the Washington Redskins’ starting quarterback.

The 15th pick in this year’s draft started the second half after Case Keenum was diagnosed with a concussion at halftime and finished 3 for 5 with 33 yards and an interception and was sacked twice in Washington’s 19-9 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. Haskins didn’t seem completely overwhelmed, but he didn’t look fully comfortable, either. The Redskins managed just three first downs in that second half, and one was Wendell Smallwood’s 11-yard rush on the final play of the game.

He stood stone-faced as he addressed reporters in his postgame news conference, still in his game attire, minus his shoulder pads and jersey. Moments before, running back Adrian Peterson had stopped him and offered some words of advice.

“He’s here for me,” Haskins said were Peterson’s words. “I can rely on him. … Wants me to own it, and I do.”

His worst moment of the game came after the Redskins’ defense had made what seemed to be a critical stop of Minnesota as it attempted a fourth-down conversion in its own territory. Washington took over on the Minnesota 34-yard line, but on the second play after taking over, Haskins threw too high for rookie wide receiver Terry McLaurin — his Ohio State teammate — and was intercepted by the Vikings’ Anthony Harris.

At a minimum, the offense should have gotten a field goal on the possession to cut the lead to 16-12, but the Redskins left the field with zero and never moved the ball that deep into Vikings territory again.

Haskins said he couldn’t step into the throw, and the ball sailed. Interim coach Bill Callahan said the play call was excellent, the route was good and Haskins’s read was correct but called the result “unfortunate” and “something to learn from.”

“No question he’d like to have that one back,” Callahan said. “… It’s a growing process with any young quarterback coming into the league.”

The next question is when that growing process will continue for Haskins on the field. Callahan said that Keenum will be the starter for next week’s game at the Buffalo Bills if he’s healthy but that Haskins is the team’s No. 2 quarterback and will start over veteran Colt McCoy if Keenum is unavailable.

But with the team’s record now at 1-7, it seems to be getting closer to the time for Washington to fully commit to Haskins’s development by handing him the starting job.

Defense shows up, but depth and injury issues are again on display

The Vikings entered Thursday night’s game as the sixth-ranked offense in the league, averaging 27.4 points and 391.1 yards. On the whole, the Redskins’ defense held up well against the challenge. Defensive linemen Jonathan Allen, Matt Ioannidis and Daron Payne were all active throughout (Payne ran 40 yards to get back into the play on which Vikings wideout Stefon Diggs fumbled following a 32-yard catch), and the unit allowed just one touchdown even though Minnesota moved inside the Washington 35-yard line six times, giving the team a chance to win.

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