Here we go again, another dramatic switch for the Washington Football Team at the quarterback position as Dwayne Haskins has been removed from the starting lineup and is now benched at 3rd string. This drastic change occurred following this past Sunday’s game of football as Washington played the Baltimore Ravens in a district face off. The Ravens beat Washington with a two-score lead of 31-17. Watching this game I got a chance to witness how head coach Ron Rivera managed his team versus a super bowl favorite this year. Coming into this game receiving criticism from prior weeks, after not insisting on calling timeouts during drives, and indicating that the development of the team is his priority, Rivera definitely stayed true to his beliefs and this game was no different.
Haskins appeared to be tentative to score, almost as if he was scared to really throw the ball deep down the field to advance the ball. Haskins repetitively threw the ball behind the line of scrimmage for mediocre gains of 10-15 yards compared to Baltimore’s 20+ yards making it a more complex task to score. Meanwhile, on the other side of the ball, the Baltimore offense and Lamar Jackson continued to throw absolute bombs for big gains and was a catalyst for most of their points. Not to mention the pressure that the Ravens defensive front and linebacker core was delivering to Washington’s offensive line, it was immense as Haskins had gotten sacked 3 times. As the coaching staff watched this annihilation that the Baltimore defense displayed on their offense, patience was running thin with hopes of prosperity. After coming out of a terrible rookie season under Jay Gruden and his structure, Haskins seems to be stalling out in his sophomore year where most quarterbacks usually pick the time to elevate their level of play. So when comparing Haskins to players, people projected him to be better than those such as New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones, Haskins’ progression falls short.
Regardless, with Coach Rivera’s game plan of withholding timeouts and letting the players play being the objective, and Haskins being on the receiving end of major pressure, Haskins’s time to prove to the staff had come. At the top of the fourth quarter with the score, 28-10 and Washington in the red zone in prime position to score on 4th down, Coach Rivera lets the clock run and Haskins play. With all hope of Haskins taking a shot at the end zone and keeping this game competitive, Haskins crushes those hopes and throws a 5-yard pass to Isaiah Wright to which in sequence the defensive secondary of the Ravens corralled to and tackled at the 8 yard-line. This in my eyes was a decisive moment for Coach Rivera to make a call after witnessing how his starting quarterback responded in the most pivotal point of the game.
Nonetheless, I am not pinning all of the blame on Haskins as the defensive secondary playing lethargic allowing all of the gashing throws downfield I alluded to earlier. With Haskins now being the third-string option at quarterback, his development is put in question, maybe he can improve, but fans won’t be able to view this development for themselves until he gets another chance. I would rather see Haskins at second-string so his confidence isn’t completely diminished. I feel as though he still has some upside, he’s just not ready. Coach Rivera seems to think the same as he pulled the plug on Haskins and substituted him for Kyle Allen. Allen played under Rivera before with positive results obtaining wins in Rivera’s system in previous years for the Carolina Panthers. I and Washington fans are eager to see what the outcome of this new scheme will be with Haskins out and Allen at the helm of the offense.