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When the Washington Redskins faced the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium in September, it wasn’t a pretty sight, especially for quarterback Dwayne Haskins. On that day, Haskins threw 9 of 17 for 107 yards and three interceptions resulting in a 24-3 loss. That was not the debut Haskins was hoping for and it still haunts him to this day.
“I threw up watching that film,” Haskins said. “I don’t like watching that tape.”
Haskins couldn’t be more right. His circumstances were completely different at the time. Former head coach Jay Gruden was doing everything he could to save his job. Even if it meant asking an unprepared Haskins to replace an injured Case Keenum with the Redskins trailing 14-0. It was a performance that left many wondering if he really can be the leading quarterback for this franchise.
Since then, Gruden was fired and after a few more weeks in limbo, Haskins took over as the team’s starting quarterback. Despite the Redskins’ 3-11 record, Haskins is showing growth each week. He is also coming off one of his most impressive statistical performances in last week’s matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles. He was 9 of 28 for 261 yards and two touchdowns.
“Probably best game statistically, but probably the best game as far as just putting everything on tape,” Haskins said about the Eagles game. “I mean, we were doing that all week in practice and just trying to translate it to the game and I felt like that game was the game that we capitalized the most.”
Beyond the statistics, Haskins is a much more poised quarterback. He is learning when to stay patient in the pocket and when to escape, making better decisions with the ball and executing cleaner throws.
“The good thing about being in the NFC East is you get to play them twice,” Haskins stated. “Just watching film from that game to now, just how cleaner my progressions and eyes are. Just getting better every week, so I’m excited.”
Giants’ head coach Pat Shurmur shared the same sentiment. He’s seen how much Haskins has improved since the last time the two team’s met.
“I think he’s doing a terrific job.” Shurmur said. “I think the more he plays and the more he gets comfortable with the receivers – and he’s got, gosh, he’s got WR’s Kelvin Harmon, Steven Sims Jr., and Terry McLaurin. He’s got three nice young receivers he’s throwing to, he’s got Adrian Peterson running as hard as he ever has.”
“I think that they’re doing a lot of really good things on offense,” Shurmur continued. “I think he’s done a nice job with delivering the ball quickly. We knew when he came out that he was a very, very talented and very accomplished player and I think he’s making good progress – great progress as a rookie.”
Sunday’s rematch will be the Redskins’ last home game of the season. Although redeeming himself from the previous meeting is motivation, finishing the season strong is the biggest priority for Haskins.
“I’d probably just say continuing my growth each game, each opportunity to go on the field. Last home game, so I’m excited about that and just the opportunity to play the game and put the ball in the air allowing the guys to make plays. We have fun making plays and the more chances we have at doing that, the more fun I have.”
And wouldn’t it be fun to leave the fans with a ray of hope in the form of a win?