ES Coverage: Lions vs. Redskins
Redskins 19 - 16 Lions
So I kept setting off the metal detector coming in. Must have been my steely gaze and iron-will.
Here is my pre-game write-up: Just win the f****ng game.
Follow along in-game on Twitter @Skinscast.
Speaking of which, I hope you guys are listening to the OFFICIAL podcast of Extremeskins over at Redskins.com; Skinscast.
So the Redskins are rightfully leading at the half 13-6 over the Detroit Lions.
I say rightfully because Washington has made more meaningful plays; Steven Sims jr’s 91-yard kickoff return, a forced fumble and recovery, an interception, and a couple of nice throws by Dwayne Haskins to put the Redskins in scoring position.
But in-between was some errant passes, one of which would have hit a wide-open Terry McLaurin running free into the end zone.
If Washington loses, it will be because of missed opportunities, such as the easy three-yard out late in the second half Haskins to Trey Quinn that would converted the 3rd down, extended the drive and killed the half. But instead, Detroit got the ball back and were able to drive down for a 49-yard field goal to bring the score within 7.
By the way, the Lions get the ball to the start the 2nd half. All they need is a nice drive and a couple plays for me to be talking about a tied game.
Washington needs to reassert themselves. As for Haskins, this is what we get with a rookie thrower. But the problem is not his decision making or reads, it is mechanics. This concerns me.
Earlier today I wrote “just win” (in so many words). The Washington Redskins did just that.
It was not pretty. It was not always expected – certainly not after the Redskins squandered a 10-point lead to have to then play catchup. But in the end they did it, and it was damn sweet to see.
All credit to rookie Dwayne Haskins. That last drive showed poise and determination. He told me following the game he knew before the first snap that could and would win it.
‘That’s interesting,” I thought to myself. Did you know it when you overthrew a completely wide-open Terry McLaurin in the end zone…twice?
Or when you could not covert a 3-yard 3rd down to Trey Quinn that meant everything at the time, with the game tied and close to the 2-minute warning. The crossing pattern to Jeremy Sprinkle that saw the tight end well ahead of the defender. Even the miraculous catch Kelvin Harmon made could have ended disastrously but for the magic catch.
Each of these were grossly errant throws. Everyone long.
Head coach Bill Callahan said it was timing issues of a young quarterback. Wanting to go too fast. Or putting on too much. He did credit Haskins with placing the ball where it could not be picked. But that was only true of the long balls.
Haskins tends to miss high on the checkdowns. This will lead to turnovers as often as not as high-passes get tipped up when not corralled.
The quarterback gave me a different reason when I asked about his overthrows.
“My wrist was hurt,” he said.
He will learn that was a rather significant admission following a game. And though he minimized the follow-ups, telling us he hurt it in-game but that “it’s good;” the head coach and trainer will have some ‘splainin’ to do as any injury to the starting quarterback needs to be announced according to league rules.
Haskins day was mixed. He skippered the game-winning field goal drive. But also fumbled the ball for loss and was intercepted. On the day he went 13-of-29 for 156-yards, and the interception for a passer rating of 47.5.
But the game was more than Haskins. It was a defense that let down far too many times. But also one that made some big plays.
Washington’s defense intercepted Detroit’s Jeff Driskel three-times; twice by Fabian Moreau and once by Quinton Dunbar. None more important than Moreau’s grab to seal the win for Washington.
The defense also generated 6 sacks and 6 tackles-for-loss. Yet they allowed 364-yards of total offense by the Lions while granting them 33:30 minutes of time-of-possession (a 7-minute advantage).
Offensively, the struggles for Washington continued. Yes, they managed the game-winning drive, capped by a 39-yard Dustin Hopkins field goal that was the winner. But that was part of another 4-field goal day for the Redskins. Meaning another game with no offensive touchdown.
Darrius Guice led all backs with 32-yards rushing on 10-carries. Haskins was 2nd, tallying 28-yards on 3 scrambles, and Adrian Peterson rounded out the top 3 with 27-yards on 10 carries.
Terry McLaurin led all Washington receivers with 5 catches for 72-yards.
But no write-up of today’s victory is complete without special mention of the special teams. Teams accounted for ALL points today for Washington; a touchdown and those 4 field goals. The play of the day (and perhaps season) was Steven Sims Jr. taking a muffed catch on a kickoff and running it back 91-yards for the Redskins’ only touchdown.
It was a magic moment for the few who came out to see Washington win today.
With as rare as victories have been, I am not about to get particular. Despite the missed chances and bad plays, when it all counted Haskins and the Redskins did enough to get the win.
And we will sure take that.