Thirds downs doom Dwayne Haskins, Washington in loss to Bills

Shalise Manza YoungYahoo Sports Columnist
Yahoo Sports

Dwayne Haskins made his first career start for Washington on Sunday, getting his chance with Case Keenum still in concussion protocol.

The 15th pick in this year’s NFL draft, Haskins had made two previous appearances, both in relief.

Washington lost to Buffalo 24-9, falling to 1-8 on the season.

Haskins was fine — not terrible, not great — and he and the offense struggled mightily on third down and in the red zone. For the third straight game the team didn’t score a touchdown.

Rookie first-round pick Dwayne Haskins made his first start for Washington on Sunday in Buffalo. (Gregory Fisher/Getty Images)
Rookie first-round pick Dwayne Haskins made his first start for Washington on Sunday in Buffalo. (Gregory Fisher/Getty Images)

The Ohio State product was 15-for-22 (68.2 percent) for 144 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions. He also had 14 rushing yards.

Haskins had a lot of help from Adrian Peterson, as the veteran running back racked up 118 yards on just 18 carries (6.0 YPC), the second 100-yard game in the past four outings for the 34-year-old.

Washington was just 2-of-11 on third down, 0-for-1 on fourth down and 0-for-2 in the red zone.

Haskins was sacked four times on the afternoon with two coming on third down. Three straight carries by Peterson of 18, 17 and 28 yards put Washington in the red zone, but on third-and-2 from the 10, Haskins was sacked for a 1-yard loss.

The field goal on fourth down put Washington down 10-3.

In the fourth quarter, Washington was still deep in its own half and facing third-and-10 when Haskins took a nine-yard loss on a sack.

Interim head coach Bill Callahan gave a mostly positive evaluation of Haskins’ play after the game.

“I thought he was really efficient in a lot of areas. I thought he managed the offense well, I liked how he functioned in the pre- and the post-snap, I thought his reads were clean,” Callahan said. “I’m sure like any quarterback he’d want a couple plays back, but overall he didn’t force a lot of throws. I thought his reads were clean, he put us in position, he got out of the pocket and used his feet a couple of times.

“For his first start, into a hostile environment against a pretty good football team and defense I thought he managed it pretty well.”

Callahan would not say whether Haskins will start again in Washington’s next game. The team has a bye next week.

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