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Dwayne Haskins Nominated For Pepsi NFL Rookie Of The Week After Career Performance Vs. Eagles

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The first-round rookie set career-highs in passing yards (261), yards per completion (9.3) and passer rating (121.3) in Sunday's game against Philadelphia. Fans can vote for him,HERE.

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The Washington Redskins have seen flashes of promise from their first-round quarterback.

There was the nifty preseason deep ball for his first-career NFL touchdown and the immaculate pass on the move that was negated because of penalty. He's also looked comfortable within the two-minute offense, both at the end of the first half against Carolina and in the final minutes in Green Bay.

For stretches, the future of the franchise performed as such. In others, the rookie signal-caller looked like a work in progress.

But against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday afternoon, albeit in a 37-27 home defeat, Dwayne Haskins wowed those on the field, along the sidelines and in the stands from start to finish.

The 15th-overall pick set career highs in yards (261), yards per completion (9.3) and passer rating (121.3) -- the last of which was about 35 points better than his previous best. He protected himself (zero sacks taken) and the football (one turnover) while showcasing the mobility not many thought he had coming out of Ohio State (four rushes for 26 yards).

It wasn't just a performance Haskins can build on; it was one fans could envision seeing for years to come.

"Just seeing [Dwayne Haskins] continue to just blossom, you're able to see the potential and the talent he has," running back Adrian Peterson said after the game. "Man, it's going to be amazing to see what he's able to do with these [young receivers]."

(For his efforts, Haskins has been nominated for Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week. Fans can vote for Haskins at www.nfl.com/rookies from now until Friday, Dec. 20 at 3 p.m. The winner will be announced Friday on NFL Total Access on NFL Network and on NFL.com.)

Haskins' breakout game began with a hot start, which had not been the case since he took over as the starting quarterback Nov. 11. Washington's first play was a nine-yard completion to Terry McLaurin, and two plays later, Haskins dumped the ball off to Adrian Peterson for another first down.

The Redskins were ultimately forced to punt in Philadelphia territory, but Haskins had completed all four of his passes to different receivers, which set the tone for the rest of the afternoon.

Following an Eagles' field goal on their opening drive, Haskins and McLaurin immediately responded with a connection often seen last season at Ohio State. Haskins' timing and delivery were pristine, which allowed McLaurin, running a skinny post route, to catch the ball in stride and away from the cornerback in tight coverage. After stepping out of a tackle, McLaurin outran everyone for a 75-yard touchdown.

"[Offensive coordinator] Kevin [O'Connell] had a great idea of what he wanted to do verses the Eagles knowing the weakness of the defense," Haskins said. "And of course, the offensive line did a great job picking it up and receivers making great plays when we needed to make them. We did a good job of converting early."

Interim head coach Bill Callahan credited Haskins for answering whenever the Eagles retook the lead, which Callahan said shows a "real sign of growth and maturity." The game had nine lead changes, with Philadelphia holding the advantage on five different occasions. On all but one of those instances, the Redskins responded with points on the ensuing possession.

Take Haskins' second touchdown pass, which came after Washington went down, 10-7, in the second quarter. The five-yard strike to Steven Sims Jr. capped a 7-play, 75-yard touchdown and was thrown in a spot where only Sims could catch it along the back of the end zone. Facing a third-and-goal, the Redskins finally came away with seven points instead of their usual three.

"I think he's doing a really good job of controlling the offense, the tempo, making some plays if he has things break down and alluding in the pocket," McLaurin said of Haskins. "I feel like he's shown some glimpses that if he can get hot and get into the rhythm, his confidence continues to go up and he continues to make those big throws and those big plays."

Haskins was not nearly as productive in the second half -- he attempted just 11 passes for 83 yards -- but he put the Redskins in position to win by making smart decisions and capitalizing in crucial situations.

He led another 75-yard touchdown drive with his team down, 17-14, early in the fourth quarter, which included a decisive 23-yard burst on a third-and-one option play. Two plays later, Adrian Peterson's record-setting run gave Washington back the lead.

And when the Eagles responded with another touchdown, Haskins drove the Redskins into field-goal range with completions to McLaurin and Sims, setting up Dustin Hopkins for the game-tying kick from 53 yards out.

"Haskins really stepped in and did a nice job and led his team," Eagles coach Doug Pederson said postgame. "It was something that you know he is capable of doing, obviously, and he is in this league for a reason.

Despite a career day, the game did not end how Haskins envisioned. The offense went three-and-out and settled for another field goal after a strip sack from Ryan Anderson, and then the defense gave up another long drive that ended with the game-winning touchdown. With just 26 seconds left to play, Haskins did not have enough time to spearhead one last response.

Afterwards, it was evident that Haskins was dwelling on the division defeat rather than basking in his own personal achievements. He expects to these types of showings from himself, but he also expects to lead his team to victory -- a goal he fell short of against Philadelphia on Sunday.

"I'm nowhere close to where I want to be. That should be an average game for me. I will continue to work on it and get better. I know we came up short. We did a lot of good things that we can continue to work on for next week and bring it in for the last home game of the season and hopefully we come out with a win."

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