The Redskins returned to FedExField after their bye week to play the New York Jets and lost, 34-17. Here are five takeaways from their Week 11 matchup:
1. Dwayne Haskins makes his home debut.
Rookie Dwayne Haskins was named the starter for the rest of the year early last week and made his first-career home start against the Jets. The coaches said he earned the job and spoke positively of his intelligence and preparation in practice.
There were certainly moments during Sunday’s game where Haskins proved that he deserved the praise. He converted six third downs and completed passes to 10 different receivers. His first pass was to running back Adrian Peterson for six yards.
Haskins also had his growing pains, such as when he threw an interception in the fourth quarter to give the Jets the ball back on Washington’s own 5-yard line.
Still, there were some good signs. Haskins threw his first-career touchdown on the following drive when he completed a screen pass to Derrius Guice that covered 45 yards. He also converted the ensuing two-point conversion with a pass to wide receiver Trey Quinn.
He added to that with another touchdown pass with 1 minute, 11 seconds left in the game when he completed a 1-yard pass to tight end Jeremy Sprinkle.
Haskins finished the game 19 of 35 for 214 yards, and while he is still searching for his first career win, there were still some positive moments.
2. Derrius Guice makes his long-awaited return.
Running back Derrius Guice made his return this afternoon after tearing his meniscus in Week 1 against the Philadelphia Eagles. It was unclear prior to kickoff how he would be used, but he was effective when given opportunities.
Guice’s first touch of the game came in the second quarter after the Redskins recovered a fumble on a kickoff. He juked and dodged his way through the Jets’ defense for a nine-yard gain that put the offense to New York’s 18-yard line.
The second-year back finished the game with seven carries for 25 yards, but his big moment came in the fourth quarter when he scored on a 45-yard screen pass. It marked the first-career touchdown for both Guice and Haskins.
3. Jon Bostic gets his second-career interception.
Although the score eventually got away from the Redskins, it was still within reach when middle linebacker Bostic made a play that excited the home crowd at FedExField.
With the Jets' offense set up at their own 45-yard line following a holding penalty, Bostic intercepted quarterback Sam Darnold and scampered 26 yards before getting pushed out of bounds at the Jets' 16-yard line. The Redskins could not find the end zone on that drive, but they did get on the board with a 44-yard field goal from Dustin Hopkins.
Bostic’s pick was just one part of a strong performance from the linebacker, who finished with a team-high seven tackles.
4. Ryan Kerrigan logs two sacks.
Outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan matched his sack total of two against the Jets. The first came in the first quarter on the Jets’ second drive of the game. Kerrigan worked his way through the Jets’ pass protection and brought down Darnold for a five-yard loss.
The next sack came on the following drive. Running back Bilal Powell had just ripped off a 17-yard run that set the Jets up at the Redskins’ 7-yard line. Darnold lined up in the shotgun on the following play, but he was quickly brought back down to the ground by Kerrigan for another 5-yard loss.
Kerrigan now has 88.5 sacks in his career, which inches him closer to being the Redskins’ franchise leader in the category. The current leader is Dexter Manley, who had 91 sacks in 125 games.
5. Penalties hurt Redskins' offense early.
Although the Redskins’ offense came alive late in Sunday’s game, it nearly broke its touchdown drought before halftime.
After allowing the Jets to score their second touchdown to go up, 13-0, Washington began its ensuing drive at the 21-yard line. On the first play of the possession, Haskins flung the ball 67 yards to Terry McLaurin, who made the catch with two Jets defenders on top of him.
However, that play was wiped away just seconds later because of a holding penalty on guard Brandon Scherff, who then received an unsportsmanlike penalty for his reaction to the call. The two infractions moved the offense back to its own 6-yard line.
While the play would have been a big momentum boost for the team, there was one positive that came from it: the fans got to see Haskins’ arm strength with their own eyes, and on that sequence it was as good as advertised.