The Washington Redskins are entering year two of the Dwayne Haskins experience and despite rumors of the club bringing in another signal-caller to push him, either via free agency or the draft (Tua Tagovailoa), the franchise is showing its faith in the young QB.
“Throughout the whole process Ron was just telling me to trust him,” Haskins said (as JP Finley of NBC Sports relays). “I did so it worked out.”
Haskins didn’t have the best rookie year. Seven touchdowns with seven interceptions; 56.8 completion percentage and 6.7 Yards/attempt. That was under the old regime and Rivera believes he can get the most out of Haskins.
“I feel really confident having guys that believe in me,” Haskins said. “I think I’m going to have a good year this year.”
Expect Washington’s Offense to Improve?
Washington’s offense was lacking in 2019. Only the Steelers and Jets had a worse offensive DVOA than the Redskins; No quarterback had a worse DVOA than Haskins.
That’s just one of the advanced metrics that go against the 2015 No. 15 overall pick. There’s a reason why there was widespread speculation that the club was considering moving on from him this past offseason. Should we expect better results in 2020? Depends on how optimistic you are feeling.
Washington brought in several playmakers in the draft. WR Antonio Gandy-Golden is a raw 6-foot-4 athlete who may take a few years to see his potential. RB/WR Antonio Gibson out of Memphis may be able to make in impact sooner, though Rivera will have to get creative with him, as their backfield is quite crowded. Thaddeus Moss had the talent to be selected on Day 2 but a foot injury forced him to go undrafted. Any contribution from Moss is Old Bay on the Crab.
Haskins’ best weapon will again be Terry McLaurin, last year’s third-round pick who showed flashes as a rookie. McLaurin’s DYAR (Defense-Adjusted Yards Above Replacement) ranked 13th in the league among 81 players who had 50 targets, better than tested studs such as Keenan Allen and Davante Adams.
Any major growth in McLaurin’s game will be tied to Haskins. Expect this team to run the ball a ton, play defense, and hope that Haskins doesn’t make many mistakes. That could lead to an improvement in Washington, though temper expectations: this unit will not be the most exciting.
There’s reason to believe the Redskins will improve over last year’s 3-13 record, though by how much is a major question mark.
Only the Dolphins had a worse point differential than the Redskins, a metric that is more valuable than the previous year’s win totals when projecting future outcomes in the NFL.
This is a year for Rivera to build in Washington. It’s hard to imagine the coach getting new schemes in place perfectly with the coronavirus altering offseason activities.
Fan Duel has the O/U at 5.0 (-120/+100). They also offer odds on alternate win totals:
Over 2.5: -1600
Under 2.5: +700
Over 3.5: -430
Under 3.5: +320
Over 4.5: -160
Under 4.5: +120
Over 5.5: +120
Under 5.5: -160
Over 6.5: +360
Under 6.5: -490
Over 7.5: +750
Under 7.5: -1400
Over 8.5: +1400
Under 8.5: -5000
Washington is a near-lock to finish under 500, as the -5000 odds for under 8.5 indicate. Is over 2.5 a safe bet? The club’s two matchups against the Giants and tilt against the Lions are their most winnable games. Fan Duel doesn’t offer a line for that Det-Was week 12 matchup, yet they do for the two Giants game, placing Washington as a 3.5-point underdog in week 5 and 1.5-point favorite in week 16.