Robservations: Week 4

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Welcome back to the fourth edition of Robservations. This week we’ve got a doozy of a game to talk about. 

A lot of the points I’ll be driving home are ones I’ve pretty much already addressed in the past three games so I won’t beat a dead horse too much (I mean, it’s already dead), but as you’re probably aware, the Washington Football Team dropped their third consecutive game this season, this time against a potential Super Bowl candidate in the Baltimore Ravens. 

The 31-17 loss was not unexpected as we all pretty much chalked this one up as a loss unless we saw this team play an absolutely perfect game (which they didn’t), but honestly I thought they gave us a decent performance all things considered. Enough lollygagging, let’s jump in. 

The Haskins experience was fine 

We should probably start with Dwayne Haskins this week, right? It was a pretty interesting week for ole Dwayne, who essentially was given the “show improvement or don’t show up at all” ultimatum just after three weeks into his first season as QB1. Is it premature? Absolutely, but Rivera demanded what we’ve all been demanding from Haskins this season: some form of promise. 

Not that Haskins has been especially terrible or anything this season, but he’s pretty much been just a guy. It feels like the playcalling hasn’t necessarily catered to his strengths and when he does have a chance to show something, he just hasn’t. I think I speak for everyone when I say that we’d want to see him do something exciting under center, even if it’s sandwiched between mistakes. I feel like that’s not too much to ask, even if his supporting cast is lackluster. 

This week, Haskins gets a passing grade, probably a C- if we’re being specific. He once again showcased the accuracy issues that have plagued his season so far, but he made a few nice passes across the middle and ended the game with a pretty beautiful deep ball to Terry McLaurin. Hopefully we start to see Scott Turner dial up some more deep balls for Haskins because that’s one of the things I expected them to do more than once a game. 

I think where my issues come in are with his decision-making in general. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the two massive missed opportunities to keep up with the Ravens in this game. The first was some of the most horrendous clock management I’ve seen from this team since Kirk Cousins’ kneel down in 2015. This team had two timeouts with 23 seconds to work with at the Ravens 25, and Haskins’ great idea was to throw a dump-off that killed 18 seconds off the clock? Are we serious? What a wasted opportunity for this team going into the half. 

The second instance was what really had me fuming. You know what I’m talking about, it’s the fourth-and-goal call. My god what an embarrassing turn of events. This team had an actually fantastic drive down the field only for it all to be thrown away thanks to an 18-yard loss off a Haskins sack that pretty much led to a fourth-and-goal situation at the 13-yard-line. Being down 18, you’d think they’d just want to take some points and hope the defense could get a stop, but instead we got an insanely ill-advised fourth down try that essentially was just Haskins dumping it off to a helpless Isaiah Wright. 

Turner gets the blame for even thinking about going for it, but the execution was 100% on Haskins. That was just sad. 

So yeah, I think a C- for Haskins is pretty favorable despite those two situations making me want to gauge my eyes out. At least he’s not playing like Daniel Jones I guess. 

The safety position has become worrisome 

Troy Apek is terrible. Shocker, I know. I don’t feel like it’s worth breaking down how bad he is again considering I’ve done that every week of the season. We’ll just call a spade a spade. 

Now Landon Collins on the other hand needs to be talked about. I expect better from Collins, who we’re paying more than anyone on the team not named Alex Smith. I don’t expect him to be great in coverage because that’s just never been something he’s been great at, but missing tackles and taking poor angles is something I’d expect from Apke, not a former All-Pro. He needs to be better, plain and simple. 

This space is specifically designed for Kendall Fuller praise 

Man did I miss you, Kendall. Maybe it’s the Hokie in me, but seeing Fuller back out there in burgundy and gold just warms my heart. 

In his second game this season, Fuller was without a doubt the best defender on the field, pulling in two interceptions (one against RGIII) after not getting one at all last season in Kansas City. The first one was just great coverage the whole way on Miles Boykin, and it gave the offense an opportunity to get some points on the board before half. 

The second was an absolutely fantastic play from Fuller, who hung with the electrifying Hollywood Brown on a deep ball from Robert Griffin III, who came in to salt the wound in a game that was basically over. 

This was probably the most positive takeaway from this game that I could get so I’m going to live it up while I can. 

Antonio Gibson is 100% legit 

Has anyone taken advantage of their touches more than Gibson has this season? Everytime he gets the ball I feel safe in thinking that any play could be a big one. Gibson is such a dynamic weapon, and though I still feel like we should have kept Adrian Peterson, at least losing AP meant seeing more of what Gibson can do. 

Alongside McLaurin, Gibson has pretty much become one of the few true sources of offense that this team has. Their 246 total yards accounted for 64% of the team’s total offense yesterday which pretty much tells you all you need to know. I don’t even know where to begin with the needs this organization has to address this offseason, but at least we can take comfort in the fact that we have a clear-cut No. 1 option at both wide receiver and running back. 

That’s it for this week’s Robservations. Let’s hope next week we’ll be coming back to this in a better mood after our matchup with the LA Rams, who are coming off a close 17-9 win against a Giants team that’s somehow still in a worse position than us. I’ll see you all next week. 

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