For each Redskins game in the 2019 season, Andrew York plans to pick three plays and break them down in an effort to highlight individual Redskins players.
For the Week Four matchup against the Giants in New Jersey, the three plays will focus on a quarterback, Dwayne Haskins, a cornerback, Quinton Dunbar, and a running back, Chris Thompson.
Redskins @ Giants, Week 4 highlights | NFL 2019 on YouTube
[03:23] Dwayne Haskins doesn’t like the coverage he sees, so he runs 22 yards for a near TD.
The Giants were up 14-0 and the Redskins offense had looked absolutely putrid up until this point. As soon as Haskins came in, he marched the Redskins down the field on a drive that featured this run. None of his receivers are very open and he senses the pressure coming around the edges, so he steps up in the pocket and breaks outside, running up the field and even using a spin move to evade a tackle and gain a few extra yards.
Do I want Haskins to make lots of plays like this? No, probably not.
Do I wish he would slide after getting a first down instead of inviting contact to gain extra yards? Yes, absolutely.
But at that moment in time, the Redskins offense looked like it had given up. I was watching the game with my dad, and this play made us look at each other and say, “That kid is a winner!” He clearly wasn’t ready to roll over and die, and he fought through contact to gain as many yards as he could with his legs, almost getting the score.
I believe this run also gave him the most rushing yards for a Redskins player to that point in the game. Haskins didn’t run a blazing 40 time, but he can make plays with his legs and he’s a big guy who is hard to bring down.
[04:57] Quinton Dunbar reads the QB’s eyes and makes a play on the ball to stop the TD and force a FG instead.
Dunbar had been having an excellent game so far, making 2 interceptions by reading the QB’s eyes and undercutting WR routes to get to the ball first. I figure most people will remember those interceptions, so I wanted to bring attention to this play instead, as it stopped a TD in the red zone and forced the Giants to kick a FG instead.
The Redskins put each of the Giants receivers in 1-on-1 matchups, leaving their extra defenders to stack the box and eventually blitz. Daniel Jones apparently likes his 1-on-1 matchups, and seems to decide pre-snap that he will throw to Cody Latimer (12).
As soon as the ball is snapped, he stares down Latimer, ignoring the rest of the field. Dunbar, in coverage, keeps his eyes on Jones the whole time, recognizing right away that the ball is coming his way and leaping up to knock it out of the air.
This was a great play by Dunbar. Not only did he allow no separation, he used his awareness of the QB to anticipate the throw and make a play on the ball to prevent the TD.
[07:42] Chris Thompson takes a 6 yard dump off pass 42 additional yards for a first down on 2nd and 21.
Overshadowed by troubles elsewhere on the team and the emergence of Terry McLaurin at WR is the fact that Chris Thompson seems to have returned to vintage Chris-Army-Knife form.
Perhaps he is finally healthy, but whatever the reason, CT has made several crucial runs in space when the team has needed them, much like this one. CT does a great job after the catch of waiting for a block by a diving Wes Martin (67) to develop, then explodes upfield, finding holes to run through as he gains the yards necessary for a first down and more.
CT was known for turning short passes into big gains like this before his injury, and hopefully plays like this are an indication he has returned to form.
As in 2017, it might make sense to get CT more involved as a major part of the offense, though he won’t need to shoulder as much of the burden with Terry McLaurin and Paul Richardson also available as viable pass-catching threats. If the OL can’t open up holes in the run game, short passes like this to a dynamic player in space can replace runs.
Although the game against the Giants was mostly disappointing, I chose to focus here on some of the positive plays I think might be easily overlooked. There is still a lot of talent on this team, even if they don’t seem to be playing up to it as a cohesive whole. Also, I think Dunbar’s absence from the secondary due to injury has quietly been a much bigger problem than people realize.
Whose injury has had the most to do with our losses so far this season?
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Which player should be made a bigger part of the offense?
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Steve Sims Jr