- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 24, 2019

LANDOVER — With less than a minute left, Dwayne Haskins broke the huddle Sunday with his team tied, already in good field position thanks to an interception from cornerback Quinton Dunbar. This was the type of moment that called upon the Redskins quarterback to make a play and for him to engineer his first career game-winning drive.

He did. He made series of them, in fact.

Haskins led a last-minute drive to set up a Dustin Hopkins field goal and the Redskins earned a 19-16 victory over the Detroit Lions. The Redskins got into range with a 17-yard strike from Haskins to fellow rookie Terry McLaurin in the middle of the field.

The Redskins made the 39-yard field goal with 16 seconds left and held on for their second victory of the season.

Haskins finished with 156 yards, completing 44.8% (13 of 29) of his passes. He was sacked three times and threw an interception — but made up for it with his game-winning drive.

At this point, given their record, the Redskins will largely be judged by how Haskins and their other young players develop over the rest of the season. Washington, after all, used the 15th overall pick on Haskins and are relying on him to become a viable NFL quarterback, at the very least.

Against the Lions, Haskins showed some progress — but he wasn’t always accurate, or perfect.

On his very first drop back, the 22-year-old fumbled as Detroit’s Devon Kennard strip-sacked the quarterback, resulting in a turnover on Washington’s 38-yard line. Washington, though, held Detroit scoreless, though it was fortunate when kicker Matt Prater sailed a 39-yard attempt wide right.

But Haskins would recover, displaying composure in the pocket. The Ohio State product made plays on third down, first rushing for 18 yards and later finding McLaurin in the middle of the field. He was a large reason the Redskins got into scoring range — but also a factor as to why they didn’t score a touchdown.

On a well-designed play, McLaurin broke wide open in the end zone, though Haskins overthrew the rookie — and the Redskins later settled for the field goal.

The Redskins, however, got contributions from a number of their other prospects, all out to prove they belong in the NFL.

In the second quarter, receiver Steven Sims initially bobbled a kick return, but recovered — sprinting past the Lions on his way to a 91-yard touchdown return. The undrafted 22-year-old has emerged as a speed-threat for the Redskins, who have found ways to incorporate him throughout the season.

The Redskins even shined on defense, forcing consecutive turnovers when the Lions had the ball. Third-year cornerback Fabian Moreau used his speed to keep up with wideout Marvin Hall down the sideline intercepting quarterback Jeff Driskel. Moreau got the start Sunday over cornerback Josh Norman, who was benched throughout the afternoon.

Rookie Cole Holcomb also shined, forcing a fumble on Detroit’s next offensive possession. Washington drafted Holcomb out of North Carolina in part because of his speed and the linebacker rushed consistently to the ball against Detroit.

Despite the flashes from the Redskins, the Lions found a way to get back into the game. Driskel, filling in for an injured Matthew Stafford, used his legs to extend plays — gaining yards on the ground and by launching it through the air. After halftime, with the Redskins’ up 13-6, the Lions executed a nine-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a 13-yard touchdown pass to tight end Logan Thomas.

Thomas was wide open as he broke free past safety Montae Nicholson.

In the fourth, Detroit took advantage of more coverage breakdowns. The Lions got into the red zone when Driskel found Thomas open in the middle of the field. Though Detroit failed to score a touchdown, Prater’s 21-yarder gave it a 16-13 lead.

But the Redskins came back, thanks to Haskins.

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