Dwayne Haskins threw for a career-high 314 yards and didn’t turn the ball over once. Rookie back Antonio Gibson had his best game of his young career, totaling 128 total yards and a touchdown. Terry McLaurin finished with a career-high 10 catches for 118 yards. Oh, and Washington finished with more first downs and even led in time of possession.
Washington was the first to stumble, as J.D McKissic fumbled the ball away with 2:51 left in the first quarter. The Ravens quickly capitalized on the short field and took a 7-0 lead on a one-yard run by Mark Ingram.
After exchanging punts, Washington missed an opportunity to cut the lead to 7-3 as Dustin Hopkins missed a 54-yard field goal attempt, setting the Ravens up at mid-field. Three plays later, Lamar Jackson took an option to the right and shed through a Landon Collins tackle, showing off his blazing straight-away speed as he sprinted 50 yards to the house.
Down 14, Haskins constructed a beautiful 10-play, 75-yard drive that ended with Gibson punching it in from two yards out. Unfortunately, the Ravens countered with a 75-yard scoring drive of their own. On 3rd-and-7, Jackson scrambled to his left, twisted back across his body, and threw a dime to Mark Andrews in the front-left corner of the end zone.
With just under a minute before the half, Kendall Fuller intercepted a pass intended for Ravens receiver Miles Boykin. Jackson’s first interception dating back to last December, proved costly. Hopkins connected on a 43-yard field goal, cutting the lead to 21-10 going into the break.
Baltimore put their foot on the pedal coming out of the half. Jackson led the Ravens on a time-bleeding, 10-play, 75-yard drive ending with a 22-yard strike to Andrews up the seam. Down three scores and the game withering away, Haskins and Gibson put together their longest drive of the season. After a bone-headed sack paired with a costly false-start penalty, Washington faced 4th-and-goal from Baltimore’s 13. However, instead of taking the easy points, Ron Rivera opted to go for it. Haskins completed a short pass to Isaiah Wright, where he was immediately met by three Ravens defenders and forced out at the 7-yard line.
Up until that point, Washington had taken what Baltimore gave them, dinking-and-dunking them to death. However, this was a time where Haskins needed to be aggressive and take a shot into the end zone. 17 plays, 82-yards, and just under eight minutes taken off the clock, with nothing to show for it but a giant goose egg.
With the game all but out of reach, Robert Griffin III took over for Jackson in what marked the first time he had taken the ball at FedEx Field since he last played for Washington. Kendall Fuller recorded his second interception of the day, and Haskins scored a touchdown from one-yard out to bring the final score to 31-17.
Haskins played surprisingly well, considering he faced a tough Baltimore defense. The game plan was simple as he continuously got the ball out quickly to his playmakers in open space. While it wasn’t flashy, Haskins was efficient, protected the football, and set career highs in completions and passing yards. He showed enough poise to quiet the naysayers that were calling for his job.
The Washington Football Team will look to snap a three-game skid as they host the Los Angeles Rams this Sunday at 1:00 PM.
(Featured Image Credit: WashingtonFootball.com)