The short-lived Dwayne Haskins era appears to be over in Washington … for now.

After just 11 starts, the Football Team demoted Haskins (twice) on Wednesday, announcing that Kyle Allen will start the Week 5 game against the Rams with Alex Smith, and not Haskins, serving as the backup.

The move caught many by surprise after Haskins put forth his best game of the season against a tough Ravens defense. The second-year quarterback completed 32-of-45 passes for 314 yards and didn’t throw an interception. It’s not the most impressive stat line, but by both quantitative and qualitative measures, Haskins did a better job against Baltimore’s defense than two other first-round quarterbacks who are in no danger of losing their spot in the starting lineup.

There was speculation before Sunday’s game that Haskins could be benched if he played poorly against the Ravens. Based on how things played out, the Football Team must’ve had unrealistic expectations for how Sunday’s game would play out if that performance warranted a benching.

Washington seems to be blaming the wrong party for its offensive struggles. While Haskins hasn’t played well over the course of the season, he’s not getting a lot of support. The Football Team ranks 27th in ESPN’s Pass Block Win Rate. The receiving corps ranks 27th in Pro Football Focus’ grading. The offensive coordinator, Scott Turner, is in his first full year calling plays.

No young quarterback would thrive in this situation. That’s also true for the young quarterbacks struggling in New York, but there’s no talk of the Giants and Jets benching them. And Haskins has out-performed both Daniel Jones and Sam Darnold by most statistical measures.

Haskins will likely be back in the lineup at some point this season, but it doesn’t make any sense to have the 23-year-old on the bench and not out on the field — even if it’s just as a showcase for other teams that might trade a draft pick for the 2019 first-round pick. Every Allen start is a waste of time that could be spent gathering more information on Haskins, who is younger than all but three current NFL starters.

It’s just too early to give up on Haskins. There are enough flashes on his film to suggest there’s a good quarterback in there somewhere. He’s just consistently a foot or two off on a throw or a second or two late on a decision, and that’s where his inconsistency stems from. But those are things you’d expect to see from a young quarterback with only 11 starts under his belt.

I haven’t had an opportunity to go through all of Haskins 2020 film, but the Ravens game was exactly what you’d expect from a first-round pick at this point in his development. There were two or three missed opportunities and an inaccurate throw here and there; but, for the most part, Haskins carried out the offense as it was designed. The Ravens were just the better team.

Here’s a cut-up of all of Washington’s negative plays (EPA < 0) from Sunday’s game if you want to review his performance for yourself.

To me, Haskins looks like a young quarterback who adheres to the rules of the offense a bit too much. He’s rushing through his reads and hitting his checkdown rather than trying to buy time for things to open up downfield. He’s making decisions based on what a defender is supposed to do rather than what a defender actually does. But, again, that’s to be expected from a young quarterback.

With more experience, Haskins should naturally figure those things out. It just doesn’t look like he’ll get that experience in Washington. Considering everything we know about the franchise, his career might be better for it.

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