LANDOVER, Md. -- The Washington Redskins don’t need a quarterback change. Not yet. Deeper problems exist, as yet another ugly Monday night loss revealed. The Redskins made it interesting in the second half before losing 31-15 to the Chicago Bears, but “making it interesting” is not what fans want after years of frustration.
They want hope. And hope often comes with a new quarterback -- just ask the New York Giants. But the Redskins don’t think rookie Dwayne Haskins is close, and if you want to give fans legitimate hope, you want that player to have the best chance at success when he plays. The Redskins haven’t shown any reason to believe the season will somehow turn around anytime soon. That means Haskins will get his chance in due time. But it’s also clear how much in this organization needs to change, regardless of when Haskins plays. The guess is that the team will first turn to Colt McCoy, who could return from a broken leg soon, before going to Haskins. The Redskins have the New England Patriots in two weeks. If they’re 0-5 after that game, then the Haskins watch will begin in earnest.
Troubling trend: The constant defensive breakdowns. The Redskins do not come across as a well-coached team or defensive unit. The onus, however, belongs on both the players and the coaches. Something just isn’t getting through. There were numerous times when a Bears receiver was running open from a bunch or stack formation or on a crosser. On one 13-yard catch by Taylor Gabriel, for example, the Bears ran him on a crosser out of a bunch look. Three corners went with two receivers, leaving inside linebacker Jon Bostic to try to cover Gabriel. Those mistakes happened all night -- and for too long before Monday.
QB Breakdown: It was a terrible performance by Case Keenum, who threw three interceptions and fumbled twice. But it isn't as if he had a lot of time in the pocket. One of the few times he did resulted in a 15-yard touchdown pass to receiver Terry McLaurin. The Bears forced Keenum into making quick decisions -- and those decisions often resulted in a forced pass into tight coverage. Entering this game, Keenum had thrown five touchdowns and no interceptions. But he had also left a decent amount of points on the field. He competes, but the Redskins need more.
Pivotal play: One play decided this game. The Redskins couldn’t afford to fall behind the Bears, not with their smothering defense. But that’s what happened with 9 minutes, 53 seconds left in the first quarter -- a play on which Keenum faced quick pressure. He tried to hit Trey Quinn on an intermediate crosser, but with a safety over the top, the throw needed to be perfect. Instead, it sailed, and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix picked it off, racing 37 yards for a touchdown. Clinton-Dix did little during his half-season in Washington last year after a trade. He did his damage Monday.
Bold prediction: The Redskins haven’t made an in-season coaching change since they fired Norv Turner in the 2000 season. They didn’t make one during the crazy second season with Jim Zorn in 2009, when they hired Sherman Smith out of the bingo parlor to call plays. But if the Redskins lose at the New York Giants next week, it would not be surprising to see owner Dan Snyder make some sort of move, whether with coach Jay Gruden or defensive coordinator Greg Manusky. The Redskins didn’t quit vs. the Bears, so the team hasn’t quit on the coaches. But the team needs to give Snyder reason to keep this staff around.