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The Cincinnati Bengals scored 17 unanswered points in the second half of a 23-13 road win over the Washington Redskins in Week 2 of the NFL preseason Thursday night, spoiling a somewhat sharper outing by Redskins rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins.
The first-round pick, coming off a shaky debut last week, had his moments Thursday, completing 7-of-14 passes for 114 yards and his first career touchdown, a 55-yard strike to Robert Davis in the second quarter.
Haskins also avoided throwing an interception after being picked off twice in his debut, though he did lose a fumble on a strip sack deep in Washington territory.
“I was just trying to move the ball and make smart decisions,” he said afterward. “Don’t put the ball in harm’s way. I did great with my protections today and didn’t miss at all. I’m just trying to put it all together and get better every day.”
Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said he is cautiously optimistic about his rookie quarterback, who is competing for the starting job with veterans Colt McCoy and Thursday’s starter Case Keenum.
“Dwayne showed flashes,” Gruden said. “There are a couple balls he rushed a bit. He missed a couple shots, he rushed a little bit, didn’t put enough air under there. This is all a process for him. It’s good to see him get out there and take hits here and there. Have him do the protections, get the running game going and calling the plays. The presentation that I’m interested in right now is how he handles himself, how he controls the players in the huddle with the leadership qualities that he has. It’s fun to watch him right now. He’s a work in progress, and he’s going to continue getting better and better.”