ATLANTA — Rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins led Washington to three second-half scoring drives, including two set up by Atlanta’s lost fumbles while attempting to field punts, and the Redskins took a 19-7 preseason win over the Falcons on Thursday night.
Case Keenum played the first half at quarterback and lost a fumble which helped the Falcons lead 7-6 at halftime.
Haskins, the first-round draft pick from Ohio State, completed 7 of 13 passes for 74 yards in the second half. Colt McCoy, Washington’s third contestant in the quarterback competition, is still recovering from a broken right leg suffered in 2018.
Washington running back Derrius Guice ran for 44 yards in his first game since a knee injury in the 2018 preseason ended his rookie season.
Keenum completed 9 of 14 passes for 101 yards but his lost fumble when sacked by Deadrin Senat set up a second-quarter touchdown for Atlanta. Takk McKinley recovered the fumble and ran 17 yards to the Washington 33. Ito Smith’s 5-yard touchdown run gave the Falcons a 7-3 lead.
Atlanta’s Matt Ryan played the full first half in his most extended playing time of the preseason and completed 9 of 14 pass for 74 yards. He was perfect in the first quarter, when he completed each of his eight passes for 60 yards.
Veteran backup Matt Schaub was held out as Danny Etling became the latest third-string quarterback to play in the preseason. Matt Simms was held out with an undisclosed injury. Simms was signed after Kurt Benkert was lost with a toe injury.
The Falcons signed Etling last week after he was released by New England. Etling’s lack of familiarity with the Falcons playbook showed as he struggled to move the offense in the second half.
The Falcons suffered their 12th straight preseason loss since their previous win, on Sept. 1, 2016, against Jacksonville.
Specials teams mistakes helped extend the Falcons’ losing streak. Rookies Marcus Green and Olamide Zaccheaus lost fumbles inside the Atlanta 20 when trying to field punts in the third quarter. Each turnover set up short Redskins scoring drives led by Haskins.
Green’s lost fumble, recovered by Washington’s Trop Apke, set up Samaje Perine’s 3-yard scoring run for a 13-7 lead.
Zaccheaus couldn’t catch Tress Way’s next punt, and the recovery by Robert Davis set up Dustin Hopkins’ 23-yard field goal. Hopkins also made field goals from 48, 29 and 40 yards.
Atlanta’s Giorgio Tavecchio, who missed two 42-yard field goal attempts in last week’s 22-10 loss to the New York Jets, was wide left on a 39-yarder in the first quarter.
Redskins: TE Jordan Reed left the game in the second half with a possible concussion. TE Matt Flanagan (hand) was listed as questionable in the fourth quarter. … CB Fabian Moreau (ankle) and LB Shaun Dion Hamilton (chest) did not play.
Falcons: TE Jaeden Graham (knee) was declared out in the second quarter. CB Taveze Calhoun was helped off the field and then carted to the locker room in the fourth quarter with a possible concussion. DT Justin Zimmer (foot), FB Ricky Ortiz (ankle) and DT Ra’Shede Hageman (neck) were listed as questionable.
Redskins: Washington will return home to play Baltimore in its final preseason game next Thursday night.
Falcons: Atlanta will conclude its five-game preseason schedule when it visits Jacksonville next Thursday night.
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