Updated: Nov 24, 2021
The week #1 loss to the Chargers brought back an, all too familiar, feeling for Washington fans and had less to do with the loss, but more to do with the "here we go again" quarterback situation. In the 2nd quarter (8.57 sec mark), starting quarterback
Ryan Fitzpatrick went down with a hip injury, after a big hit in the pocket and would stay down.
On the play Fitz was injured, new LT Charles Leno Jr. bit on the pass rush fake to the outside with Chargers linebacker #42 Uchenna Nwosu, which resulted in a big hit taking Fitzpatrick to the ground and simultaneously landing on his hip.
As fans witnessed in the 2020 Playoff loss to Tampa Bay, Taylor Heinicke would use is scrambling ability to make a play for his team, even if that meant sacrificing his body. The former small school QB would take over an offense that struggled with Fitzpatrick through more than a quarter and a half of football against an overachieving, if not sound Chargers defensive unit.
1/9/21 vs TB 26/44 306 yards passing 1 td, 1 int and 6 rush att 46 yards 1 td
In less than 3 quarters of play, Heinicke's week #1 stats seem pedestrian (11/15 122 yards 1 td no int's 8.13 per pass att 3 rush att 17 yards), but once again he was tasked as a closer and came up short. Washington lost, despite Heinicke energizing the offense, and led the team to a 2nd half touchdown. The defense, thought by many to be a strength, allowed LA to convert 14 of 18 3rd downs, virtually making the offense a non-factor. Coupled with the 2nd half, Gibson fumble, the team simply never regained any momentum.
Although it'll be a quick turnaround facing the Giants tonight, Heinicke will continue to practice with the starters for the foreseeable future, gaining valuable reps and more experience. Durability seems to be Heinicke's biggest nemesis, but the former Old Dominion signal caller has taken the challenge seriously by adding lean muscle and living in the weight room.
Heinicke's "backyard ball" playing style may rub some fans the wrong way, but until Washington drafts their franchise signal caller of the future, Taylor gives the them the best chance to win.
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*Pictures credit Washingtonfootball.com*