After a slow start to their season, the Washington Football Team started to get their act together. They were playing at a high level after improving to 6-6 on the year. However, like so many teams this season Washington endured untimely injuries and a few of their star players being placed in COVID-19 reserve protocols during pivotal games that would make or break their season. Going up against the high-flying Eagles, Washington still couldn’t get their act together.
After leading 16-7 and holding that lead for a good portion of the game, they weren’t able to maintain that margin. Washington wound up losing 20-16 at home to their long-time NFC East nemesis. So with Washington officially eliminated from playoff contention, we’ll now take a look at two takeaways from their tough Week 17 loss to Philadelphia.
Taylor Heinicke needs to be their starting quarterback for next season
Granted, Taylor Heinicke did get off to a slow start, but once he found his rhythm, there’s no question that he was the driving force behind Washington’s offensive success this season. His quarterback vision, elusiveness in the pocket, and pin-point passing made for a lethal combination that helped lead Washington to several game winning drives throughout the year. If Washington wants to start off the 2022 NFL season on the right foot, then they’ll need to hand over the reigns to Heinicke from the get-go with no questions asked.
The Ryan Fitzpatrick experiment was short lived and anyone else who came prior to Heinicke just wasn’t cutting it. Heinicke may be one of the streakiest quarterbacks in the league, but when he’s on his A-game there are few defenses in the NFL that can shutdown Washington’s offense. So as we head into what’s set to be another eventful offseason for the Washington Football Team, making Heinicke their starting quarterback ahead of next season should be a high priority in the nation’s capitol.
The problem is, that does not sound like it will be the case.
Taylor Heinicke’s time as the starter is likely coming to an end in Washington once the season wraps up https://t.co/8EmY8FKXUf pic.twitter.com/bKoK6y3GId
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) January 5, 2022
Riverboat Ron shouldn’t take as many gambles in future match-ups
Even though Ron Rivera has established himself as one of the better coaches in the NFL, his reputation as one of the biggest risk takers in the league has proven to be costly for Washington on several occasions this season. This wound up being the case for Washington during their pivotal Week 14 showdown with the Dallas Cowboys when Rivera decided to go for it on back-to-back fourth downs early in the game. Not only were they unable to convert, but this also resulted in two easy scores for the Cowboys early on.
Due to these unnecessary risks they took, it forced them to play catch-up the entire game instead of allowing them to make some key defensive stops and come away with some stops right out of the gate. If Washington wants avoid making more silly mistakes like this late in the season, then coach Rivera shouldn’t jump the gun prematurely and force them into an unnecessary deficit to start off the game. This in-turn would get them more wins and put them in a better position to make the playoffs in 2022.