Washington’s Taylor Heinicke puts NFL on notice: ‘I deserve to be in this league’
With Alex Smith inactive due to his calf injury, the Washington Football Team turned to backup playmaker Taylor Heinicke as the starter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The former XFL gunslinger may not have led the team to a victory, but he did come out with a brave performance that will certainly help him moving forward.
Heinicke feels he made a statement:
“I deserve to be in this league a little longer,” said Heinicke via ESPN. “I’ve been on the other side not playing and it’s not fun, not as fun as this.”
Entering the matchup as underdogs, Washington didn’t go down without a fight in the franchise’s first playoff game since 2015. After a slow start in the opening frame, Ron Rivera and his team started to gain momentum in the succeeding quarters. After trailing 18-7 at halftime, Washington outscored Tampa Bay 9-0 in the third quarter to make it a tight 18-16 affair.
The Buccaneers managed to recuperate in the final frame with 13 points to edge out Washington with a 31-23 victory. Heinicke led his team with 306 passing yards on 26-of-44 passing along with one passing touchdown and a rushing touchdown.
Wide receiver Cam Sims was a favorite target with 104 yards on seven catches, while Steven Sims Jr. added 33 yards on three catches and a touchdown.
Despite the odds and his lack of experience, Heinicke still managed to put the league on notice with his applaudable performance. The quarterback even caught the eye of Kansas City Chiefs superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
Heinicke is set to become a free agent in the upcoming offseason, and his postseason showing may have already helped him in his bid to land a job in the NFL for 2021. There will surely be teams looking more closely at him after this performance.