The entire world of football was rooting for Taylor Heinicke on Saturday night, as the XFL alumni was making his second career NFL start. This was no small matter… this was the playoffs, against Tom Brady’s powerful Tampa Bay Buccaneers. All the odds were stacked against him, but he put on a show that gained him the respect of many.
Despite being signed to Washington’s practice squad back in mid December, Heinicke quickly rose to the active roster, and saw a bit of playing time in week 16 against Carolina. While Alex Smith started against Philadelphia last week, he was not ready to go tonight, so Taylor had to step up to the challenge – and step up he did.
Washington fell to Tampa Bay 31-23, but Heinicke single-handedly kept the Football Team within striking range the entire time. He finished the night with these stats: 26/44, 306 yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT. He balled out, showing impressive pocket presence while simultaneously dropping dimes.
His only interception occurred because it was tipped at the line, interrupting its course. He did have a couple errant throws, but for the most part, Heinicke had one heck of a performance. Multiple wide receivers dropped several passes throughout the night, yet he still put up over 300 yards through the air.
Lesson learned: don’t sleep on Taylor Heinicke. He not only made a name for himself, but also gave Spring league’s more credibility. Between Garrett Gilbert, John Wolford, and now Taylor Heinicke, these spring league QBs have shown that they can make an impact on NFL teams.
Only time will tell what the future will ultimately be for Taylor, but tonight was a fantastic step in the right direction. Did you enjoy watching Heinicke play in his first postseason game? What did you think of his performance? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!