Last year former St. Louis BattleHawks backup quarterback Taylor Heinicke shined against Tom Brady and the Buccaneers in their wild card playoff matchup.
At the time it was only his second NFL start, but he put it all on the line against the team that ultimately won the Super Bowl.
Washington fell to Tampa Bay 31-23, but Heinicke single-handedly kept WFT within striking distance the entire time. He finished the night with 306 yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT; throwing 26/44.
As a result of this game he secured himself a multi-year contract and the starting role for WFT; quite honestly it may just have come down to this play alone.
PUT TAYLOR HEINICKE IN THE HALL OF FAME pic.twitter.com/vtXXPDwYFC
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) January 10, 2021
Earlier this afternoon the Buccaneers and the Washington Football Team met for the first time since this epic showdown. Going into this game WFT had lost their last four matchups holding a 2-6 record. The Buccaneers on the other hand are coming off a Super Bowl win with a 6-2 record.
This didn’t stop Heinicke and the WFT from coming out strong against Tampa Bay.
Taylor Heinicke completed 26 of 32 passes for 256 yards and a touchdown to help Washington end a four-game losing streak with a 29-19 win over the Buccaneers. In fact, Heinicke outperformed Tom Brady while grabbing an impressive win.
Today @XFL2023 alum #Heinicke beat and out performed #THEGOAT @TomBrady 💪 🏈 #TBvsWAS pic.twitter.com/OyXqJYYeCS
— Michael Lathrop 🏈 (@XFLMike) November 14, 2021
At the end of the day, the former XFL backup secured the win over one of the most legendary quarterbacks in history.
FINAL: @WashingtonNFL finishes strong for the win! #TBvsWAS #WashingtonFootball pic.twitter.com/JlhyM07Afi
— NFL (@NFL) November 14, 2021
This just proved that the XFL worked in its mission to showcase players that normally wouldn’t get a shot in the NFL. Since the league was forced to suspend its inaugural season due to COVID we’ve seen numerous former XFL guys move onto the NFL.
At the moment the XFL is targeting a 2023 return, and it looks like they’re really starting to get things in order. Last Monday the league released their first official statement since the conclusion of the CFL talks, announcing their first nine executive hires.
Due to the success of the XFL, we’re seeing FOX jump into the spring football business with the reboot of the USFL in 2022. Regardless of your thoughts, this only creates more opportunities for players to showcase their skills.
We’re looking forward to many more success stories like this to come out of the various spring leagues.