The Washington Commanders improved to 7-5 on the season after Sunday’s 19-13 win over the Atlanta Falcons. It was another win for Washington that essentially came down to the final possession, as the defense made a huge play to secure the sixth win in seven games for the Commanders.
Washington’s offense did enough in the win, compiling 314 total yards, 176 of which were on the ground. Quarterback Taylor Heinicke completed 14 of 23 passes for 138 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.
Afterward, head coach Ron Rivera was asked how he’d describe Heinicke’s performance.
“Umm, Taylor,” Rivera said. “It’s what we’d expect, make some plays, do a couple of things, but then come around and make that play that’s going to ignite things. And I think that touchdown throw to [TE] John Bates was terrific, I mean, he went through his progressions and got it to him, and that’s what he does. He’s just a scrappy player.”
The throw to Bates was a terrific throw and ended up being the decisive points in a Washington win. However, Heinicke left some points on the field. When he was under pressure, he missed wide receiver Terry McLaurin in the back of the end zone for a touchdown. The Commanders ended up kicking a field goal.
There was also the late interception in the first half after Washington’s defense forced a turnover on downs. The Commanders had timeouts and the ball in Atlanta territory, but Heinicke’s first attempt on the drive was picked off.
So, yeah, it’s the rollercoaster that is Heinicke.
You can’t say the Commanders are winning despite Heinicke because he makes winning plays each week. But if Washington is to continue its recent play against better teams, Heinicke needs to limit mistakes and turn some of those red-zone possessions into touchdowns.