Washington Football Team: Taylor Heinicke’s flaws exposed in Week 3 loss

Washington QB Taylor Heinicke (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)
Washington QB Taylor Heinicke (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images) /

Let’s preface this by saying that the Washington Football Team‘s defense was the story from their blowout loss to the Buffalo Bills.

Josh Allen carved up Jack Del Rio’s unit to the tune of 358 yards and four touchdowns. He could’ve added more had the scoreline not been so lopsided, but he was understandably removed from the game in the fourth quarter.

In sum, the defense didn’t give Washington a chance to compete on Sunday.

With that out of the way, we simply have to address Taylor Heinicke’s performance. The honeymoon phase was never going to last forever, but Heinicke’s most damning flaws reared their ugly ahead against Buffalo.

With the Football Team in an early hole thanks to the defense, Heinicke often tried to gain everything back in one play as opposed to taking what the Bills’ D gave him and living to fight another down.

Washington QB Taylor Heinicke was exposed vs Buffalo on Sunday.

For the game, Heinicke finished 14-for-24 for 212 yards and two touchdowns, the second of which came in garbage time, and two interceptions. He would’ve added a third INT, but it was called back thanks to penalties.

Throwing interceptions isn’t the problem. It’s not the solution either, obviously, but turnovers are going to happen. However, the manner in which these picks unfolded had to of triggered fans’ alarm systems.

On each play, Heincike was unable to identify an open receiver. In uncharacteristic fashion, this seemed to unnerve the 28-year-old and he became too eager to create a positive play. As a result, he forced the ball into traffic and paid the price.

On this particular 2nd-and-6, Heinicke got happy feet in a collapsing pocket and threw a floater out to the sidelines that was picked by Jordan Poyer. As you’ll see around the 40-second mark in the video, Heinicke had loads of real estate in front of him. A QB with his athleticism should’ve taken off with his legs.

It’s easy to say in hindsight, Heinicke has to be better here. Though Washington’s defense was on the ropes, it was only a two-score game at this point. Nothing wrong with scrambling for a first down to keep the drive alive.

Less than two minutes later, Allen connected with Dawson Knox for a touchdown to put the Bills up by three touchdowns.

We obviously aren’t writing Heinicke off. Every quarterback is allowed to have a bad start and this was the first road start of his NFL career. However, we saw a lot of things that don’t equate to long-term success in this league.

We still believe in Heinicke (you should too), but he has a lot to prove over these next few weeks. Perhaps he can get right against a sorry Falcons defense in Week 4 and carry that momentum into a huge Week 5 tilt vs the Saints.