A game that started so promising for the Washington Football Team quickly morphed into a rout halfway through the fourth quarter.
It’s tough to pinpoint exactly what went wrong for Washington on Sunday. The defense performed better than we’ve seen all season (three first half turnovers), but still surrendered 31 points and 499 yards of offense.
Still, however, the unit played well enough in the 30 minutes to have more than a three-point lead. Ultimately, that falls on the offense, and more specifically, Taylor Heinicke, who turned in his second-straight forgettable performance.
Heinicke’s a great story and a huge reason why Washington has even been competitive in some games this season, but these last two weeks have proven that Ryan Fitzpatrick should take over when he comes back.
Washington QB Taylor Heinicke is officially fighting for his job.
This isn’t a reactionary take, folks. Anyone who watched the game could see that Heinicke’s limitations were on full display.
Much like Week 5, Heinicke missed throws all over the field, including what should’ve been a deep touchdown to Terry McLaurin in the first half. All Heinicke needed to do was hit McLaurin in stride. Instead, he threw several yards wide and behind of the star WR, who couldn’t quite adjust in time before the ball hit the turf.
Even on his touchdown to Ricky Seals-Jones, Heinicke was off. Seals-Jones was WIDE open on a busted coverage by the Chiefs. What should’ve been a walk-in touchdown, turned into Seals-Jones having to fend off a defender and needing a key block to find the end zone.
Again, these are fine margins. Luckily, it didn’t cost Washington.
Over his last two games, Heinicke is 44-of-80 (55%) for 430 yards and one touchdown to three interceptions.
While the Saints are a tough matchup, Kansas City was giving up the most points of any team in the league entering Week 6. Heinicke led Washington to 13 points and was shut out in the second half on Sunday.
Let’s call it like it is, folks. Heinicke has had three really good games (against the Chargers, Giants and Falcons) and three really bad games (vs the Bills, Saints and Chiefs). That isn’t acceptable, no matter how you slice it.
Heinicke is often late on his reads, hesitant to take what the defense gives him ( like taking off to run and pick up a few yards) and his decision-making is sometimes comparable to that of a seventh-round rookie.
Look no further than his two interceptions from last week and the pick he gift-wrapped for Chiefs defensive lineman Tershawn Wharton on a designed running back screen late in the fourth quarter.
We’re not saying Heinicke should be benched for Kyle Allen. He still offers more than the former Panthers backup. However, if Heinicke continues on this trajectory, he might as well hand over the starting job to Ryan Fitzpatrick whenever the veteran is ready to return from the hip injury he suffered in Week 1.