Take 2: Heinicke outduels Brady as WFT defeats Super Bowl champs

LANDOVER, MARYLAND - NOVEMBER 14: Taylor Heinicke #4 of the Washington Football Team reacts during the second half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at FedExField on November 14, 2021 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
LANDOVER, MARYLAND - NOVEMBER 14: Taylor Heinicke #4 of the Washington Football Team reacts during the second half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at FedExField on November 14, 2021 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /
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Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

The Good: Washington came out of the bye week hungry to silence the doubters.

10:26: Washington controlled the time of possession in this game, holding the ball 18+ minutes longer than the Bucs. The team capped off the game with a 19-play 80 yard drive that lasted 10 minutes 26 seconds, the longest drive by time this season.

11/19: Washington came into the game converting only 34.69% of its third downs, which was 26th in the NFL. Against the Bucs, they went 11-for-19 (57.8%) on third downs including four 3rd and long attempts, successfully converting a 3rd and 11, 3rd and 8, 3rd and 7, and 3rd and 6. The 11 conversions on third down were the most since November 3, 2013.

80%:  On the final drive of the game, Washington went 4-for-5 on 3rd downs, converting 80% of its third downs when it mattered most. To understand just how clutch the team played down the line, you have to see how many yards were gained on each 3rd down on the final drive.

On a 3rd and 2, Heinicke scrambled for three.

On a 3rd and 1, Gibson was able to gain two yards.

On a 3rd and 4, Adam Humphries made a tiptoe catch on the sidelines to gain five.

On a 3rd and 5, Terry McLaurin not only caught a six-yard pass but held on to the ball on a big hit, which should have been unnecessary roughness.

273: For the second game in a row, Washington held its opponent to 273 total yards, the lowest it has allowed all season and the lowest output for the Bucs all season. The Bucs were averaging 423.1 yards per game coming into the contest, and were held to 150 yards less. Not only is that impressive in itself, but for the defense to accomplish that while missing Montez Sweat and losing Chase Young for the season makes it all the more meaningful.

2-13: Tampa doesn’t fare too well when scoring under 25 points, and Washington was able to hold them below that number. Bruce Arians is 2-13 with Tampa Bay when the team scores under 25 points. Tom Brady has only won one game with Tampa when scoring under 25 points.

4/10: Tampa Bay was coming in with the 2nd best third-down conversion percentage while facing off against Washington’s last ranked third-down defense. That sounded like a recipe for disaster  for Washington, which came into the game allowing conversions on 56.52% of third downs. However, the results ended up being much better, with Washington holding the Bucs to 4/10 on third-downs.

9/25/2016: Tress Way stayed pretty free for most of the first half as Washington scored on its first four possessions to start the game with a 16-3 lead. Not only was the 13-point lead Washington’s largest lead this season, but the last time the team scored on its first four possessions was over five years ago in Week 3 against the Giants on 9/25/2016.

2/2: Washington went 2-for-2 on 4th downs with both drives ending in a touchdown. The first was a four-yard completion to J.D. McKissic on a 4th and 3, which came after McKissic turned a 3rd and 14 pass into an 11-yard gain.

That drive was capped off with the 20-yard dime from Heinicke to DeAndre Carter in the corner of the end zone. The second 4th down conversion was Antonio Gibson’s one-yard touchdown run to put the game away.

110.4: Although Heinicke didn’t play a perfect game, he limited mistakes and did enough to gut out the win for Washington. Luck may have been on Washington’s side on Sunday as a sure interception by Heinicke bounced off a defender’s hands and went directly to DeAndre Carter.

Overall, Heinicke went 26-for-32 for 256 yards, one touchdown, and a 110.4 passer rating. Brady on the other side went 23-for-34 for 220 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions, and a 80.5 passer rating. Any time that you outplay one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time, you deserve all the credit.

I mean look at the beauty of this pass. Heinicke is showing he deserves a chance. And Carter, who has touchdown receptions in back-to-back games, is balling out as one of the best free agent pick-ups for Washington this offseason.

10: Washington was able to score 10 points off turnovers, picking off Brady twice in the first quarter. It was only the second time that Brady has thrown two interceptions in the first quarter in his 21-year career.

3-3: After Rivera admitted his mistake in signing Chris Blewitt, he brought in Joey Slye. Many fans collectively sighed with another former Panther joining the team, but Rivera looks to have made a sly pick-up (couldn’t help myself). The kicker went 3-for-3 on field goals including a 46-yarder and made all his PATs.