3 things we learned from Washington’s crushing loss to Eagles
By Jerry Trotta
1. Don’t take Taylor Heinicke for granted
The odds were always stacked against Garrett Gilbert, who was called into action by Washington literally while he was changing his baby’s diaper, so anyone who even set expectations for him was being unrealistic.
Credit the Eagles for taking Antonio Gibson out of the game and forcing Washington to call Gilbert’s number time after time, because the journeyman quarterback looked like he wanted no part of Philly’s pass rush.
For the game, Gilbert finished 20-of-31 for 194 yards. Not a terrible stat line, but fans were undoubtedly reminded of just how important even below-average-to-average quarterback play is in today’s NFL.
Enter Taylor Heinicke, who tested positive for COVID heading into the weekend and was unable to clear protocols in time for Tuesday night.
While watching Gilbert throw for just eight first downs and average less than seven yards per pass attempt, we couldn’t help but think how much this game needed Heinicke. Whether it be his poise under pressure or ability to scramble when the pocket collapses, the 28-year-old was sorely missed by his teammates.
If you think Gilbert was the reason Washington lost this game, you must’ve been tuned into Seahawks-Rams. He certainly didn’t help the cause, but newsflash, people: It’s possible to show Heinicke some love without slighting his replacement, who, at this moment five days ago, belonged to a different organization.
Don’t blame Gilbert for the loss, but also don’t take Heinicke for granted. For reasons we’ll never understand, folks harp on his lowlights and spend very little time appreciating his finest moments. With him under center, Washington is a 6-6 ball club, which, at this very moment, would be good enough to claim a playoff spot.