The Washington Commanders are in that old familiar place again, with their disappointing on-field performance being compounded by quarterback injuries while the entire on-field product is overshadowed by controversy surrounding their terrible owner.
Taylor Heinicke will make his 17th start for the Commanders this Sunday, and is weirdly the source of significant optimism among a portion of the fan base. Somehow, these fans forget that the team is 7-10 with Heinicke as a starter over the past two seasons, and finished out last season at a 1-4 clip to miss the playoffs.
While there will likely be some exciting moments with Heinicke under center, the thought that this team is poised for a string of winning football because he is replacing Carson Wentz is pure and unfiltered optimism, not reality. With that in mind, here are five doses of Week 7 Reality Checks for the Commanders.
5 Commanders reality checks for Week 7 vs the Packers
5. The Reality Is, Taylor Heinicke and Carson Wentz are more alike than you think.
Taylor Heinicke is a bit reckless with the ball. Carson Wentz is a bit reckless with the ball. Heinicke is limited from the pocket because of height and arm strength. Wentz is limited from the pocket because of processing speed and a slow release. Taylor Heinicke is prone to making a big play with his legs. Carson is prone to making a big play on a deep shot. Heinicke and Wentz have remarkably similar career statistics on a per-game basis.
So, while I expect the offense to run more efficiently with Heinicke than it was with Wentz under center, it’s fools gold to think that Heinicke represents a dramatic overall improvement to the team’s chances of winning.
While the #RollercoasterIndex was certainly a thing with Carson Wentz. It’s likely to be even more of a thing with Heinicke. There will be incredibly high moments and incredibly low moments. Bank on it.