Commanders fans will agree with RGIII’s take on team’s QB conundrum
By Jerry Trotta
The Washington Commanders have won six of their last seven games, but their quarterback play hasn’t been a driving force behind the hot streak. Yes, Taylor Heinicke delivered some clutch throws against the Packers and Colts, but the fan favorite has also tempted fate more times than fans would like.
That’s not to say Heinicke doesn’t deserve to keep starting. For whatever reason, the team gravitate towards him and rallies behind him. He’s an ultimate gamer and his moxie is magnetizing for a winning-starved fan base. The team is winning games, and there’s zero reason for Ron Rivera to pull the plug.
While a great story, the honeymoon phase surrounding Heinicke is seemingly running stale amongst fans. Instead of taking what the defense gives him and not forcing throws into tight windows like he did when he first replaced Carson Wentz, Heinicke’s been alarmingly careless with the football.
If things keep going like this, it feels like a matter of when, not if, the Commanders go back to Wentz. When that might be is anyone’s guess, but Robert Griffin III believes a switch should be made at the earliest convenience.
RGIII’s take on the Commanders’ QB dilemma is spot on.
Here’s what RGIII said in an interview with Sports Seriously.
"“It’s a clear and obvious thing that Carson Wentz is the more talented quarterback. But right now their team gravitates towards Taylor Heinicke and it doesn’t matter how he plays, I’ve really never seen anything quite like this…The guy can throw for 130 yards and they go win the game. And everybody’s talking about how he’s the greatest quarterback of all time and how he should be the starter for the foreseeable future. I’ve never seen anything like it. He can throw terrible interceptions and people are like, ‘oh my God, he’s the greatest since sliced bread.’”"
Griffin makes some salient points. Heinicke’s thrown some ugly interceptions (and passes in general) over his six games filling in for Wentz. Errant passes and turnovers are easy to forget when the team is winning games, though.
Heinicke has an interception in all but one of his six starts. And the one game he didn’t (the blowout win in Houston) he completed less than 56% of his passes and struggled to cap sustained drives with touchdowns. Most fans would agree that he’s lucky to not have an additional two or three picks to his name.
Griffin understands that winning is keeping Heinicke afloat, but he’s right to speculate if this success is sustainable with the way he’s playing.
"“I feel like they’ve gotta get rid of Taylor Heinicke,” RGIII added. “As long as Taylor Heinicke is on that team, he’s gonna be a fan favorite, he’s gonna be a team favorite and he’s gonna undercut whoever becomes a starter in the future.”"
The Commanders have done a great job of hiding Heinicke’s flaws by becoming a run-first team that controls the game script and plays elite defense. Assuming Washington doesn’t win out, we might see Wentz back under center sooner than later.
How many fans would actually be opposed to that?