Since then, 30 quarterbacks have started under center for the team in the nation’s capital to varying results.
This year, Washington hoped that Ryan Fitzpatrick would help stabilize a team that clinched a Wild Card spot the previous year.
However, a hip injury had him sidelined since opening weekend, and Taylor Heinicke took over.
FROM 2-6 TO 6-6
TAYLOR HEINICKE AND THE FOOTBALL TEAM HAVE WON 4 STRAIGHT pic.twitter.com/2MJzXyehXN
— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) December 6, 2021
Initially, the former Old Dominion standout struggled as the team’s full-time starter, leading Washington to a 2-6 record.
He has since helped the team return to playoff contention after a four-game win streak.
As stated in his contract, Heinicke earned $125,000 for every victory that he played at least 60 percent of the snaps.
But while his incentive continues to grow, so too is the reality that Washington must retain him as their long-term option at quarterback.
Here are three reasons to bring home Heinicke’s claim to be the undisputed starter.
3. He’s Unfazed With The Bright Lights
Last year, Heinicke nearly brought Washington to a playoff win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Unfortunately, Tom Brady’s experience and Tampa’s overall talent prevailed.
Fast forward to 2021, and Heinicke had another opportunity to defeat Brady.
This time, he delivered a 29-19 victory over the defending Super Bowl champions.
WFT has a unique makeup:
Taylor Heinicke (QB)
• undrafted XFL player
Antonio Gibson (RB)
• community college WR
• 3rd round pick
Terry McLaurin (WR)
• 3rd round pick
Logan Thomas (TE)
• drafted as QB in 4th round
• switched positions after being released by 3 teams pic.twitter.com/e47ArOlyH3
— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) November 30, 2021
Heinicke completed 26 of 32 passes for 256 yards and a touchdown.
That victory set their four-game win streak in motion, and they are now the sixth seed in the NFC.
2. He Picks His Spots Very Well
Heinicke does not force plays when it’s not there.
He reads the defense’s alignment before deciding to stick to the play or calling an audible.
That’s why Heinicke has completed 67.9 percent of his passes through Week 13.
His lowest completion percentage during their win streak is an impressive 72 percent.
His ability to make sound judgments allows running back Antonio Gibson to thrive.
From NFL Matchup
QB Taylor Heinicke will see single-high coverage vs. the #Raiders today.
— Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) December 5, 2021
Gibson contributed 64, 95, 111, and 88 rushing yards during their four-game win streak.
Compare those numbers to their first eight games wherein he failed to reach 100 yards and got overshadowed by J.D. McKissic and Jaret Patterson.
His inspiring play boosts the team’s confidence, making them perform better.
1. He Has The Locker Room’s Support
Heinicke is all about hard work, and the players respect him for his work ethic.
They throw their support to a quarterback who used to sleep on the couch of his sister’s home in hopes of making an NFL team.
This opportunity is worth the wait for Heinicke, and he won’t let it go quickly.
That’s a huge scramble for Taylor Heinicke. I don’t know if a team will ever settle on him for a starter at the beginning of the season, but he just fights and makes plays! He’s proved he deserves a job for a long time
— Ryan Clark (@Realrclark25) December 5, 2021
Therefore, he is willing to fight every game until the final buzzer sounds.
Leaving everything on the field will help inspire other players to elevate their performance.
There’s no fear in him which always gives them a chance to win.