After Washington lost to the Bills in Week Three, their head coach Ron Rivera said that he wants quarterback Taylor Heinicke to be more of a game manager in the future.
Sunday’s game against the Falcons called for Heinicke to play a different role. Washington was down 30-22 in the fourth quarter and they needed Heinicke to come up with some big plays in order to bail them out.
Heinicke avoided a heavy pass rush, chucked a ball toward the end zone and watched as Terry McLaurin was able to come down with what would charitably be called a 50-50 ball. That cut Atlanta’s lead to two points and Heinicke came through again in the final minute when he extended a play and threw across the field to J.D. McKissic. McKissic scored a 30-yard touchdown and Rivera was left to praise Heinicke’s playmaking ability after the 35-30 win.
“I thought he managed it well, obviously,” Rivera said, via NBCSportsWashington.com. “The big thing is, and we’ve talked about it, make a play when you have to. He made several. . . . Taylor is just one of those dynamic players who knows how to make plays. As I said, nothing is ever done with him. He’s just going to continue to work.”
Washington still has defensive issues to sort out if they’re going to wind up with a winning season, but having a quarterback capable of making the plays that Heinicke made down the stretch on Sunday gives them a chance to avoid too many losses while waiting for things to come together on that side of the ball.