If you didn’t know the name Taylor Heinicke prior to Saturday night’s NFC Wild Card game between Washington and Tampa Bay don’t feel bad. There aren’t too many people who knew about the 27-year-old quarterback before he took the field for the Washington Football Team last Saturday night.
Heinicke laid his heart on the line against Tom Brady and the Buccaneers in the playoffs. Washington and Heinicke came up short against the Buccaneers, but the quarterback showed that he has game that is worthy of an NFL contract.
Taylor Heinicke | College Resume
Taylor Heinicke attended Old Dominion University from 2011-2014. When Heinicke was under center for the Monarchs, the team was a member of the Colonial Athletic Association in the FCS. Heinicke had a storied college career at Old Dominion.
Heinicke was a two-time FCS All-American in 2011 and 2012. In 2012, he was named the CAA Offensive Player of the Year and also earned the Walter Payton Award. The Walter Payton Award is given to the best offensive player in FCS football. It’s comparable to the Heisman Trophy in the FBS.
Heinicke started four years for the Monarchs. He was 1,238 for 1,829 with 15,000 passing yards and 132 touchdowns through the air over the course of his career. He also rushed for 1,320 yards and found the endzone 22 times with his legs.
Heinicke is the best quarterback that has ever come out of Old Dominion. He left his mark on the Monarchs program in more ways than one.
Taylor Heinicke | Professional Resume
Heinicke went undrafted in 2015, but he still signed with the Minnesota Vikings as an undrafted free agent. He was the team’s third string quarterback in 2015 and 2016. In 2017, Heinicke was released on an injury settlement.
In 2017, Heinicke spent less than one month on the New England Patriots’ practice squad. He was signed on September 23rd and released on October 9th. In November of 2017, Heinicke made his way to Houston. He made his NFL debut for the Texans on December 25th, but suffered a concussion after completing one pass for Houston.
Heinicke was waived by the Texans, but Carolina claimed him on April 16, 2018. He appeared in six games for the Panthers in 2018 and made one start. However, adversity struck Heinicke once again and he was placed on IR with an elbow injury.
He was released by the Panthers in the final roster cut of the team’s 2019 training camp. He then became a backup quarterback in the XFL for the St. Louis BattleHawks(KAKAW!) but didn’t see any action before the league suspended play due to the COVID pandemic.
Taylor Heinicke | Washington Football Team
In 2020, Heinicke was finishing up his engineering degree at Old Dominion. It seemed like he had given up on the football dream after years of challenges, but he received a call from Washington and signed with the team on December 8th.
Heinicke was originally signed to Washington’s practice squad. On December 19th, he was brought up to the active roster due to the quarterback debacle that was taking place in Washington with Dwayne Haskins and Alex Smith.
Heinicke appeared in the team’s Week 16 game against Carolina. He came in during the fourth quarter for a benched Dwayne Haskins and completed 12 passes for 137 yards and a touchdown.
Washington won the NFC East, so they were set to host the Buccaneers in the Wild Card round of the NFL Playoffs. Alex Smith was unavailable because of calf soreness and Dwayne Haskins was released because of his maskless strip club venture.
This gave Washington no choice but to give Taylor Heinicke the nod. He didn’t disappoint. In fact, he exceeded every expectation that were placed on him in the team’s 31-23 loss to the Buccaneers.
Taylor Heinicke | Wild Card Superstar
Even though Washington didn’t win on Saturday night, Heinicke proved his worth to the Washington Football Team. He demonstrated all night that he’s good enough to have a job in the NFL. Heinicke hasn’t played much football since he left Old Dominion, but this wasn’t apparent over the course of 60 minutes against Tampa Bay.
Heinicke hasn’t even been on an active NFL roster for a month this season, but he delivered in a big way at home against Tampa Bay. The quarterback played with an edge that was very difficult to defend.
Heinicke was 26 of 44 for 306 yards through the air. He threw one touchdown and one interception on the evening. Heinicke was dangerous with his legs as well. He carried the ball six times for 46 yards and scored one touchdown.
Here’s the clip of Heinicke’s insane touchdown run.
Heinicke was defeated by Tom Brady, but he kept a bad Washington Football Team in the game. Heinicke didn’t back down against one of the most ruthless defenses in the NFL and put on a show at FedEx Field.
Heinicke’s performance had the attention of stars all over the league. Patrick Mahomes was one of the countless players tweeting about Heinicke’s performance.
What Heinicke did against Tampa Bay was phenomenal. He went up against the best quarterback of all time and almost won the football game. Heinicke was fearless and knew the offense like the back of his hand.
This fact is a testament to Heinicke’s preparation and dedication to his teammates. Taylor Heinicke will have a job in the NFL next season. Even though Washington didn’t win the game, Heinicke’s heroic performance will still be remembered by NFL fans for a very long time.
Taylor Heinicke is a true professional and I can’t wait to see what he does in the NFL next season.
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