At the end of the day, the Washington Football Team should just be lucky to be here.
Tom Brady truly played the role of “old timer” when taking snaps at FedEx Field. For most players on both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Washington Football Team, this was the first time they had been to the playoffs.
Brady showed the young guns why he is the G.O.A.T. at 43. He threw for 381 yards and two scores on the way to a 31-23 victory. It was closer than fans expected thanks to play from journeyman Taylor Heinicke. In the end, time just wasn’t on their side.
Regardless of the outcome what a great game by Heinicke!
— Patrick Mahomes II (@PatrickMahomes) January 10, 2021
Fans always want to play the blame game and know who is at fault for their struggles. Ron Rivera will have several moments he could regret or wish he could take back. It happens every game and hindsight is always 20/20.
Here’s the reality though for Washington fans; the only blame is that they lost to a better team.
Taylor Heinicke’s heroics kept Washington alive late
Alex Smith was far and away the best quarterback for Washington in 2020 with a 5-1 record. He was ruled out before kickoff with a quad injury. Meanwhile, Heinicke was slinging footballs in The XFL this time last season as a second-string quarterback.
A year later, he went down to the wire with a six-time Super Bowl champion.
Heinicke earned respect around the league for his leadership and mentality. His eight-yard touchdown run towards the pylon erupted the Washington sideline, putting them down by two.
— NFL (@NFL) January 10, 2021
Once again, Heinicke was asked to keep Washington in the game. Connecting with Steven Sims. against Sean Murphy-Bunting in man coverage, it led to a beautiful 11-yard score. And even with the team’s back against the wall, Heinicke wasn’t going down without a fight.
An interception, a failed two-point conversion and a fourth-down stop. That was the difference between Tampa Bay walking away with a win and a fourth-string quarterback pulling the upset of the year.
Entering Saturday, Heinicke played in 126 snaps. Brady played in 299 games. The Football Team’s defense sacked Brady three times while holding names not named Leonard Fournette to 50 yards rushing.
Hell of an effort, 4️⃣
— Washington Football Team (@WashingtonNFL) January 10, 2021
Smith was the Comeback Story of the Year in the NFL. Heinicke almost enshrined a comeback for himself. At the end of the day the better team won.
Sometimes, all you can do is tip your cap. Tip it twice for Heinicke’s efforts.