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Can Taylor Heinicke be a Legit Starting NFL QB?

Taylor Heinicke has now played in back-to-back games for the Washington Football Team and has looked like a capable starting NFL quarterback both times. 

No one seems to be asking this, but could Taylor Heinicke be a legit starter in the NFL? Better yet, could Taylor Heinicke lead the Washington Football Team to an NFC East title? 

Maybe I’m crazy to prompt this, but I don’t think Heinicke has been given the proper look he deserves. 

Taylor Heinicke washington football team nfl ryan fitzpatriick injury
Credit: Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports

Taylor Heinicke Named Starter Following Ryan Fitzpatrick Injury

Just to be clear, all this is said under the guise that Ryan Fitzpatrick is not healthy, or just is not the QB capable of making magic that we’ve seen in the past. 

If that is the case, I believe Heinicke is the Washington Football Team’s best chance to win. Rumors are already flying around of a possible Cam Newton/Ron Rivera reunion, and though there is history there, I think bringing in a bigger name off the street would be foolish. 

Taylor Heinicke has proven he deserves a chance. A real chance. Not only did he hold his own in a playoff game (which was his first start of the season and just the second of his NFL career) he did it against the eventual Super Bowl champions, throwing for 306 yards while also leading the WFT in rushing to the tune of 46 yards and two total TDs.

He then went through an entire offseason and training camp taking no starting reps, doing no preparation as the starter and fully accepting the backup role once again. Yet, he found himself under center less than halfway through Week 1, and again he held his own. 

Upon entering the game against the Los Angeles Chargers, he threw for 122 yards, rushed for 17 and gave Washington their first and only lead with an 11-yard TD pass, the only score for either team all quarter. 

The Case for Taylor Heinicke as a Legit Starting Option 

Across his last seven quarters of football, against two very good teams, Heinicke has completed 37-of-59 passes for 428 yards, rushed for 63 yards and has three total TDs against just one INT for an overall 98.85 QBR. That is pretty darn good. 

If the quarterback position continues to be a question mark on an otherwise solid Washington Football Team, I believe that with the full support of the team and coaching staff at his back Heinicke can get the job done and get it done well. 

Is he a franchise QB in the NFL? Maybe not. But at this point, he doesn’t have to be. Washington is set up to win in ways that don’t necessarily include an explosive offense. With the Ryan Fitzpatrick injury keeping him out for a while, it’s “Taylor Time” in Washington, and it could be a lot of fun to watch.

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