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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Ivan Lambert

Taylor Heinicke leads Commanders late rally over Colts

Taylor Heinicke did it again.

Last week, Washington was down 14-3 to Green Bay after Taylor Heinicke started 1-7 and had thrown a pick-6.

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Early on Sunday evening, after leading 7-3 at the half, Washington was thoroughly outplayed 13-0 for the third quarter and well into the final quarter, trailing the Colts 16-7. With 11:12 remaining the Colts had seized control and were now up by two scores, Heinicke just having thrown a very poor interception.

Remarkably, the impotent offense for the previous 19 minutes of the second half which had gained only 22 yards resurrected itself from what looked to be death.

Heinicke suddenly was in the zone, focused, and led the team on a 12-play 82-yard drive, culminating in Joey Slye’s 28-yard field goal. It was now only a 16-10 Colts lead, and Washington fans had some hope.

Following one Colts first down, they then were forced to punt to the Commanders, who would, however, have to start their final possession at their own 11-yard line.

But the Commanders offense was off and moving again. Heinicke delivered large on this drive. On a 4th & 1 from the Washington 20, his first and second looks were not there apparently. Being rushed, he now had to flee to his right, was clearly going to be hit short of the first down, but he found Curtis Samuel for 12 yards to keep the Commanders alive.

When a 2nd & 6 broke down, he kept his cool, took off to his left, gained 9 yards, getting out of bounds to save from needing to use a timeout.

He next calmly planted his back foot, stepped forward toward the pocket, and sharply (and confidently) delivered a tight spiral on a 21-yard pass to Cam Sims. Sims came through with his only catch of the day in the game’s final minute! Heinicke had just delivered his best pass of the day as well.

On the game’s biggest play (the next play) Heinicke looked left, then back center, then right, then took another short drop back three more yards to the 48. McLaurin had suddenly altered his route, turning upfield and getting five yards behind Stephon Gilmore.

Heinicke’s pass was underthrown, but there was McLaurin, leaping up, literally wrestling the ball away from the leaping Gilmore, falling down with the ball at the Colts 1.

Heinicke finished 23-of-31, 279 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT and a 1-yard TD run with 22 seconds remaining. His 279 yards in 31 attempts was for an effective 9.0 yards per attempt and a 98.7 rating.

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