Friday, January 27, 2023

Commanders right to move on from Heinicke as starter

Taylor Heinicke is no doubt a favorite amongst fans. The story of a guy out of the league and suddenly thrust into a playoff game where he almost defeated the eventual Super Bowl champions tends to do that.

In fact Heinicke was more than just that one game for the Commanders. He led them to several, at times he was the quarterback on the roster best suited to produce wins, and yet a fumble and an interception on subsequent drives in a loss on Saturday has thrown all that into question.

Enter Carson Wentz who had not played since Week 6. Wentz with his third organization in three years hardly did anything to impress himself playing against a 49ers defense which largely was playing prevent.

Still the move to Wentz was one that head coach Ron Rivera needed to make. I do not question the move, I just wonder why it took until the fourth quarter to make it.

Taylor Heinicke was never meant to be the Commanders starting quarterback. The fact he did so much is a testament to his grit and toughness which should not be questioned but it was clear that over their last seven games the Commanders passing attack was not clicking. Only once did Heinicke top 250 yards during that span and save for a few big yardage plays we could have dropped that number to 200.

Heinicke is the type of quarterback who is ideal to be a backup, in some ways not dissimilar from another former signal caller who served in that role in Washington in Colt McCoy. Good enough to step in and lead the team with minimal setbacks but not someone you want under center from start to finish in a season.

Of course Heinicke’s success with the Commanders will make that role difficult there. Should Wentz, or whoever the team choose to lead them next year, struggle immediately the grumbles for starting Heinicke will start.

What the Commanders choose to do for next season is a question, in fact so too is who will start next week as the team finds itself still on the inside track of a playoff spot.

John Boarman
John Boarmanhttp://www.tireball.com
Founder and Owner of Tireball Sports.

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