Taylor Heinicke has taken command of Washington.
Carson Wentz was brought in to be the starter for the 2022 Commanders, but after a fractured finger landed him on IR, he was essentially Wally Pipp’d — or, in this case, Heinicke’d.
Wentz last started a game for the Commanders in Week 6, with the Commanders scuffling towards a 2-4 record entering Week 7. The Wentz injury lead to Heinicke getting the start, and the backup has yet to relinquish the job, helping guide the Commanders to a 5-1-1 record in Wentz’ absence.
To that end, there’s a simple reason why Heinicke is getting the nod over the player the squad acquired this past offseason, according to head coach Ron Rivera, even though Wentz is fully healthy.
“Winning,” Rivera said after Washington’s Week 11 win over the Texans. “I mean, that’s the truth of the matter. That’s where we’re at right now.”
Ron Rivera says “we’re going to go with Taylor [Heinicke]” as the Commanders QB1 for now. pic.twitter.com/TZnaU2l6di
— NBC Sports Commanders (@NBCSCommanders) November 20, 2022
MORE: Taylor Heinicke’s Jordans — Why sneakers are the trophy of choice for Commanders QB
Winning, as they say, is the ultimate deodorant, and Heinicke’s winning ways have certainly helped the Commanders erase the stinky 2-4 start to their season. While he hasn’t exactly lit up the scoreboard — He’s thrown nine touchdowns to five interceptions in his seven starts, with 1,444 yards.
That has drawn the admiration of his teammates, too.
In 4 I Trust pic.twitter.com/nmshvAXqTD
— Jeremy Reaves (@JR1ERA) October 23, 2022
…and they even gave him something of a Kirk Cousins treatment following a win over the previously undefeated Eagles.
The Commanders’ defense had Taylor Heinicke all iced out on their flight back from beating the Eagles 🥶🤣 @brgridiron
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) November 15, 2022
Heinicke may need a bit longer to get to Cousins’ level, but the wins will certainly help.