Commanders midseason grades: Quarterback

We are just past the midway point of the 2022 NFL season, with the Washington Commanders sitting at 4-5. With a 17-game schedule and Washington’s bye week not until Week 14, it’s the perfect time to go back and assess each position on the Commanders’ roster through the first half of the season.

First up is the quarterback position.

Washington traded multiple draft picks to the Indianapolis Colts for veteran quarterback Carson Wentz. Wentz started six games before fracturing the ring finger on his throwing hand in a Week 6 win at Chicago. Wentz was 2-4 as Washington’s starting quarterback before he was placed on injured reserve. Wentz is eligible to return in Week 11 against the Houston Texans.

Taylor Heinicke stepped in and is 2-1 in three starts under center for the Commanders.

How would we grade Washington’s quarterbacks?

Wentz has had some good moments. He was excellent in the season-opening win over the Jaguars. He was really good in the second half of a disappointing Week 2 loss to the Lions. Wentz was terrible in back-to-back losses to the Eagles and Cowboys before bouncing back with a strong performance against the Titans in Week 5. Unfortunately, Wentz’s interception on the goal line ended that game, but it wasn’t a terrible throw from Wentz.

In his last start against the Bears, Wentz struggled again. Washington’s had major protection issues this season, and with a quarterback like Wentz, who isn’t as mobile as he once was, the problem is even more glaring.

Overall, Wentz hasn’t shown he’s worth keeping around in 2023 and beyond, but he could get another shot once he returns.

That leads us to Heinicke.

Washington knows what it has in Heinicke. He can efficiently operate the offense. He’s mobile, can make plays off schedule and hides Washington’s protection issues at times.

Unfortunately, his arm strength can be a problem, as can his decision-making. Heinicke has a lot of confidence in his arm, and trusts his receivers, particularly Terry McLaurin and Curtis Samuel, to always win.

However, he is beloved and respected by all of his teammates. They believe in him. He’s the ideal backup, and if Washington had a permanent solution as the starting quarterback, you could make the case that Heinicke is the league’s best backup.

In handing our final grade, we consider that Heinicke is the backup and has led the Commanders to a pair of wins. Imagine if Washington had held on to defeat the Vikings in Week 9?

However, as a whole, Washington’s offense is below average despite having talent at wide receiver, running back and tight end. The problems at quarterback are a significant reason for Washington sitting at 4-5.

Grade: C-

 

Story originally appeared on Commanders Wire