Taylor Heinicke had 2 of the NFL’s most improbable completions in 2021

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

When Ryan Fitzpatrick went down in the second quarter of Washington’s Week 1 game against the Los Angeles Chargers, it opened the door for playoff hero Taylor Heinicke to audition at quarterback for the Commanders.

Heinicke had some good moments, such as his performances in wins over the Giants and Falcons early in the season. There were lows, too, such as a tendency to force the ball into coverage when things break down around him.

Heinicke also played well during Washington’s four-game winning streak midway through the season to get the Commanders back into playoff contention. However, it was short-lived, and while Heinicke proved he belonged in the NFL, it was also evident Washington would continue its desperate search for a quarterback.

But Heinicke did provide Washington fans with some exciting moments in an otherwise disappointing 2021 season. In the aforementioned win over the Giants in Week 2, Heinicke’s fourth-quarter performance led the Commanders to their first win.

In particular, his touchdown pass to tight end Ricky Seals-Jones with 4:33 remaining was one of the season’s highlights for Washington. In its 2021 season review, NFL’s Next Gen Stats ranked the pass as one of the most improbable completions of the season, specifically ranking the throw No. 13 with a completion probability of just 13.7%.

As spectacular as that play was, Next Gen Stats had another of Heinicke’s completions ranking even higher. His touchdown pass to Cam Sims against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 14 ranked No. 6.

So, while it’s fair to say Washington needs a new quarterback, it’s also reasonable to say Heinicke did do some good things in 2021.