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One of the most difficult things in life to do is change. One of the most difficult things to do in professional sports is play Quarterback. Taylor Heinicke is doing them both, at the same time. Heinicke came into the season ready to leave his mark. He wasn't sure what other chances he might get so, he was going to leave nothing open to interpretation. If he was going to down he was going down throwing.
The first half of the season saw Heinicke give us exhilarating performances but few victories.The numbers were strong but the results weren't where they needed to be. In late September, coach Rivera asked Heinicke to be more of a game manager and almost immediately Heinicke started to regress. He wasn't running or play making like he used to. He wasn't free.
Then came the bye week.
Heinicke seemingly entered the bye week as himself and walked out of the bye week as Alex Smith. Heinicke's overall numbers are down but Washington hasn't lost. Sacks, INTS and fumbles are now a rarity and the W's are plentiful. Alex Smith made a living being a game manager. He didn't the turn ball over, he ran the ball to extend drives, thrived off strong running games and took what the defense gave him. Who does that sound like? It sounds exactly like #4 the last few weeks.
This is an Antonio Gibson team and will likely need to be if Washington wants to make a serious run in the playoffs. While I like the new, conservative Heinicke, I don't want him to lose his ability to reach into his bag of tricks and pull one out for the good guys.