The Washington Football(4-6) Team got their second straight impressive win on Sunday as they defeated the Carolina Panthers on the road 27-21.
Sunday’s game was all about the return of Cam Newton as the Panthers starting quarterback and the return of former Panthers head coach Ron Rivera to Carolina.
However, Washington quarterback Taylor Heinicke, who played with the Panthers in 2018, stole the show as he completed 16-of-22 passes for 206 passing yards and three touchdowns for a passer rating of 141.3. He also rushed six times for 29 yards.
The game was personal for a lot of people, which Heinicke discussed post-game.
“I was only here for a year, so it didn’t mean that much, but there was a lot of players, staff, and one of our general managers came from there,” he said. “We knew it was big for them, and it was kind of personal, and to know that they were going to win with those last two kneels, that was nice.”
Last week, in a win over Tampa Bay, Heinicke was 26/32 for 256 yards. According to Rivera, Heinicke is seeing everything better.
“I think the biggest things he is doing is he is starting to see things,” he said. “He is starting to see what he needs to see. He is throwing the windows he needs to throw. We are getting healthy up front. Now, we have got a couple of nicked guys. We got to get those guys back on the football field, but I think that is all a part of it as well.”
Heinicke explained why he has played so well in the past two weeks.
“It’s a culmination of a lot of things, but me personally, I feel like I’ve played better by just going out there and having fun,” he said. “Being myself and letting the personality come out, and I think that rubs off on some of the guys. There’s guys out there fighting, and all 11 of those guys on every play are doing the right thing.
“We just have to keep the ball rolling. We have a big one on Monday against Seattle, and it’s going to be exciting.”
After losing four straight and being 2-6 heading into their bye week, Washington may have found their way, and Rivera sees a team that’s now playing together.
“Well, I think they are starting to play together,” Rivera said. “They are becoming resilient. They do the things that they need to. They rely on each other. The thing I am really pleased with is it is all starting up front on both sides of the ball. I think the offensive and defensive line is coming alive. Those guys are playing some very solid and sound football. Again, they are just doing the things they need to do to give us a chance.”
Wide receiver Terry McLaurin, who had five receptions for 103 yards and a touchdown, added about the team’s turnaround: “I just think we have put two good weeks of practice together first and foremost. I feel like our o-line and our d-line are really establishing the line of scrimmage, which is very important. I feel like we are sustaining drives offensively. Defense is creating turnovers and short field. You’re creating winning formula.”
-Washington won back-to-back games for the first time since winning four-straight games from Nov. 22nd to December
=Running back Antonio Gibson finished with 95 yards on 19 carries. This marks the first time Gibson ran for 90+ yards since rushing for 115 yards on November 26 of last season.13 of last season.