NFL

WFT: Ryan Fitzpatrick could fall victim to another younger, better QB in Taylor Heinicke

With Ryan Fitzpatrick expected to be out eight weeks, it’s possible he may not get his starting spot back.

Ryan Fitzpatrick was excited to have another opportunity to start when he opened the season as the number one quarterback for the Washington Football Team. That excitement was quickly dimmed when Fitzpatrick suffered a hip injury in Week 1 that is expected to sideline him for eight weeks.

With Fitzpatrick out, Washington turned to Taylor Heinicke, a 28-year old quarterback who bounced around the league and even had a stint in the XFL. Heinicke is most famous for starting Washington’s playoff game, last season against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, due to an Alex Smith injury. Heinicke stole the show, giving the defending champs all they could handle in a losing effort.

Taylor Heinicke time?

Heinicke jumped in, when Fitzpatrick went down and completed 11-of-15 passes for 122 yards and one touchdown in a Week 1 loss.

Last night in an exciting Thursday Night Football game, Heinicke led Washington to a comeback victory against the New York Giants. He finished the game 34-of-46, with 336 passing yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

The most important moment though was Washington’s final drive, where Heinicke got the ball with two minutes remaining and drove the offense 50-yards in 11 plays to set up Dustin Hopkins for the game-winning field goal.

Will Ryan Fitzpatrick start again?

That leaves us with the question, if Taylor Heinicke keeps leading winning performances like this, will Ryan Fitzpatrick get the job back?

Unfortunately for Fitzpatrick, the answer is probably no. Winning is the most important thing for NFL franchises. If Taylor Heinicke is doing a good job contributing to his team winning, there is no way Washington head coach Ron Rivera would disrupt that.

How likely is it that Washington keeps winning?

Taylor Heinicke was fortunate to get his first start of the year against a struggling New York Giants team, even though, an uncharacteristic performance by the Washington defense made the game tougher than it should have been.

Things will only get tougher from here for Heinicke and the Washington Football Team. In the eight weeks that Fitzpatrick is expected to miss, here is a look at Washington’s opponents:

  • at Buffalo Bills
  • at Atlanta Falcons
  • vs New Orleans Saints
  • vs Kansas City Chiefs
  • at Green Bay Packers
  • at Denver Broncos
  • vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • at Carolina Panthers

That is a relatively tough stretch with five road games and five teams who were in the playoffs last season. Washington’s record at the end of that eight-game stretch should make the decision pretty easy one way or the other. If they struggle through it at .500 or worse, Fitzpatrick will walk right from the rehab room back into his starting position. But if they dominate it, with some impressive wins over some quality teams, Taylor Heinicke will continue to be the starter and Fitzpatrick will have to face the same fate that he did last season.


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