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Heinicke Humbles Super Bowl Champs In WFT Win Over Bucs

Taylor Heinicke gets a much-deserved win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home

Something about playing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers makes Taylor Heinicke think he's Superman. Clark Kent couldn't hold a candle to Heinicke when facing off against Tom Brady and Bruce Arians.

Brady couldn't hold a candle either to Washington Football Team's starting quarterback, either. 

Washington's 29-19 win over the Buccaneers is an example of strong play-calling and quality defensive play. WFT forced two early interceptions to help snag a 16-6 lead entering halftime. Scott Turner and the offense won the time of possession and moved with a mission. 

But the storyline (aside from the seeming season-ending loss of Chase Young) is centered on Heinicke, who became a hero in the D.C. area following his performance in the NFC Wild Card round last season. Tampa Bay would go on to hoist the Lombardi Trophy three weeks later, but the former XFL QB made sure they'd remember his name. 

Remember it still Bucs, fans? 

Heinicke connected early with wide receiver DeAndre Carter for a 20-yard touchdown. He found six different receivers for gains of over 10 yards. His average throw traveled eight yards per play, and he didn't commit a turnover. 

Who was this version of Heinicke and can his success continue down the line? 

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Heinicke finished with a season-high in completion percentage (81.3), while throwing for 256 yards and a score. His passer rating of 110.4 was his highest since Week 4 against the Atlanta Falcons. 

More importantly, Washington wins, improving to 3-6 on the season and looking ahead at brighter days. 

With the NFC playoff picture nearly set, the battle for the final two wild-card spots is wide open. Had the postseason begun this week, the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons would grab the No. 6 and No. 7 seed, respectively. 

Both teams lost Sunday. The Carolina Panthers are perhaps a Cam Newton Revival Tour away from being back in the postseason hunt. The same could be said for the Seattle Seahawks with the return of QB Russell Wilson. 

Yet, somehow, WFT has some control of its path back to postseason. Even with the loss of Young, Washington held Tampa Bay to under 300 yards and only allowed one touchdown. 

The recipe is simple for coach Ron Rivera and his crew. Pretend to play Tampa Bay each week and Washington is back in the race. 

Maybe Heinicke isn't a franchise quarterback, but at least he finally gets the long-awaited win that should have come last season in Landover against the Bucs team that kick-started his NFL career in the right direction.