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King of the South: Taylor Heinicke's Division Dominance Saves WFT Season

Waiting to face its own division, Washington has turned to dominating another

Taylor Heinicke and the Washington Football Team have a 3-1 division record after 11 weeks of NFL action. 

It's just not the division you're thinking of. 

With wins over the Atlanta Falcons, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Carolina Panthers, WFT is 3-1 against the NFC South, the division Heinicke, head coach Ron Rivera, and many others left when they came to the nation's capital last season.

"It was cool," Heinicke said about coming back to Carolina. "There was a lot of players, staff, and one of our general managers came from there. 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."

Heinicke only spent one season with the Panthers, a fact he acknowledges didn't put the same impact on the game for him compared to what others may have been feeling. 

Regardless, the 28-year-old quarterback had his best day as an NFL quarterback, for the second straight week. 

Now, his best three performances as a starting quarterback have all come against NFC South opponents, with two of them coming in as many weeks. 

"I think last week was huge for us confidence-wise," Heinicke said. "Running the ball against (the Buccaneers) and you saw it again today, too. We had some guys go down ... and they just continue to go out there and make plays. That's a lot of credit to the coaches and those guys being ready."

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While winning three of four against one division and winning back-to-back games coming out of the bye make for fun headlines and good feelings, the quarterback knows the road ahead is still long. And there's still work to be done. 

"These last two games, we feel great about it," said Heinicke when asked about his rhythm with Washington offensive coordinator, Scott Turner. "When he comes in on Wednesdays and he tells us the game plan, we're all fired about it. The confidence in that room is huge."

In the first eight weeks of the season, Heinicke has mostly been considered the backup filling in for injured starter Ryan Fitzpatrick. 

Over the past two, however, it's looking more and more like his team, with an offense made for his skill set.

"It's a culmination of things, but me personally, I feel like I've played better by just going out there and having fun," Heinicke said about his play during the modest winning streak. "Being myself and letting the personality come out and I think that rubs off on some of the guys."

As most quarterbacks do, Heinicke then shifted his gaze towards the next game, a Monday Night Football matchup against Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks in Week 12. 

Another chance to have fun, play well, and win, for the Washington Football Team.