Football Team

An excellent game from McLaurin saves Washington in Week 4

Football Team

So much about the Washington Football Team is broken and that's true even after they escaped from Mercedes Benz Stadium with a 34-30 win over the Falcons on Sunday.

One thing that works for the Burgundy and Gold, though — a thing that has always worked and will always work — is Terry McLaurin. And McLaurin is largely why the squad can leave Atlanta with some hope and a 2-2 record, as opposed to departing with despair and a 1-3 mark.

The third-year receiver has turned in plenty of epic performances already for Washington, but what he did in Week 4 might represent his best work. He and Taylor Heinicke connected six times, with those completions counting for 123 yards. Two of them ended up as touchdowns.

McLaurin's first visit to paydirt came halfway through the second quarter. He lined up on the left side of the formation, took off down the sideline and made a leaping grab just as a safety came over and clipped him. It was a perfectly-executed route and when you pair those with a gorgeous throw, things will typically end well.

The wideout's second six-pointer, however, was legitimately miraculous. With Washington down 30-22 with four minutes left in the fourth quarter, Heinicke shed an edge rusher and, just before another got to him, lofted a pop fly toward the back of the end zone — and in McLaurin's direction.

As the ball was tumbling out of the sky, No. 17 shook loose from his defensive back and came down with it, looking more like a punt returner than a receiver. It was an incredibly risky toss from Heinicke, but then again, is it ever risky when you're targeting McLaurin?

 

Now, Washington's defense did its best to undermine McLaurin's effort. After underwhelming in the first three weeks, Jack Del Rio's group turned in its worst performance of the campaign versus Matt Ryan and the home offense for most of the contest.

However, the group did get a stop to hold the deficit at 30-28 (the two-point conversion after the McLaurin prayer was no good), meaning that Heinicke had one more opportunity to cobble together a game-winning drive.

Which is precisely what he did.

The quarterback got the ball on his own 24-yard line with with 1:43 left, advanced it to Atlanta's 29 and then somehow saw JD McKissic on this sequence, one that McKissic finished off on his own:

Ryan and the Falcons had one last Hail Mary from there, but it fell incomplete, as Washington escaped with a victory that felt like it was headed toward a loss for much of the matchup.

It surely would've been one without McLaurin.