Football Team

One number to know for Washington's meeting vs. Dallas

Football Team

Before every one of Washington's matchups for the 2021 season, Pete Hailey will present one number to know for that particular battle.

Here's what's on his mind, and what should be on your mind, for when the squad takes on the Cowboys in Week 14.

4

Tom Brady, Kirk Cousins and Matt Ryan are all tied for second in the NFC when it comes to game-winning drives. Those three quarterbacks each have three such possessions to their name this year.

Each of those three quarterbacks is also looking up at Taylor Heinicke, who actually leads the conference with four game-winning drives. Meanwhile, only Justin Herbert and Ben Roethlisberger own more in the entire sport.

Washington's undrafted, unheralded signal-caller has done some of his best work in the game's final 15 minutes of action when his side is tied or trailing. It's becoming a signature of his at this point.

Think back to Week 2, when he recovered from a late interception to guide the offense into field goal range so Dustin Hopkins could vanquish the Giants at the buzzer.

That's basically what Heinicke did this past weekend in Las Vegas, too; the Raiders took a late lead after picking him off, but the unflappable passer bounced back to escort Brian Johnson to a spot on the field where he could knock in a go-ahead kick.

Sandwiched between those two efforts were Heinicke's heroics in Atlanta and Carolina, and with Washington at 6-6, the franchise has clearly needed every bit of No. 4's clutch contributions.

 

It could very well need more of them over the schedule's final five dates as well.

With two meetings versus Dallas (the NFC East's division leader) and Philadelphia (a wild card threat) plus one tilt in New York (there's nothing nice to insert into these parentheses regarding that outfit), one or two of those battles  — or all of them, really — could come down to the final few minutes and a decisive score. 

And weirdly enough, Washington should feel quite confident in a guy it originally signed a year ago to sit in the back of the QB room and take notes far away from the other options on the depth chart.

"You can see it in his eyes," Ron Rivera told reporters of Heinicke's swagger after Washington's victory over the Raiders.

When Heinicke joined this organization, he was its last resort. Now, he's the one everyone trusts when he's got the ball for the last time.

Let's see how much more magic he's got left in him as the 2021 season winds down.