Stock Report: Buy all the Taylor Heinicke you can get


Fans returned to the stands at FedEx Field and Taylor Heinicke returned to the starting offense. 

Ryan Fitzpatrick hurt his hip late in the second quarter of the game, and Heinicke almost immediately brought a jolt to the offense off the bench. 

He finished the game 11 of 15 for 122 yards but it's undeniable the impact he made in the loss.

Stock Up

  • Wally Pipp situation? - Fitzpatrick never looked comfortable in his early action, and whether or not the hip injury keeps him out, Heinicke should be the starter. He just moves the ball when he's on the field. 
  • Commit to the ground - Offensive coordinator Scott Turner showed an impressive commitment to running the ball on Sunday. It was the right way to attack the Chargers defense with their elite pass rush. Antonio Gibson finished with 20 carries and 90 yards, and perhaps most importantly, proved an ability to get tough yards in the middle of the field. Turner showed faith in Gibson too, giving him the carry on a crucial fourth down conversion in short yardage. Unfortunately for Gibson, he had a costly fumble in the fourth quarter. 
  • Worth the price - Washington signed cornerback Williams Jackson III to a three-year, $40 million contract this offseason to come in and be the team's top WR stopper. On Sunday it worked in a big way. Jackson displayed blanket coverage in man and keen awareness in zone situations. He grabbed a huge interception early in the fourth quarter with the Chargers in the red zone. He was paid to be the man, and in his Burgundy and Gold debut, he was. 

Stock down

  • What's the rush? - For all the talk of Washington's disruptive defensive line, the group was largely silent on Sunday. Early on Chase Young was mostly mitigated in the game by Chargers rookie tackle Rashawn Slater. Jonathan Allen did get to Chargers QB Justin Herbert in the first half, and Montez Sweat was gifted a sack fumble by the refs. Sweat made a great play to get to Herbert, though it appeared pretty clear that the play was an incomplete pass. The refs ruled it a fumble and Washington got the ball at its own 20-yard line. For a group that's supposed to be dominant, Sunday's performance wasn't. 
  • No. 2 hole - With Curtis Samuel on the short-term injured list Washington needed one of its other receivers to step up. They didn't. Cam Sims and Dyami Brown combined for two catches and 15 yards but there appeared to be no viable alternative to Terry McLaurin. That was also the case last year, but it doesn't change this absurd catch McLaurin made. 
  • Need a new pair - Washington broke in two new offensive tackles on Sunday and the results were rough. Fitzpatrick and Heinicke took a beating all day while Charles Leno Jr. and Sam Cosmi looked outclassed for much of the day. Washington doesn't have better options, and the Chargers' pass rush is ferocious, but still, to win games this year Ron Rivera's team will need better play on the edges of its offensive line. 

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