Stock Report: WFT, Heinicke save best for last in 4th straight


LAS VEGAS -- Wow - the Washington Football Team likes to make things agonizing for their fans, and Sunday's 17-15 over the Raiders was no different. 

The team's win streak looked to be in serious trouble when Taylor Heinicke threw an interception late in the fourth quarter. But facing a one-point deficit the offense was able to rally and get back in field goal position and get the win. 

It was a hell of a ride, and now Washington is back to even on the season at 6-6 with four wins in a row and the Dallas Cowboys coming to town. It doesn't get much better than that and no one saw it coming when they were 2-6 heading into the bye week in November. 

Stock up

  • Horse riding - Washington has leaned heavily on running back Antonio Gibson during their win streak, and Sunday was no different. He finished with 88 total yards and a touchdown catch. Gibson has become dependable and forceful with the ball in his hands and is the centerpiece of a committed Washington rush attack. On Sunday he was asked to take even more on with J.D. McKissic out injured. 
  • Magician - While Taylor Heinicke threw an unfortunate fourth-quarter interception it doesn't negate that he has remarkable ability to escape from near sacks behind the line of scrimmage. He pulled another rabbit out of his hat against Vegas, ducking under a would-be tackler and avoiding a big loss. Heinicke also moved Washington down the field for a late field goal that proved the winning margin. He has gigantic heart. 
  • No nerves - Washington signed new kicker Brian Johnson this week and in his first game wearing Burgundy and Gold he nailed the game winner. That takes serious fortitude to step up in that situation, less than a minute remaining and a team fighting for a playoff spot. The local kid from Gonzaga High was ice-cold in a high-pressure situation and Ron Rivera gave a sly smile as his team celebrated taking the lead. 

Stock down 

  • Zebra trouble - The refs were awful on Sunday against both sides, but particularly against Washington on a fourth-quarter touchdown drive by the Raiders. Within just a few plays the referees flagged Washington's defense for a roughing the passer penalty as well as pass interference, basically giving Las Vegas the ball at the goal line.  
  • Bad look - Raiders defensive end Yannick Ngakoue -- a Maryland alum -- hit Washington tight end Logan Thomas right on the knee during a fourth quarter drive. Thomas got injured on the play and from replays it looked like Ngaukoue intentionally went after Thomas' knee. Not cool. 
  • Tough ball - Not to over-simplify things too much but in Washington's wins this season Heinicke has played well and protected the football. On Sunday Heinicke did that for much of the game, even if a few errant passes got missed by Raiders defenders, until a late fourth quarter interception. Heinicke's arm was hit on the throw but it was still a late throw into triple coverage. It was a bad idea and gave Vegas the ball. A few minutes later the Raiders took their first lead of the game with a Daniel Carlson field goal. But in the end, Heinicke did enough to help Washington leave Vegas with House's money.