Commanders

WFT escapes Vegas with its playoff hopes still intact

Commanders

Those who travel to Las Vegas typically want to ensure they leave Las Vegas with everything they came with.

For the Washington Football Team, the thing that they wanted to leave Sin City with was their winning streak. After a tense 17-15 victory at Allegiant Stadium in Week 13, they can say they did just that. 

In a contest that was featured a scarcity of explosive plays and a surplus of mistakes, it was Taylor Heinicke’s fourth-quarter interception that almost proved to be the true turning point. While up 14-12, the brave but battered quarterback tried to pick out Terry McLaurin but instead he got picked off. 

After the turnover, Derek Carr and the hosts made their way into field goal territory to set up a Daniel Carlson kick to go up by one point. 

From there, Heinicke had one more shot with the ball. Like a gambler who suffered at a poker or blackjack table but still had a few chips left to work with, he sought redemption.

He found it, too.

With a series of completions to everyone from John Bates to Adam Humphries and Antonio Gibson — as well as a handoff to Curtis Samuel — Washington methodically moved to the 31-yard line. New kicker Brian Johnson then stepped up and drilled a 48-yard field goal of his own to push Ron Rivera’s club ahead, 17-15.

Jack Del Rio’s defense was able to hold up over the last 32 stressful seconds from there. 

 

The win is massive for the Burgundy and Gold, who climb to .500 at 6-6 as opposed to dropping to 5-7. Their postseason hopes keep growing more legitimate by the week, and now, they’ll begin their gauntlet of NFC East matchups to finish out the year with something to play for. That didn't seem possible hitting the bye last month. 

Washington arrived in Vegas with something quite valuable. Unlike many before them and many more to come, they managed to keep it during their stay. Their heater lives on to see another Sunday.