Back-to-back losses leave Commanders in QB quandary | NanaimoNewsNOW
Washington (7-7-1) is winless in its last three games but remains seventh in the NFC with a half-game lead over Detroit and Seattle for the last wildcard spot.
Washington won five of their first six games after Heinicke took over for an injured Wentz in Week 7 to start in the NFC.
But the offensive has stagnated in recent weeks. Heinicke threw two TD passes to keep the commanders in the game until the fourth quarter before his fumbling and interceptions caused the game to spiral out of control.
“I thought he played pretty well,” Rivera said. “I mean, a lot of the things that happened aren’t necessarily his fault.
“We tried to run the ball and we need to be more effective but you have to give them credit. That’s a pretty strong line of defence.”
Washington averaged just 2.4 yards per carry in the game and Rivera decided to switch quarterbacks to get his first look at Wentz in months and stop San Francisco from teeing off at Heinicke.
Wentz led a TD drive on his first of two possessions as he played for the first time since October 13. It was his first NFL stint in 91 career starts.
“It was definitely weird, I’m not going to lie,” he said. “It’s a new experience for me at this level, but it was just good to be back out there.”
Washington struggled to move the ball for much of the game, going three and out on the first two drives and being stopped by the 1 on third possession in fourth place.
Heinicke threw a TD pass to Jahan Dotson late in the first half and another to Terry McLaurin in the third quarter, but Washington failed to get a first down on six of 10 possessions with Heinicke in the game.
The game got out of hand when Heinicke lost a fumble on a Nick Bosa stripsack and was up intercepted by Jimmie Ward in a three-game span early in the fourth quarter.
“I had the feeling that we played well there for 3 1/2 quarters,” said Heinicke. “The beginning of the fourth quarter, that’s obviously not how you want to start the fourth quarter. But they made the decision to use Carson, I felt like he did a great job, moved the ball well and it’s pretty cool, this is the first game he’s seen in a while.
“And then he goes down on the first drive and scores a touchdown. He was ready for the moment and thought he did a good job.”
Whether Wentz showed enough on his two late drives to regain the regular role he had earlier in the season remains an open question.
“It would definitely mean a lot,” Wentz said. “But at the same time, there’s a lot that’s out of our control, so we’re both going to prepare, we’re going to show up, we’re going to work our tails off and not change because of the circumstances and whatever happens is going to happen.”
AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL
Josh Dubow, The Associated Press