Carson Wentz hasn’t seen a lot taking part in time over the previous few weeks, with backup Taylor Heinicke taking the reins for the Commanders offense for a lot of the second half of the season.
With Washington trailing massive within the fourth quarter of its Week 16 duel with the 49ers, although, head coach Ron Rivera went again to the Wentz properly.
The Commanders swapped Heinicke for Wentz after one more Heinicke turnover partway by means of the fourth quarter. It was Wentz’s first look since Washington’s Week 6 win over Chicago.
Heinicke had a combined day towards San Francisco, finishing 13 of 18 passes for 166 yards and two touchdowns towards the Niners’ No. 1 rated protection. Heinicke confirmed some strong arm energy, hitting Terry McLaurin for a mammoth 51-yard achieve, whereas having an enormous Jahan Dotson completion waved away attributable to a penalty.
Nonetheless, within the second half, San Fran’s protection tightened up. Nick Bosa made his presence felt, flurrying the Previous Dominion alum on many an event. Bosa, one of many presumptive favorites for Defensive Participant of the 12 months, racked two sacks, considered one of which resulted in a fumble that the Niners recovered.
Within the fourth, Heinicke misplayed a go to Brian Robinson, which ended up within the grateful arms of nickelback Jimmie Ward.
That prompted Rivera to make the change.
And it wasn’t as if the benching got here utterly out of left subject, both.
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) December 24, 2022
Whereas Wentz hasn’t performed since Week 6, he got here in and proceeded to impress, stringing collectively an 11 play, 82 yard drive capped off with a Curtis Samuel landing. Regardless of Wentz’s TD, the drive wasn’t with out its furry moments. It appeared as if Dotson deflected the ball into Dre Greenlaw’s grasp for an interception on the drive. Nonetheless, referees dominated the go was incomplete.
Wentz’s substitution showcases simply how determined Rivera and the Commanders have been for a victory on Saturday. Washington is clinging onto the seventh and remaining playoff spot. And though Washington will nonetheless maintain a half a sport lead over the eighth and ninth place Seahawks and Lions, respectively, a win would’ve put Rivera’s squad getting ready to nabbing a postseason area.
Rivera felt Wentz gave him the Commanders the most effective probability of catching up with the Niners. For a drive, he was right. Nonetheless, it nonetheless stays to be seen who can be main Washington within the remaining two weeks of the season.
So far as who will begin in Week 17? That is still to be seen.
— Darren M. Haynes (@DarrenMHaynes) December 25, 2022