The Washington Football team falls short in insane game


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Washington quarterback Taylor Heinicke dives for the pylon while being tackled by two defenders.

The NFL playoff game between the Tampa Bay Bucs and the Washington Football Team on Jan 9 was an intense showdown. The Bucs ultimately came out on top taking the 31-23 victory, but Washington kept it interesting.

Neither team had been in the playoffs in over five years, so it was a big deal for both fan bases. Both teams had crazy seasons with the Bucs acquiring Tom Brady this year and going 11-5. Washington’s season wasn’t quite as smooth with having to switch between three quarterbacks throughout the season before finally landing on Alex Smith and barely making the playoffs at 7-9. But, the day before the game, Washington released the news that Alex Smith wasn’t able to play and back up quarterback, Taylor Heinicke would be getting the start. 

Students had varying predictions on who would come out on top. “I think the Bucs are going to win because they have too many weapons for Washington to stop,” junior Ian Repie said.

The first quarter was all Bucs as they took a 9-0 lead with a deep touchdown pass to Antonio Brown and a field goal by Bucs kicker Ryan Succop. At the start of the second quarter, Heinicke led Washington down the field and J.D. McKissic ended off the drive with a two-yard touchdown run.

Washington quarterback Taylor Heinicke, just a month before the game, was a student at Old Dominion Working to get his master degree, when the head coach, Ron Rivera, called him and asked him to be Washington’s emergency Covid quarterback. Heinicke dropped everything and jumped at the opportunity. A month later Heinicke would be playing the biggest game of his life and playing amazing.

After three quarters the game was close with the Bucs holding an 18-16 lead, but the Bucs started off the fourth quarter with a 10-0 run, making it 28-16. Once again, Heinicke and Washington answered back with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Steven Sims, cutting the lead to five. In the end, Brady and the Bucs drove down and kicked a field goal, putting the game out of reach with a final score of 31-23. Students who are Washington fans were upset with the outcome of the game. “It’s been so long since Washington had gone far in the playoffs and I really thought we had a chance this year,” sophomore Parker Leibowitz said.