The final outcome of the Washington Football Team's playoff game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers wasn't that much of a surprise -- only so many teams have faced Tom Brady in January and lived to tell the tale. What was surprising was how close the score was, and, more notably, the quarterback that behind that close performance: Taylor Heinicke.
Heinicke got the call to go under center Saturday when the Football Team announced that Alex Smith would be inactive. Stories of where the 27-year-old was just one year ago, and immediately before he was signed with his current team, soon flooded social media, making the start that much more inspirational.
Things got even more inspirational when the quarterback began to perform well and even had an incredible highlight where, late in the third quarter, he took off on a gutsy scramble on third down, dove for the pylon and cut the Tampa Bay lead to two.
As the game went on, Heinicke caught the attention of many around the NFL the more impressive his play became. Here are some of the most notable names around the world of football who expressed their support for the backup Washington quarterback trying to make some postseason heroics happen.
Regardless of the outcome what a great game by Heinicke!— Patrick Mahomes II (@PatrickMahomes) January 10, 2021
WFT needs to pay that man right now!— Darius Butler (@DariusJButler) January 10, 2021
Taylor Heinicke got some stuff to him..— Ryan Clark (@Realrclark25) January 10, 2021
Respect for Taylor Heinicke! Battled his tail off. Certified baller✔️— Kyle Lauletta (@kylelauletta) January 10, 2021
Taylor Heinicke needs to walk out of the stadium with his head held high!! He played extremely well!!— Gerald McCoy (@Geraldini93) January 10, 2021
While Denny Hamlin is obviously not a football player, the owner of the team he drives for, Joe Gibbs racing, was once the Washington head coach who led the franchise to Super Bowl glory. Hamlin is also a Washington Football Team fan, having grown up in the DMV area.
Here’s to hoping we all get more Heineke in 2021 🥂— Denny Hamlin (@dennyhamlin) January 10, 2021