When Washington beat Atlanta in Week Four, quarterback Taylor Heinicke’s performance was a significant reason why. He threw for 290 yards and three touchdowns in the contest, including finding J.D. McKissic for the game-winning 30-yard touchdown with 33 seconds left.
But since then, things haven’t gone so well for Washington’s quarterback.
He completed only 48 percent of his passes in the Week Five loss to New Orleans, passing for 248 yards with a pair of interceptions. And he wasn’t great against the Chiefs either, throwing for 182 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
That came against a Kansas City defense that was ranked last and had struggled throughout the season.
On Wednesday, Heinicke said in his press conference he felt like part of the problem was he was trying to be too perfect.
“I feel like I’ve just been trying to be perfect and trying to make the perfect read every play,” Heinicke said, via Ethan Cadeaux of NBCSportsWashington.com. “It doesn’t really allow me to be who I am or allowed me to be my best.”
Heinicke noted he had a conversation with several coaches earlier in the week where they also noticed the quarterback overthinking and trying to be too perfect. And now everyone is on the same page.
“It was nice to just sit down with those coaches, really clear things up, and just have a new start,” Heinicke said. “It’s a new week. You can’t change what’s happened the last two weeks. Let’s start with a clean slate this week and work to get better.”
Heinicke has completed 64 percent of his passes for 1,390 yards with nine touchdowns and six interceptions in six games. He’s started the last five for Washington with Ryan Fitzpatrick on IR with a hip injury.
He’ll get a chance to implement his revised mentality against the Packers at Lambeau Field this Sunday.
“Just try not to be perfect,” Heinicke said. “If that first read is there, take it no matter what the coverage is. If not, let’s just keep going. Maybe make a play and be smart about it. I think the biggest thing is don’t be perfect, don’t overthink, just play football like you’ve done your whole life.”