Don’t be fooled by Taylor Heinicke’s performance in win over Colts

NFL: AUG 24 Preseason Steelers at Falcons

A different Falcons team showed up on Christmas Eve against the Colts. With their backs against the wall and a new quarterback under center (again), Arthur Smith’s squad played a clean game from start to finish.

The defense held Gardner Minshew and company in check. Jonathan Taylor couldn’t get anything going in the run game, and the Falcons recorded a season-high six sacks, limiting the Colts to just 10 points. Meanwhile, the offense also played their best game of the season, scoring a season-high 29 points, and most importantly, avoiding turnovers. It is overwhelmingly evident Taylor Heinicke — who threw for 229 yards, one touchdown, and no interceptions — gives the Falcons the best chance to win right now. However, don’t let yesterday’s performance fool you, there’s zero percent chance he will be the starting quarterback in Atlanta after this season.

With Heinicke under center, Arthur Smith’s passing concepts no longer look so vanilla. The Falcons head coach has more trust in Heinicke to make the right decisions and protect the football. Although, I’m not sure it’s warranted.

Taylor Heinicke has been a gunslinger since entering the league. He’s a gamer that isn’t afraid to put the ball in tight windows, but with that can come consequences. Thankfully, the Colts weren’t able to take advantage on Sunday. Heinicke made several huge throws that were borderline jaw-dropping. In the same breath, he put the ball in harm’s way just as much if not more than Ridder. The Colts just didn’t catch the ball. Heinicke very easily could have had 3-4 interceptions. There’s very little difference between him and Ridder in that department.

Nobody should be complaining about a 19-point win over a potential playoff team that had looked fantastic heading into the holidays. The Falcons playoff hopes remain alive, and Taylor Heinicke gives this team a terrific chance to finish out the season on a high note, but nobody should be confused about what is to come this offseason.

Whoever is in charge of the Falcons will be in hot pursuit of a franchise quarterback. Taylor Heinicke never has been and never will be the long-term answer under center. Finding that answer will be the top priority once the season ends.

Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire


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