Washington Commanders Considering Quarterback Change

The Washington Commanders are apparently considering a drastic change as they begin their final push for the playoffs. According to Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio, the Commanders' coaching staff will evaluate the possibility of starting quarterback Carson Wentz over Taylor Heinicke in Week 17 against the Cleveland Browns. Wentz opened the season as the Commanders' starter, but a finger injury in Week 6 led to a stint on injured reserve. Heinicke played well enough to snatch away top duties, winning five of his first six starts. But the Commanders haven't won a game since November, and Heinicke's struggles evidently have the organization reconsidering.

Heinicke's individual play doesn't leap out as especially problematic over the past three games: he has thrown for 690 yards, five touchdowns, and only one interception. But a deeper look reveals some ball security issues in critical moments: he has fumbled five times and absorbed 10 sacks. He was benched in the fourth quarter of Saturday's 37-20 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, and Wentz led the Commanders to a touchdown on his first drive since first surrendering the job.

For all the hand-wringing this debate will cause, the reality is Wentz and Heinicke are similarly middling quarterbacks. Heinicke holds a narrow edge in passer rating (89.6 to 86.3), but Wentz has been more prolific (230.3 passing yards per game to 206.6). Given that neither has truly distinguished themselves, the Commanders may be right to give each a short leash. At least that will keep opposing defenses guessing.
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