NFL: Taylor Heinicke’s late TD pass lifts Washington over Atlanta
Taylor Heinicke’s 30-yard touchdown pass to J.D. McKissic with 33 seconds remaining lifted the visiting Washington Football Team to a 34-30 victory against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.
Washington took over on its own 24 with 1:47 remaining. Heinicke got near midfield with a 24-yard pass to DeAndre Carter and found Adam Humphries for a 19-yard gain to the Atlanta 33.
On third-and-7, Heinicke rolled left and threw a short pass to the right to McKissic, who ran 30 yards down the sideline and successfully dove for the pylon.
Matt Ryan’s final play 37-yard Hail Mary attempt was knocked down in the end zone.
Heinicke completed 23 of 33 passes for 290 yards and three touchdowns. Terry McLaurin caught six passes for 123 yards and two scores for Washington (2-2).
Ryan was 25-of-42 passing for 283 yards and four touchdowns. Cordarrelle Patterson had five catches for 82 yards and a career-high three touchdowns for Atlanta (1-3).
Washington pulled within 30-28 with 3:52 remaining when Heinicke broke a tackle and lofted a pass into the end zone that McLaurin came down with for 23-yard touchdown, but the two-point conversion pass was incomplete.
Trailing 3-0 in the second quarter, Washington gambled on fourth-and-1 from the Atlanta 36 but didn’t make it. Four plays later Ryan found Patterson behind the defense for a 42-yard touchdown pass.
Washington responded by driving 77 yards in seven plays. On third-and-8 from the Atlanta 33, Heinicke found McLaurin down the left side for a touchdown and the Falcons’ lead was cut to 10-7.
After the Falcons punted, Washington drove again. Heinicke scrambled 20 yards to set up a first-and-goal and Antonio Gibson punched it in from the 2. The kick failed and Washington led 13-10.
Ryan engineered a perfect two-minute drill and capped it with a 12-yard pass to Patterson for 17-13 lead at the half.
The lead barely survived halftime as Carter took the second half kick a yard deep and raced up the middle 101 yards for a touchdown.
Patterson then used his height advantage to make a back-shoulder catch in the end zone to complete a 14-yard score that put Atlanta ahead 23-19 after the two-point conversion failed.
Dustin Hopkins’ field goal made it 23-22 with 5:32 left in the third quarter.
After a questionable roughing-the-passer penalty against Chase Young on fourth down gave the Falcons new life at the Washington 27, Ryan later hit Mike Davis, who broke four tackles for a 7-yard touchdown to increase the lead to 30-22 with 14:52 remaining.
–Field Level Media