Meet America’s new favorite backup QB: Taylor Heinicke

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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On Sunday, I spoke with Washington quarterback Taylor Heinicke, who gave Tompa Bay fits Saturday night. Tom Brady and the Bucs survived in Washington 31-23. This was, as I told Heinicke, a kind of classic Rocky Balboa-Apollo Creed athletic contest, the kind of game that makes us love sports. “Yeah,” said Heinicke, who was studying math remotely at Old Dominion in the fall with no football job—until Washington called with an offer to join the practice squad five weeks ago. The rest is living history.

We spoke while Heinicke lay on a trainers table at the Washington team facility in Ashburn, Va. His legs were encased in NormaTec pulsing compression pants. He’d taken some good shots in his first start for the injured Alex Smith, and damaged his shoulder diving for the pylon (and a touchdown) on his eight-yard third-quarter score. Still, he went 26-of-44 for 306 yards, with a TD and an interception against Tampa. You can hear our 23-minute conversation in a special The Peter King podcast here.

FMIA: Have you come down from this incredible experience?

Heinicke: “Actually, I haven’t been able to look back on it at all. I’m running on fumes right now. You know, the shoulder injury last night, didn’t get much sleep, looking forward to taking a nap after this. But when I wake up and maybe in a week or so look back at what transpired over the last month, it’s definitely something to be proud about. It’s definitely something my dad would be proud of me about. It’s one of the things, you just keep this ball rolling. I’ve been on the other side. I’ve been in the real world. I’ve been taking classes, you know. That’s great and all but it’s not as fun as playing ball.”

FMIA: What would you have said if I told you two months ago you’d be dueling Tom Brady wire to wire?

Heinicke: “I’d say you’re out of your mind. You know, again, it’s been a crazy year, 2020 has. It just speaks volumes of what hard work, determination and you know all that stuff. Keep doing it. Stay on the grind. Keep your dreams alive. Great things can happen. I credit all the people that are close me, kept on pushing me, and believing in me.”

FMIA: Third quarter of the game. You’re down 18-10 and driving, at their 8-yard line.

Heinicke: “So we got a play called where our halfback just free-released and he was our first read. They covered him up pretty well. We had [another receiver] come in to replace him and he was covered. My last read on that was a little dig route behind all those things with Logan [Thomas] and they covered that well, too. So, I figured I needed to make a play. The defensive line was actually doing a great job containing the pocket and I just kinda wiggled around back there and found a hole. Once I kinda got through, I saw that pylon. I just made a beeline for it. And um, you know, I don’t know how I got that. I’ve seen a video of the dive. I didn’t know I dove from the 4-yard line. That was pretty cool. But again, that was one of those things I just wanted to go get. I knew our team needed it. I thought it was gonna be a huge spark for our team and again I’ll never forget that. Unfortunately, that’s when I hurt my shoulder. At least it came on a pretty cool play.”

FMIA: Tampa gets a field goal, and you come back from the locker room.

Heinicke: ”Well, I knew after that touchdown run, there was something wrong. I felt something click or pop. When I came to the sideline, I took my helmet off and just held it in my left hand. And that was pretty bad pain. I knew there was something wrong. I talked to the doctors. Then we went inside. They looked at it. Gave me a little ibuprofen and got back out there. Got back into it. Put a little padding and a little tape on there to stabilize it. Felt a lot better. And fortunately I got back out just in time when the offense got the ball.

FMIA: Third-and-10, five minutes to go. Describe the touchdown to Steven Sims that you threw so well.

Heinicke: “So we actually had a little double move with Logan Thomas. We wanted to take advantage of Logan on our linebackers. So we thought we kinda would just run up the linebacker and kinda give him a little shake and then try and get on top. Give him a high ball. When I was looking at it, the safety I see went to go double Logan so I knew I had a one on one out there with Steven. I love the way Steven runs his routes. He’s very violent at the top. He’s got some good speed on him. I knew if I could just lay it out in the back corner at the end zone, he could run out there and get it. We connected perfectly, which is really cool because again, very minimal reps with these guys. I thought we did a pretty damn good job last night.”

FMIA: On Twitter after that touchdown, Patrick Mahomes tweeted, with 162,488 likes: ‘Regardless of the outcome, what a great game by Heinecke.’ That’s cool.

Heinicke: “Yeah, that’s really cool. Again, it’s kinda weird saying that, because the guy’s younger than me but the dude is, you know, he’s the top 5 quarterback in the league if not the best quarterback in the league. Again for him to be watching and for him to say that, it means a lot to me. It’s pretty damn cool.”

FMIA: After the game, cameras showed you tapping Brady on the shoulder, then having a conversation with him. What’d he say?

Heinicke: “Yeah. It’s always really cool when you’re talking to a future Hall of Famer. Probably the best quarterback to ever play the game. It’s a neat experience. He just told me I played a hell of a game, showed a lot of grit out there. And just to keep working. Again, for that to come from him, it’s pretty neat. Not a lot of people get to experience that.”

Read more from Peter King’s Football Morning in America column here. 

How to watch the 2023 NFL honors: TV, live stream info, date, awards, location, and more

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The 12th annual NFL Honors will take place this Thursday, February 9 at Symphony Hall in Phoenix, Arizona–just a few days shy of Super Bowl 2023 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. Live coverage begins at 9 PM ET on NBC and Peacock. Coverage will also be available on NFL Network. See below for additional information on how to watch the 2023 NFL Honors.

RELATED: How to Watch Super Bowl 2023 – Philadelphia Eagles vs Kansas City Chiefs

What is the NFL Honors?

The NFL Honors recognizes the league’s best performances, plays, and athletes form the 2022 season. This year’s celebration will be particularly special as Kelly Clarkson–an Emmy and Grammy award winning artist–will be the first woman to host the show.

What awards are presented at the NFL Honors?

  • Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year
  • Best Moment of the Year
  • NFL Fan of the Year
  • AP Most Valuable Player
  • AP Coach of the Year
  • AP Comeback Player of the Year
  • AP Offensive Player of the Year
  • AP Defensive Player of the Year
  • AP Offensive Rookie of the Year
  • AP Defensive Rookie of the Year
  • NFL Inspire Change Tribute
  • Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2023
  • FedEx Air & Ground Players of the Year
  • Salute to Service Award
  • Bud Light Celly of the Year
  • Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award
  • Deacon Jones Sack Leader Award
  • AP Assistant Coach of the Year

How to watch the 2023 NFL Honors:

  • Date: Thursday, February 9
  • Location: Symphony Hall in Phoenix, Arizona
  • Time: 9 PM ET
  • TV Channel: NBC and NFL Network
  • Live Stream: Peacock

Everything you need to know about Super Bowl 2023:

Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL season and playoffs, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!

 

Eagles Super Bowl history: When is the last time Philadelphia made it to, won the Super Bowl?

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After a dominant 31-7 win over the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game, the Eagles are vying to earn their first Super Bowl win since the 2017 season, when they defeated the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII.

Jalen Hurts and the Birds will go head-to-head with Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl 2023. Find out how to watch below as well as a full breakdown of the Eagles’ Super Bowl history. Click here for a look back on the Eagles’ journey to football’s biggest game of the year.

RELATED: 2023 NFL Playoffs Schedule – Bracket, game dates, times and TV networks

Eagles total Super Bowl wins

One (2017 season). The Eagles have won one of their three Super Bowl appearances in franchise history. The Eagles appeared in four pre-merger NFL championship games, where they won three of them (1948, 1949 and 1960).

Most recent Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl appearance

  • 2017 season: Defeated the New England Patriots 41-33 in Super Bowl LII

The Eagles were victorious in their last Super Bowl appearance. The victory was a redemption 13 years in the making, after the Eagles lost to Tom Brady, coach Bill Belichick and the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX in the 2004 season, 24-21.

RELATED: What to know about Super Bowl 2023: Date, location, halftime performance info, and much more

Philadelphia Eagles most recent Super Bowl win

That 2017 appearance was of course Philadelphia’s most recent Super Bowl triumph, and one of the most memorable Super Bowls in history. The game is most remembered for the heroics of quarterback Nick Foles, who stepped in late in the season to replace the injured Carson Wentz, and for Foles’ catch on the trick play known as the “Philly Special.”

Eagles Super Bowl history

  • 1980 season: Lost Super Bowl XV vs the Oakland Raiders, 27-10
  • 2004 season: Lost Super Bowl XXXIX vs the New England Patriots, 24-21
  • 2017 season: Won Super Bowl LII vs the New England Patriots, 41-33

How can I watch and live stream Super Bowl 2023?

  • When: Sunday, February 12, 2023
  • Where: State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona
  • TV Channel: FOX
  • Follow along with ProFootballTalk and NBC Sports for NFL news, updates, scores, injuries, and more

RELATED: Who is playing in Super Bowl 2023?

Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL Season, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!

RELATED: 2023 NFL Playoffs scores: Final bracket, recaps, results for every AFC and NFC postseason game


How to watch Sunday Night Football on Peacock:

If you have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can watch Sunday Night Football on your TV or with a TV provider login on the NBC Sports app, NBC app, or via NBCSports.com. Check your local listings to find your NBC channel. If you can’t find NBC in your channel lineup, please contact your TV provider.

If you don’t have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can stream Sunday Night Football on Peacock with a $4.99/month Peacock Premium plan.  Sign up here or, if you already have a free Peacock account, go to your Account settings to upgrade or change your existing plan. 

Please note that selection of a Premium plan will result in a charge which will recur on a monthly or annual basis until you cancel, depending on your plan. You can cancel your Premium plan at any time in your Account.

What devices are compatible with Peacock?

Peacock is available on a variety of devices. See the full list here.

In addition to Sunday Night Football, what else can I watch with Peacock Premium?

Premium is your key to unlocking everything Peacock has to offer. You’ll get access to all the live sports and events we have, including Premier League and WWE Premium Live Events like WrestleMania. You’ll also get full seasons of exclusive Peacock Original series, next-day airings of current NBC and Telemundo hits, plus every movie and show available on Peacock. There is always something new to discover on Peacock Premium.