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. 

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

Super Bowl 2023 is right around the corner! Here's everything you need to know about the big game.
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The NFL is finally back in session and Super Bowl 2023 will be here before we know it! See below for answers to all of your questions about the big game. Be sure to tune to NBC and Peacock every week for Sunday Night Football games this season.

Live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET with Football Night in America but the excitement starts early on Sundays with Matthew Berry’s Fantasy Football Pregame show beginning at 11 AM ET on Peacock and the NFL on NBC YouTube channel.

RELATED: 2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule: TV channel, live stream info, NFL schedule

 

When is Super Bowl 2023?

Super Bowl 2023 takes place on Sunday, February 12 at 6:30 p.m. ET on Fox.

Where is Super Bowl 2023?

Super Bowl 2023 will be contested at State Farm Stadium–home of the Arizona Cardinals– in Glendale, Arizona.

Who is performing the halftime show at Super Bowl 2023?

It was announced in September, that international popstar, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Rihanna will headline the halftime show at Super Bowl 2023.

RELATED: How to watch Matthew Berry on NBC Sports

When was the last time Rihanna released an album?

Rihanna’s most recent album “Anti” came out in 2016. The Barbados native has spent the last few years venturing into various business industries including beauty, fashion, and makeup. Additionally, the superstar welcomed her first child, a boy, in May of 2022.

Why does the NFL use Roman numerals?

AFL and Chiefs founder Lamar Hunt proposed using Roman numerals for each Super Bowl to add pomp and gravitas to the game. Roman numerals were, unsurprisingly, used in ancient Rome as a number system. I stands for 1, V for 5, X for 10, L for 50 and C for 100. That’s right: In 2066, get ready for Super Bowl C.

Super Bowl V was the first to use Roman numerals. They were retroactively added to the Super Bowl II to IV logos and have been used each year since⁠ until 2016. For Super Bowl L, or 50, the NFL tried out 73 different logos before breaking down and using a plain old “50.”

The Roman numerals for this year’s big game, Super Bowl 57, are LVII.

Which NFL team has the most Super Bowl wins in NFL history?

The Patriots and Steelers are not only familiar with playing on the big stage, but they also know what it takes to come out on top. New England and Pittsburgh are tied for the most Super Bowl victories in the NFL with six each. The San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys have won five Lombardi Trophies each and the Green Bay Packers and New York Giants are tied with four Super Bowl championships.

  • New England Patriots: 6
  • Pittsburgh Steelers: 6
  • San Francisco 49ers: 5
  • Dallas Cowboys: 5
  • Green Bay Packers: 4
  • New York Giants: 4

RELATED: 2022 NFL Regular Season Schedule – How to Watch, Live Stream, Dates, Times, Matchups


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.

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!

How to watch Kansas City Chiefs vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers: TV, live stream info, preview for Sunday Night Football game

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It’s the Kansas City Chiefs vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers this Sunday, October 2 in a rematch of Super Bowl LV where Tom Brady earned his seventh ring. Sunday’s matchup marks the sixth meeting between Patrick Mahomes and Brady with the 45-year-old veteran holding a 3-2 edge in the series.

RELATED: Tom Brady’s Super Bowl wins, rings, MVPs, losses: Every appearance, NFL stats, records

Live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock with Football Night in America. See below for additional information on how to watch the game.

RELATED: If Chiefs-Buccaneers is moved, it will be played at U.S. Bank Stadium

Football Night in America will feature a weekly segment hosted by former NFL quarterback Chris Simms and sports betting and fantasy pioneer Matthew Berry, which highlights storylines and betting odds for the upcoming Sunday Night Football game on NBC, Peacock, and Universo. Real-time betting odds on the scoring ticker during FNIA also will be showcased. Peacock Sunday Night Football Final, an NFL postgame show produced by NBC Sports, will also go deep on the storylines and BetMGM betting lines that proved prominent during the matchup.

RELATED: FMIA Week 3 – Broncos’ Coaching Experiment Pays Off, Dolphins Win ‘Beast’ Game, and What We Learned About the NFL in September

Be sure to start your NFL Sunday with Matthew Berry’s Fantasy Football Pregame show beginning at 11 AM ET on Peacock and the NFL on NBC YouTube channel.

Kansas City Chiefs

Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs (2-1) picked up their first loss of the season last Sunday after falling 20-17 to the Indianapolis Colts last Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium. Kansas City struggled offensively in Week 3 as the team was held to just three points in the second half. The Chiefs are still working to fill the void in the passing game since trading star WR Tyreek Hill to the Dolphins in the offseason but according to Mahomes, that doesn’t excuse Sunday’s loss.

RELATED: Patrick Mahomes –  I don’t expect growing pains, offense has to gel together

“I don’t expect any growing pains,” Mahomes told reporters at ESPN.com. “Obviously have new players and you don’t know everybody’s going to respond to tough situations. . . . We’ve got to gel all together. It starts with me. There were certain throws I was putting on guys’ back hips instead of in front of him. There were certain situations where we were just barely off of it.”

Mahomes, who signed a 10-year, $450 million contract extension, in July 2020–the richest contract in American sports history by total value–is in his fifth season as the Chiefs’ starting quarterback and hopes to lead Kansas City to its seventh straight AFC West title. The Chiefs are the only team to ever win six consecutive AFC West titles, which is tied for the 3rd-longest division title streak of any team in NFL history.

RELATED: Tom Brady vs. Patrick Mahomes: All-time QB matchups, records, stats

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Brady and the Buccaneers (2-1) are also coming off their first loss of the season–a 14-12 defeat at home from Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers last Sunday afternoon. With WRs Mike Evans (suspension) and Chris Godwin (hamstring)–Brady’s top two targets–and Julio Jones (knee) out in Week 3, Tampa Bay’s offense racked up a total of just 285 yards in the loss. Additionally, the team is still adapting to the turnover at the WR and TE positions from this offseason. Despite some challenges on offense, Tampa Bay’s defense has remained consistent and currently leads the NFL in scoring defense (9.0 pts/gm) and also ranks in the top 5 in total defense.

RELATED: NFL QBs with most Super Bowl wins – Where does Tom Brady rank ahead of Super Bowl 2023


How to watch the Kansas City Chiefs vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

  • Where: Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida
  • When: Sunday, October 2
  • Start Time: 8:20 p.m. ET; live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET with Football Night In America
  • TV Channel: NBC
  • Stream liveWatch live on Peacock or with the NBC Sports App

What time is kickoff for the Kansas City Chiefs vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers game?

Kickoff is at 8:20 p.m. ET.

RELATED: 2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule: TV channel, live stream info, NFL schedule

For all your NFL jersey and gear needs ahead of the 2022 season, click here!


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.

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

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.

RELATED: 2022 NFL Regular Season Schedule – How to Watch, Live Stream, Dates, Times, Matchups


 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!