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MONDAY HUDDLE: Washington Football Team’s quarterback dilemma won’t go away any time soon

No ‘Fitzmagic’ with the starter getting hurt in the season opener

Washington Football Team quarterback Taylor Heinicke (4) throws the ball against the Los Angeles Chargers during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Washington Football Team quarterback Taylor Heinicke (4) throws the ball against the Los Angeles Chargers during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Huddle up! Here’s a look back at the first full week of the football season, with three key takeaways from the state’s football scene.


Chargers’ quarterback Justin Herbert gives Washington fans reason to groan

Fans of the Washington Football Team could probably only look what was on the other side, sigh and say, “It must be nice.”

Washington dropped its season opener to the Los Angeles Chargers, 20-16, thanks largely to the play of Chargers franchise quarterback Justin Herbert, who threw for 337 yards and joined Patrick Mahomes as the only quarterbacks in NFL history to throw for 4,500 passing yards in his first 16 career starts.

Finding a franchise quarterback still seems to be the missing link for a Washington franchise that has so many other pieces in place, especially what might be the NFL’s best defensive line.

But Washington decided on patchwork options to fill its hole at quarterback over the offseason, and the game against the Chargers did little to solve the issue.

Journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick was signed over the offseason and started, but had to leave the game in the second quarter with a hip injury.

Backup Taylor Heinicke, a hero in Washington’s playoff loss to Tampa Bay last year, came in and went 11 of 15 for 122 yards.

Washington’s fortunes could well rely on Heinicke going forward, but how will he handle an expanded role when opponents get more film on him and better know his weaknesses?

One thing’s for sure: Washington fans could only wish they had what the Chargers did on Sunday.

No letdown for the Hokies

Any worries that Virginia Tech wouldn’t be as focused emotionally for its game against Middle Tennessee following a season-opening win over a top-10 opponent in North Carolina never came to fruition.

The Hokies did what they had to do, scoring three straight touchdowns in the second half en route to a 35-14 win.

Virginia Tech did give up 349 yards defensively to Middle Tennessee, but given other upsets and letdowns by other ranked teams around the country in Week 2, the Hokies at least never left much doubt on the scoreboard.

Career day for Armstrong lifts the Cavaliers

If the first two games are any indication, Virginia junior quarterback Brennan Armstrong might be in for a monster year.

Armstrong had quite a day in a 42-14 win over Illinois, throwing for a career-high 405 yards and a career-high five touchdowns for Virginia.

Armstrong also completed 27 of 36 passes and has a 196.4 quarterback rating through two games.


About the Author:

Keith is a member of Graham Media Group's Digital Content Team, which produces content for all the company's news websites.