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3 Standouts in Washington's Week 4 Win Over the Falcons 

DeAndre Carter slips past a tackler on his way to a 101-yard kickoff return against the Atlanta Falcons. (Emilee Fails/Washington Football Team)
DeAndre Carter slips past a tackler on his way to a 101-yard kickoff return against the Atlanta Falcons. (Emilee Fails/Washington Football Team)

Quarterback Taylor Heinicke, wide receiver and return specialist DeAndre Carter, and wide receiver Terry McLaurin helped lead Washington to a come-from-behind 34-30 victory over the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Here's how they played Sunday afternoon:

Game Ball No. 1: Taylor Heinicke

Just last year, Heinicke was sleeping on his sister's couch thinking that his football career was over. Now, the Georgia native is Washington's starting NFL quarterback engineering big plays as the team clinched its second win of the season.

The hometown kid was red hot this afternoon, as he completed 23-of-33 passes for 290 yards and threw for three touchdowns. Heinicke wasn't just a difference-maker in the air against the Falcons. His run game was also explosive; Heinicke ran for 43 yards and averaged 8.6 yards per carry.

Perhaps the most standout quality of Heinicke's performance came when Washington faced an eight-point fourth quarter deficit. From the way he wiggled out of pressure to sprint for first downs to his fourth-quarter touchdown pass to McLaurin, the quarterback showed he could be a gritty, never-say-die showstopper when his team needed it most.

Heinicke was a star at the high school level playing in the Atlanta area for Collins Hill. This win -- in the city where his roots lay, in front of all the loved ones who never stopped believing in him -- was particularly special for him.

Game Ball No. 2: DeAndre Carter

Carter has had a solid four-year career up to this point, but today undoubtedly makes a case as one of the most memorable of Carter's time as a football player.

In the first play of the second half, the Sacramento State product returned an Atlanta kickoff for a 101-yard touchdown to give Washington a 19-17 lead. It was the first touchdown of his career -- one that has seen him bounce around to eight different teams after going undrafted in 2015.

The touchdown was also Washington's first kickoff return touchdown since November 2019. It also tied Brian Mitchell and Rashad Ross for the the longest in franchise history.

The electrifying play wasn't the only memorable one from Carter on the day. With less than a minute and a half to play in the fourth quarter and Washington down by two, Carter caught a 24-yard pass -- his first reception in a Washington uniform -- to get his team a much-needed first down. The drive he helped keep alive ended up being the game-winner; it led to Heinicke finding J.D. McKissic for the game's decisive touchdown.

Game Ball No. 3: Terry McLaurin

"Scary Terry" struck fear into the hearts of yet another NFL defense as he terrorized Atlanta with his receiving prowess Sunday afternoon. The third-year wide receiver finished the game with six receptions for 123 yards and two touchdowns.

His second touchdown of the day ignited Washington's fourth-quarter comeback. Scrambling and falling to the ground, Heinicke threw a prayer into the end zone. McLaurin made sure that prayer came true, pulling the pass despite being draped by a defender.

In fact, McLaurin's performance was more than just game ball-worthy -- it was also NFL record book-worthy. The wide receiver's outing today saw him move into sole possession of fourth place all-time amongst receivers with 60 or more yards in the first 33 games of a career.

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