From his logic-defying plays to buying Air Jordans for his teammates, the Washington Commanders' fanbase loves Taylor Heinicke.
His methods may be unorthodox, and his style might make hearts stop because of his tendency to attempt high risk, high reward throws, but the results this season are clear; he has helped the Commanders win six of their last eight games and has the team set up for a playoff push.
The stakes will be high in Washington's final four games, and those are the situations in which Heinicke tends to thrive. There have already been some tremendous plays from Heinicke over the past two months, so let's look at some of Heinicke's best moments from this season so far.
The critical fourth down against the Giants.
The outcome in Week 13 against the New York Giants, and probably the playoffs hopes, were on the line in the closing minutes of the NFC East battle.
With the ball at the Commanders' 27-yard line, Ron Rivera decided to keep the offense on the field and try its hand at a fourth-and-4. Had the attempt failed, it was almost a guarantee that New York would have at least expanded its 20-13 lead.
The Giants, who had brough pressure all afternoon, only rushed four as Heinicke surveyed his options. He pump faked before rolling out to his left to avoid Azeez Ojulari. He spotted Curtis Samuel near the left sideline, and before he could set his feet, he slung an off-balance throw in the receiver's direction.
Not only did Samuel make the 20-yard grab, but he also managed to get out of bounds and stop the clock. Three plays later, Heinicke connected with Jahan Dotson, who finished the 28-yard reception in the end zone.
The touchdown was great, but had Heinicke not come through on the critical fourth-down play, the hopes for tying the score would have been dashed.
The improbable touchdown throw against the Vikings.
Heinicke alluded to it after Washington's game against the Minnesota Vikings, but there was no reason for him to make the throw.
It was the second play of the third quarter, and Washington was lined up at the Vikings' 49-yard line. Heinicke rolled to his right and launched a bomb to Samuel, who was near the end zone.
From the time the ball left Heinicke's hand, it looked like the ball was going to be intercepted. Samuel was surrounded by three Vikings defenders, and as the ball neared its target, Camryn Bynum was readying himself to grab the ball himself.
But there was a problem, or perhaps a stroke of luck. One of the officials ran into Smith and knocked him down, which allowed Samuel enough space to complete the catch. Samuel rolled into the end zone, and with the 49-yard score, Washington took the lead.
The third-down pass to Terry against the Packers.
Heinicke wants to get the ball to Terry McLaurin as much as possible, so it is fitting that the final three plays on the list all include the Commanders' top receiver.
The Commanders were clinging to a two-point lead in Heinicke's first start of the season. The Green Bay Packers had just scored a touchdown with three minutes left, and Washington needed to bleed as much time off the clock as possible to secure a win.
Things were dangerously close to going in the opposite direction, though. The Commanders faced a third-and-9 at their own 44-yard line, and punting the ball back to one of the best quarterbacks in history was too risky.
Heinicke did not disappoint, though. He dropped back to the 33-yard line, set his feet and fired a shot to McLaurin before getting hit by a Packers defender. McLaurin was reliable as ever, securing the 12-yard gain before being forced out of bounds.
Washington still ended up punting the ball away, but that play allowed Washington to take more than 90 seconds off the clock, making the comeback all but impossible.
The touchdown pass to Terry against the Packers.
Washington was struggling in the first two quarters of Heinicke's first start. The offense was struggling, and after a Heinicke interception was returned for a touchdown, the team was down 14-3 at the start of the second quarter.
Fortunately, there was still plenty of time for the Commanders to come back, and after going into halftime with a 14-10 score, Heinicke reminded everyone that he can make some truly clutch throws.
The play came five minutes into the Commanders' opening drive of the third quarter. There was no hesitation from Heinicke as he prepared to throw at the Packers' 45-yard line. He saw McLaurin sprinting down the right sideline, and seeing as McLaurin has some of the best hands in the league, it was an easy decision for the quarterback.
The ball was placed exactly where it needed to be. It dropped into the hands of McLaurin, who finished the play in the end zone. It was Heinicke's second touchdown pass of the day, and it gave Washington a lead that it did not relinquish for the rest of the afternoon.
The throw to Terry against the Colts.
The pass did not result in a touchdown, but it was the most important moment in the matchup against the Indianapolis Colts.
Following a disastrous interception that preceded a touchdown from the Colts that put the AFC South team up 16-7 with 11 minutes left in the fourth quarter, Washington had two chances to climb back from the deficit. The first resulted in a field goal with just over four minutes left, and after a three-and-out by the defense, Washington had 2:39 to get in the end zone.
The irony is that McLaurin was not supposed to get the ball as the Commanders ran a play from the Colts' 34-yard line. Heinicke's eyes went from one option to the next until he saw McLaurin sprinting towards the end zone with Stephon Gilmore trailing him.
Heinicke gave McLaurin a chance, and the wideout rewarded him for that faith. He came down with the contested pass at the 1-yard line, which allowed Heinicke to run in the game-winning score.
The play all but secured Washington's third-straight victory, and with it, Washington was back to .500 and in the playoff hunt.