Heinicke's effort wows WFT: 'Plays with no fear'

1:52 AM ET

LANDOVER, Md. — Washington Football Team quarterback Taylor Heinicke didn’t win the game; he did, however, win over a team — and maybe more.

Heinicke, starting for the injured Alex Smith, made plays with his arm and legs — just not enough of them — in Washington’s 31-23 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the wild-card round of the playoffs on Saturday. Heinicke didn’t get the win, but he did complete 26 of 44 passes for 306 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He ran for a score, as well.

And a player who was out of the league for nearly two years did prove a point.

“I deserve to be in this league a little longer,” said Heinicke, a pending free agent. “I’ve been on the other side not playing and it’s not fun, not as fun as this.”

In the process, Heinicke also picked up support from his teammates — and even a star player on another team. Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who is represented by the same agency as Heinicke, tweeted his approval of his performance.

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