Washington's Taylor Heinicke trying to find right formula for NFC East title

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Taylor Heinicke had his sights on several courses at Old Dominion University in the fall and on Sunday he will try to find the right formula and equation to help the Washington Football Team earn a division title.

Heinicke was more focused on his online courses – Mathematics in Nature, Number Theory and Discrete Mathematics, Applied Numerical Methods and Partial Differential Equations - when he got the call in December to serve as Washington’s "quarantine quarterback" just in case anything went wrong.

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Then, Washington’s nightmare began: Alex Smith got hurt, Dwayne Haskins’ immaturity off the field was more sustained than his play on the field, leaving the team with almost nobody. And after three weeks of being on the practice squad, Heinicke can drop the calculator and pick up the football as a starter.

"I was prepared for this moment, and it’s fortunate that it happened," Heinicke said Thursday. "It’s been a bizarre month or two, but I wouldn’t ask for anything different."

Heinicke, who was in the XFL earlier this year before the coronavirus pandemic shut the league down, picked up an ‘A’ and a ‘B’ in two of his final exams but needed to put two more on hold because of his new position with Washington.

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It’s not going to be an easy task for Heinicke. He will have to lead Washington to a victory over the division rival, Philadelphia Eagles. A win will give Washington a playoff spot and their first NFC East title since 2015.

"The nice thing about it is [that] Taylor’s been in the system before," Washington coach Ron Rivera said. "Taylor knew what to do. We just feel that giving him an opportunity to do a little more things will help him if he gets the opportunity to be the guy on Sunday."

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The 27-year-old has mostly been a backup during his NFL career. In eight career games, he’s thrown for 467 yards and two touchdowns. Last week subbing in for Haskins, he was 12-for-19 with 137 passing yards and had a touchdown pass. He played under Rivera in 2018 with the Carolina Panthers.

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