NFC Notes: Taylor Heinicke, Commanders, Cowboys, Giants, Kenny Golladay


Washington has won four of its past five games since QB Taylor Heinicke entered the lineup in place of an injured QB Carson Wentz. The wins are obviously nice but it sets up a potentially awkward situation given how much the team invested in Wentz this offseason thinking he’d be an upgrade over Heinicke. Commanders HC Ron Rivera is taking the same approach with the quarterback question as he is to the rest of the season: one game at a time. 

“Yes, Taylor’s our starter,” Rivera said via Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer. “And the big thing is, it’ll always be about one game at a time. This is not, ‘Oh, he’s the starter for the rest of the year.’ No, we’ll talk only one game at a time. I don’t want people to get us ahead of anything. I want to stay focused on one game at a time, not, ‘Oh, you got a shot at the playoffs. You can beat the Giants.’ No. No. We have to play Atlanta first, and then we play New York and we’ll see what happens. This is not about predicting or anything like that. This is staying focused on one at a time, one at a time.”

  • Commanders DT Jonathan Allen on Heinicke following their Week 11 victory: “Coach Saban used to say the team decides the starting quarterback. Every time he comes in to play the team just rallies around him. The offense rallies around him. I can’t really understand it, can’t really explain it. It just is what it is.” (Ben Standig)


Cowboys owner Jerry Jones enthusiastically answered media questions on if he believed his team will be contending for the Super Bowl at the end of this year.

“A resounding yes. Yes. Unequivocally yes,” Jones said, via “I think we’ve had adversity. We very easily could have some more adversity … Yes, I think if we use the experience of what we’re having in the season, then we’re going to be playoff-ready. But I sure do think that what I see out here right now is the team like that you could go get a Super Bowl with.”

“I too thought this game was going to tell us what we are,” Jones said of the Vikings game. “I don’t know that we’re that. I really don’t. But I know this, we’re not a team that doesn’t respond when it’s wounded. Everybody thought against the Packers that we underplayed, and I think you saw what happened when we got out here tonight and the team all came together. We’ll build from this.”

  • Cowboys RB coach Skip Peete called RB Ezekiel Elliott a sledgehammer and RB Tony Pollard a sword: “A sledgehammer is pounding and crushing and then the sword comes in and slices you up.” (Jon Machota)


The struggles continued for Giants WR Kenny Golladay, as he dropped both of the targets he got in his return to the lineup in Week 10. Golladay admitted he’s at a little bit of a loss for why things have gone so poorly in New York. 

“I don’t know,” he said via FOX Sports’ Ralph Vacchiano. “It’s tough. I’m going to keep pushing through, though. Just me knowing what type of player I can be and what I want to put out there on the field and what’s been going on this year, I think that’s the hard part.”

Giants RB Saquon Barkley said it’s possible the injuries could still be playing a factor, as Golladay has been pretty banged up for most of his time in New York. 

“It’s New York. It’s a tough place, obviously with the boos and people saying and writing whatever,” said Barkley. “But I feel like at the end of the day, especially coming off an MCL, it’s hard to just come back and boom, go right to the level you want to be. You have that in your mind, but sometimes you come back and have to get adjusted, get back into the flow of things.” 


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