The 8-6 Indianapolis Colts will travel to Georgia in Week 16 to take on the 6-8 Atlanta Falcons. The game has major playoff implications, as both teams are fighting to win their respective divisions. Things are a bit more rocky for the Falcons right now, though. Atlanta has lost its last two games, including a 9-7 loss in Week 15 to the Carolina Panthers, the worst team in the league this season.
Desperate for a spark, the Falcons have made a change at quarterback, benching second-year QB Desmond Ridder for veteran Taylor Heinicke. That could be good news for Atlanta and bad news for the Colts, because Indy has a little history with Heinicke and it’s not a fond memory.
Taylor Heinicke will start for Falcons against Colts
Heinicke has played one game against Indianapolis in his seven-year career and it was last season during his time with the Washington Commanders. It was a game that Indianapolis led 16-7 in the fourth quarter. However, with 2:39 left in the game, Heinicke drove the Commanders 89 yards down the field in Lucas Oil Stadium in nine plays, in just over two minutes, for a game-winning touchdown.
Heinicke finished that game 23-of-31 for 279 yards, one touchdown and one interception, while also carrying the ball six times for 29 yards and an additional touchdown.
This is an entirely different season, though, and the Colts are a completely different team. Heinicke is also in a different set of circumstances. This year, he has played in just three games for Atlanta, starting two. In those games, Taylor Heinicke completed 55.4% of his passes for 498 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception. Falcons head coach Arthur Smith made it clear that Heinicke will be the team’s starter for the final three games, as they make a push towards the playoffs.
Unfortunately for Heinicke and Atlanta, they have to play a Colts team that is determined to make the postseason this year.