With their season on the line, the Washington Commanders turned back to Carson Wentz in Week 17. It didn't take long for that move to backfire.
Wentz threw an interception on the Commanders' third offensive play. Wentz was looking for Terry McLaurin on the throw, but Cleveland Browns cornerback Denzel Ward undercut the route a snagged an easy pick.
— NFL (@NFL) January 1, 2023
Washington fans didn't appreciate that. They not only booed Wentz off the field, they also started chanting for backup Taylor Heinicke to enter the game.
Carson Wentz already getting booed... .... Already hearing "Heinicke, Heinicke..." chants... Wentz throws a pick to Denzel Ward on the third play of the game.
— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) January 1, 2023
Then, Wentz did it again. With 13:14 left in the second quarter, Wentz underthrew a deep pass that was picked off by Grant Delpit. The stands once again erupted in chants for Heincke.
More “HEIN-I-CKE!” chants at FedEx Field. pic.twitter.com/qTsAuyAF2u
— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) January 1, 2023
That can't feel good for Wentz or Commanders head coach Ron Rivera.
Wentz briefly calmed those fans, scoring a rushing touchdown before the end of the second quarter. But the celebration didn't last long. The Commanders managed just a field goal after halftime, losing the contest 24-10. Wentz also threw another pick, his third of the game, with 3:18 left in the game.
Wentz was asked about his thought process on one of his interceptions after the game. He responded by saying, "Which one?"
Reporter to Carson Wentz: "Can you take us through your interception?"
Wentz: "Which one?"
— Pete Hailey (@PeteHaileyNBCS) January 1, 2023
Wentz opened the season as the team's starter and led the Commanders to a 2-4 record before getting injured in Week 6. Wentz missed multiple weeks after undergoing finger surgery, allowing Heinicke to step in as the starter. Heinicke won three of his first four starts, but was benched against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 16.
Wentz came on in relief and was re-installed as the Commanders' starter ahead of Sunday's game.
The Commanders entered the contest with the No. 7 seed — the final playoff spot — in the NFC. The Commanders were eliminated from the playoffs later on Sunday afternoon after the Green Bay Packers' blowout 41-17 win over the Minnesota Vikings. Commanders head coach Ron Rivera didn't realize that was even possible following his team's loss to the Browns.