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Game balls | 3 standouts from Washington's win over the Panthers

GAME BALLS

Quarterback Taylor Heinicke, wide receiver and return specialist DeAndre Carter and wide receiver Terry McLaurin propelled Washington to a 27-21 victory over the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. Here's how they played Sunday afternoon:  

Game Ball No. 1: Taylor Heinicke

The quarterback was at his fearless, dazzling best in Sunday's victory against his former team. He used his legs at the right times, didn't overthink things and kept plays alive with some outstanding creativity and hustle as he finished the job in Charlotte 16-of-22 passes for 206 yards and three touchdowns.  

Heinicke was responsible for quite a few jaw-dropping moments in this one, but his thread-the-needle pass to Cam Simsfor Washington's first TD and magician-esque pass to John Bates while being tackled on fourth down stand out in particular.  

For the second week in a row, Heinicke has shown that, when he's playing like himself and leaning on his strengths, he can lead Washington to wins.

Game Ball No. 2: DeAndre Carter

Carter was a difference-maker yet again in Week 11.

He opened the second half with a 30-yard return that set the tone and got the wheels turning for the offense. Just a few minutes later, he connected with Heinicke for a four-yard touchdown. Carter sent the defender the opposite way with a beautifully executed pivot for the score that finished Washington's 12-play, 66-yard drive and gave the visitors their first lead of the game. The score was also Carter's third in three consecutive games.

Carter finished the game with two receptions for 22 yards and worked hard when he wasn't the target. Today's performance will certainly be some more evidence to add to Carter's "Why He Should Be A Pro Bowl Pick" file.

Game Ball No. 3: Terry McLaurin

Speaking of Pro Bowl nominees, McLaurin also had a stellar outing on Sunday. McLaurin was one of just a few bright spots in Washington's slow start to the game as he finished the first quarter with two catches from two targets for 69 yards. His impact on the game only ramped up from there, as Heinicke continued to find one of his go-to options for plays that moved the chains leaps and bounds for Washington.

At one point towards the end of second quarter, McLaurin was averaging 27 yards per catch. In the third quarter, when Heinicke had collected 180 yards, most of those were from McLaurin.

The wide receiver and Pro Bowl hopeful finished the game with 103 yards on five targets. It was his fourth 100-yard receiving game of the season.

There's one more thing to tack onto McLaurin's performance. He scored the game-tying touchdown with just nine seconds to go in the second quarter.

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