Falcons Fall Short In Bid To Stop The Washington Commanders

There were a couple of surprise endings on NFL Sunday, including the Cleveland Browns toppling the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. However, the Washington Commanders and the Philadelphia Eagles got the job done as planned, and Washington is closer to hanging onto a Wild Card appearance.

Washington Commanders vs Atlanta Falcons
Washington Commanders vs Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Marcus Mariota (1) and Washington Commanders defensive end Montez Sweat (90) react to a Mariota interception at the end of their game on Sunday. The Commanders kept their Wild Card dreams alive with the win. (Image: Associated Press)

The Commanders knew that QB Taylor Heinicke was going to be a key component to their success against the Atlanta Falcons. While he was capable in the air, throwing two TD passes, it was the team’s ground game that made the difference.

Bad weather made it difficult for both teams to air out the ball. Keeping it on the ground was a way to limit turnovers, although Atlanta tried to switch things up at the last minute, which may have cost them the game.

Falcons Flop

On the last offensive play for Atlanta, Commanders defensive end Kendall Fuller picked off QB Marcus Mariota in the end zone. There was less than a minute in the game, and that interception ensured that Washington would hang on for a 19-13 win.

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Heinicke has been able to turn the Commanders around since taking over for the injured Carson Wentz. He has now collected his fifth win in seven games, helping Washington improve to 7-5.

Both teams relied heavily on the ground game, with the Commanders’ accumulating 176 rushing yards. However, Washington used its receivers to cap off its drives and put the points on the board.

Rookie running back Brian Robinson Jr. had 18 rushes for 105 yards, his best achievement so far. He is proving to be a valuable Washington investment, and is a player to watch for years to come.

Robinson was responsible for one of the two Washington TDs yesterday. Tight end John Bates picked up the other off a solid Heinicke pass that culminated in a 16-yard run into the end zone.

The Falcons carried the ball 29 times, switching things up constantly among five different running backs. Despite averaging more yards per play, Atlanta couldn’t move the chains efficiently and struggled the entire second half.

It’s now time for the Falcons to regroup. The Commanders are eyeing the postseason, but the Falcons are going to have to start thinking about making some changes in order to get on track next year.

The Commanders had the backing of the sportsbooks for the win and they didn’t disappoint. Under bettors liked the outcome, as the total fell well short of expectations.

Eagles On Top

The Philadelphia Eagles are now 10-1, the only team in the league to reach the mark. They took down the Green Bay Packers 40-33 in a game that had both sides battling from the start.

QB Jalen Hurts threw for 153 yards and two TDs for the Eagles. He was the team’s leading rusher with 157 yards, 14 more than running back Miles Sanders, and avoided turning over the ball the entire game.

The same can’t be said for the Packers. QB Aaron Rodgers threw for 140 yards and two TDs, but also had two interceptions. That wasn’t the worst of it, though, as a sack in the third quarter forced him out of the game in the fourth.

Jordan Love came in for Rodgers and got the Pack to within firing range. He had 113 yards and one TD, but it was too little too late. The Packers had a chance to tie the game, but the Eagles was relentless and kept them away.

Philadelphia had 363 rushing yards, their most in a single game since 1948. With the 153 yards Hurts picked up, he became the Eagles’ record-holder for a QB with the most rushing yards in a game. That record was previously held by Michael Vick, who had 130.

The Packers gave a solid performance and the way Rodgers was able to play injured shows his power. He helped push the game total over 70 points, one of the few times that has happened this season.

Green Bay’s season is practically over; the odds of a playoff appearance are virtually nil. The Eagles are ready, but they still have a couple of tough games. They take on the -7-4 Tennessee Titans next week, coming in as underdogs despite the Titans losing to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.

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