The Washington Commanders continued their winning ways on Sunday afternoon with a convincing win over the Houston Texans. With a 6-5 record, they are firmly in the playoff picture with six games remaining.
The Commanders won their second straight game and have prevailed in five of their last six contests. As a result, the Burgundy and Gold are serving notice that they will be a factor for the rest of this season. Defense dominated the day and the offense did enough to provide the Commanders with a 23-10 margin over the hapless Texans.
Welcome to this week’s edition of the five positives and we have plenty to talk about. As always, we’ll hand out grades to the coaches and players, award four game balls, and give you a prediction for the next game. We have a change this week – the positives (and negatives) will now be more general in nature and not always about a specific player. Let’s take a look at the Texans game!
Five positives for the Commanders
1. The first positive is easy to decipher – the defensive line. Let’s look at some reasons why. A quarterback rating of 46.1. Twenty-one yards rushing. One pass was batted down. Five sacks. Sixteen tackles. Four tackles for a loss of yards. James Smith-Williams, Efe Obada, Montez Sweat, John Ridgeway, Daron Payne, Casey Toohill, and Jonathan Allen combined to dominate Houston’s offense.
2. The tight ends are our second positive from Sunday’s game and it is nice to see them on this list. The leading receiver from the Texans game was Logan Thomas with five receptions for sixty-five yards. However, it was the superb blocking from Thomas, John Bates, and Cole Turner that helped to fuel an attack that produced nearly 200 yards passing and more than 150 yards rushing.
3. The coaches deserve plenty of credit for a superb game plan on Sunday. Defensive domination. The offense did enough to maintain a comfortable lead. The special teams play was solid. This was a fun game to watch for Commanders fans and they are easily the third positive from Sunday’s game.
4. The defensive secondary deserves all kinds of praise for their efforts against the Texans. Houston’s passing offense was anemic and Kendall Fuller, Benjamin St-Juste, Bobby McCain, Kamren Curl, Darrick Forrest, and Danny Johnson frustrated the home team for much of the afternoon on Sunday. This group is our fourth positive.
5. The rushing attack was a major factor in the Monday night game against the Eagles and it was a force once again in Sunday’s game. Antonio Gibson and Brian Robinson churned out 160 yards of total offense and several players rushed for another 24 yards and a touchdown. There is your fifth positive for the week.
Grades for Commanders vs. Houston
- Quarterbacks – Grade: B-
- Running Backs – Grade: A
- Tight Ends – Grade: B
- Wide Receivers – Grade: B+
- Offensive Line – Grade: B+
- Defensive Line – Grade: A+
- Linebackers – Grade: B
- Cornerbacks – Grade: A
- Safeties – Grade: A
- Special Teams – Grade: A
- Coaches – Grade: A
Awarding four game balls to deserving Commanders
- The first game ball is awarded to Kendall Fuller. On the Texans first offensive play, Fuller tackled a receiver for no gain. On the next play, Fuller jumped a route just inside the blue line and returned the interception for a thirty-seven yard touchdown – the first pick-six of his career. The Commanders never trailed in the game.
- The second game ball is given to defensive tackle Jonathan Allen. With two sacks on Sunday, one of the NFL’s best interior defensive linemen pushed his season total to 6.5. Allen feasted on the ineffectiveness of Texans left guard Kenyon Green throughout the game.
- We award the third game ball to safety Darrick Forrest. Did anyone have the second year player out of the University of Cincinnati as a breakout star in his second season? Forrest intercepted a forty-five yard tipped pass in dramatic fashion and inside the Commanders five yard line. It was his third interception of the season. With six games remaining, can Forrest double that number?
- Our fourth game ball is proudly given to defensive end Montez Sweat. With two sacks against the Texans, the former Mississippi State star now has six on the season. He was in the offensive backfield often in Sunday’s game and having ten or more sacks on the season is possible in the coming weeks.
- Honorable Mention – Brian Robinson, Taylor Heinicke, Daron Payne, Joey Slye, Casey Toohill, and Antonio Gibson.
Commanders Next Game Prediction, Final Thoughts
The Commanders will return to FedEx Field on Sunday after two road victories to take on the Atlanta Falcons. Will it be three in a row?
Commanders 19 Falcons 17
KJ Record: 5-6
- Joey Slye is now 16–18 on field goals this season. He is becoming one of the best kickers in the league.
- Chase Young is likely to be activated this week, but it could still be two or three weeks until he will play.
- Ryan Kerrigan’s coaching has not gone unnoticed.
We’ll return after the Falcons game. See you as we go along.