In a match where the two teams will have run a lot, it is the locals who will have had the last word.
Washington Commanders (7-5) – Atlanta Falcons (5-7): 16-10
In the absence of a show, the two teams will have at least offered us some suspense. Never has a team had a lead of more than six points in this match. Certainly hampered by the rain, but also by the quality of their quarterbacks, the two franchises mainly played on the ground, as evidenced by the 66 runs offered against the 48 passes attempted.
Without being brilliant, Taylor Heinicke (14/23, 138 yards, 2TDs, 1int) continues to win. Since he resumed his starting position, the quarterback is at 5 wins for 1 defeat. For his part, Marcus Mariota (15/25, 174 yards, 1TD, 1int; 6 races, 49 yards) was clean, but cost the match to his team on an unfortunate interception.
Two very close teams
The start of the Falcons game shows the lack of confidence in Mariota. Simple passes, low risk and a lot of ground games, Atlanta does not prioritize the arm of its quarterback to advance.
Yet it is thanks to the latter that the visitors will score their only touchdown in this first half. Manhandled on a possession slowed down by a penalty, Mariota will first find Drake London, before concluding thanks to MyCole Pruitt.
For their part, the Commanders seemed very well on their way to unfold in attack. Terry McLaurin maintains the Heinicke illusion which finds Brian Robinson Jr (18 carries, 105 yards; 2 receptions 20 yards, 1TD) for a touchdown on their first possession of the game. Behind, Washington is deprived of the ball by the opposing ground game, and must settle for a field goal to return to the locker room with a score of parity, 10-10.
They would have done better to continue on the ground
— DNA of Sports.com – NFL News 🏈 (@DNA of Sports) November 27, 2022
The second half is similar to the first. Both teams are dependent on their runners to advance and in this game, the Commanders are doing the best. A possession of 11 games which only progresses on the ground and which ends with… a reception from John Bates in the endzone. The extra point is missed but Washington takes a 6-point lead, 16-10.
An exchange of punts and field goals later and the gap is maintained at +6 for the locals. Back to the wall five minutes from the end of the match, Atlanta lets the arm of his quarterback speak again and it works. Mariota finds Olamide Zaccheaus for a gain of 45 yards. The Falcons approach the endzone, Mariota tries to conclude but his deflected pass is intercepted by Kendall Fullers.
With 50 seconds to play and three time-outs, the Atlanta defense will seek the 3&out before the special team finally bury the hopes of the visitors. A hit on the punter gives possession and therefore the game to Washington.
This new defeat does not yet condemn the hopes of playoffs for the Falcons, but it will be necessary to seek the division to hope to go there. For Washington, fourth in the NFC East, despite a 7-5 record, nothing is lost. The double confrontation against the Giants as well as the trip to San Francisco will be decisive.