By: James Brown
Headline Photo Credit: Brad Mills-USA Today
The Washington Commanders faced off against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. Today marked the 15th anniversary of the tragic loss of former Washington standout Safety Sean Taylor. In Taylor’s memory, the team unveiled their new Memorial today at the stadium. Many former players and teammates of Taylor were in attendance today to pay homage to Taylor’s family and his legacy.
The Falcons come into this game at 5-6 and were looking to keep pace or catch the lead of NFC South division rival Buccaneers while the Commanders at 6-5 were looking to stay on track and keep pace in the NFC East. Today’s contest also gave Washington head coach Ron Rivera a shot at winning his 100th game. With so much on the line, both teams took to the field seeking the much-needed win.
The Washington Commanders eventually got the 19-13 win over the Atlanta Falcons. Stopping the Falcons’ last-ditch efforts of a comeback and sealing the win with an interception of Marcus Mariota by veteran Washington CB Kendall Fuller. The ending seemed somewhat poetic as the defense finished off the game for the Commanders and got the win on the day the Team, Organization, and Fans paid homage to Sean Taylor. The ending also seemed fitting as coach Ron Rivera is known for his defensive prowess and picked up his 100th career win as a head coach.
Commanders QB Taylor Heinicke was 14-23 for 138 yards, 2 touchdowns, and an interception. Taylor was able to carve up the Falcons’ weak zone defense for most of the game. His only blemish was the thrown interception before the half. The Commanders also got a huge spark today from standout rookie RB Brian Robinson Jr who make his presence known on the field today. Robinson tallied 105 yards on the ground off 18 carries he also added 2 catches for 20 yards and a score in the passing game bowling over Falcon defenders on his way to the endzone.
On the opposite side, Falcons QB Marcus Mariota was 15 of 25 for 174 yards a touchdown, and a late costly interception off a tipped pass. Mariota also accounted for 49 of the Falcons’ 167 rushing yards on the day. The Falcons have done most of their damage this season in the ground game. Rookie RB Tyler Allgeier accounted for 54 yards on the ground while fellow RB Cordarrelle Patterson had 52 yards.
In the end, the Falcons were simply not able to make enough plays to overcome the swarming Commanders’ defense in the second half. The loss drops the Falcons to 5-7 and still on the outside looking in for a chance at winning their division and making the playoffs. This Commanders’ win and a loss for the Seahawks today have the Commanders in the 7th and final playoff spot and in control of their destiny moving forward. The Falcons will look to rebound at home next week against the Pittsburgh Steelers while the Commanders will look to hit the road and continue their winning ways against division opponent New York Giants.