This Washington defense is really beginning to live up to the hype!
On a perfect day INSIDE in Houston, The Commanders set the tone early on defense, and carried it through to the final whistle. Del Rio’s unit held the Texans to just 148 total yards and forced two interceptions. It’s pretty obvious that this team won’t being winning any shootouts, but this brand of old-school, throwback football is working!
For the first time in a LONG time, Washington has a winning record in the second half of the season!
Below are my Studs and Duds of the game, followed by some Notes and Players of the Game.
Kendall Fuller - Fuller has been playing very good football lately. He started the season off slowly but has since caught fire. His pick six early in the first quarter, right after he made a nice tackle in the flat the play before for no gain, set the tone for the afternoon. He was in good coverage all afternoon and made sure tackles in the open-field.
Montez Sweat - Sweat was a menace all afternoon against the Texans offensive front, racking up three tackles and 2.5 sacks. He tallied six pressures on the afternoon. His motor is constantly going, and it showed again Sunday.
Back-2-back sacks. This time it’s Sweat!!! pic.twitter.com/9vSYMd5X2Q— Mark Tyler(Hogs Haven) (@Tiller56) November 20, 2022
Jonathan Allen - Allen continued his All-Pro season Sunday, collecting three tackles (all for a loss), 1.5 sacks, and just dominating everyone he lines up against. Poor Kenyon Green...
My GOODNESS Jon Allen!!! Absolutely abuses the Guard pic.twitter.com/us2jhB0uVx— Mark Tyler(Hogs Haven) (@Tiller56) November 20, 2022
Darrick Forrest - The second-year safety has really been showing out the last three games. For the second game in a row, he hauled in a beautiful interception. He collected four tackles, had a pass defended and the interception on the afternoon.
Kam Curl - Curl continues to fly under the radar, however the versatile hybrid defender is the glue that keep the back end together and the voice of the defense. Curl was solid yet again, leading the team in tackles with seven, defending a pass and calling the defense.
Daron Payne - Payne often gets overshadowed by his running-mate Jon Allen, but his presence does not go unnoticed. He had three tackles, one sack, two stuffs and a batted down pass on the afternoon.
Payne with the sack! Way too easy!— Mark Tyler(Hogs Haven) (@Tiller56) November 20, 2022
Green getting absolutely abused! pic.twitter.com/wx6V9Jjqzj
Jack Del Rio - Del Rio really has this defense firing on all cylinders - and he’s doing this while missing a key pass rusher and his MIKE linebacker. Washington held the Texans to 148 total yards and 10 points.
John Ridgeway - This “really” shouldn’t have put him as a dud on the afternoon, however this is the second week he’s had a dumb personal foul penalty. Apparently, he thought yesterday’s game was in the ring as part of the WWF. I don’t follow “fake wrestling” but the move he pulled on Pierce was not only dangerous and has no place in the game, but looked like something Bobby Boucher did in The Waterboy.
OMG!!! Ridgeway with the Suplex…like legit Wrestling suplex move here.— Mark Tyler(Hogs Haven) (@Tiller56) November 20, 2022
No place in the game for this! pic.twitter.com/lcWxphNQLn
Jon Bostic - I know this is being extremely critical, however Bostic in coverage is one of my greatest nightmares. Cole Holcomb can’t get back soon enough.
Jon Bostic in coverage ♂️ ♂️ ♂️ pic.twitter.com/ELYgBkny5u— Mark Tyler(Hogs Haven) (@Tiller56) November 20, 2022
- The Commanders offensive line, which has been a rotating unit of dung for most of the first half of the year, really stepped up in both pass protection (zero sacks allowed) and rushing (153 total yards). It was a collectively good performance.
- Logan Thomas finally broke out for the first time all season, hauling in five receptions for 65 yards and showed well blocking.
- For the first time in a few games Benjamin St-Juste didn’t commit a defensive penalty. He had a pass defended deep down the left sideline (which he played perfectly) that Forrest intercepted.
- Bobby McCain continues to play well in the slot. He looks SO much better there than as a deep safety.
- The combo of Antonio Gibson and Brian Robinson Jr. rushed for 129 yards on 33 carries. Nothing WOWED you, but they grinded out the tough yards when needed. Gibby also chipped in three receptions for 31 yards and had 48 yards in kick returns.
- Both Casey Toohill and James Smith-Williams flashed against the Texans. They combined for five tackles, three for a loss and four pressures.
- Joey Slye was perfect on the afternoon, hitting all three of his field goals and both extra points.
- Scott Turner continues to call a good game for Heinicke and this offense. Washington had 38 designed rushing attempts versus just 27 passing attempts and controlled time of possession by a 34:56 to 25:04 margin. I LOVE all the 12 personnel he’s using!
Players of the Game:
Offense: Commanders offensive line
Defense: Kendall Fuller