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Daily Slop: Taylor Heinicke and the scrappy Commanders are building confidence; Falcons’ Kyle Pitts placed on IR

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Washington Commanders v Houston Texans Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images
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New QB1 Taylor Heinicke and the scrappy Commanders are building confidence

“My message is there’s a solid young football team that’s kind of finding their way,” Rivera said. “They’re scrappy, they’re tough, they’re underdogs. They’re guys that are striving to be the best.”

5 takeaways from Washington’s win over Houston

The defensive line as a whole was exceptional against the Texans, but Payne and Allen seemed nearly unstoppable at times against a Texans interior offensive line that has struggled all season.

LOVERRO: Rivera’s coaching shakeup now looks like the right move

Given the dominant performance of this defensive line, propelling this team to its run of success of late, my money is on the day Rivera announced he was firing Sam Mills III and replacing him with assistant defensive line coach Jeff Zgonina.

Commanders will activate defensive end Young to 53-man roster

“We will work him with the intent if he’s ready to play he’ll play,” Rivera said. “If not, we’ll wait another week.”

Falcons’ Kyle Pitts placed on IR; surgery likely, per source

SNIDER: Can chemistry and belief lift Commanders from good to great?

There is no clear explanation of why Heinicke works so well and is beloved by teammates and fans in an age when the Tom Bradys, Josh Allens, Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers thrill fans with 300-plus yard games.

How the Commanders saved their season by not panicking after slow start - Sports Illustrated
Ron Rivera installed Taylor Heinicke as his starting QB and stayed the course everywhere else despite a 1–4 start. Now his team is in playoff contention. Plus, big moves by the Cowboys and Eagles pay off.

Commanders D-line is counting on Chase Young to stand out by fitting in - The Washington Post
The Commanders' defensive line — cohesive, exuberant and among the NFL's best — starkly contrasts with the one Young left behind last fall.