Commanders cruise to double-digit win over Texans and show maturity in doing so

Commanders show maturity in smooth win over Texans originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Following their upset of the previously undefeated Eagles on Monday night, it was natural to wonder if the Commanders would turn around and take the sluggish Texans lightly on Sunday, even though members of the team spent all week promising that they wouldn't.

Then Kendall Fuller intercepted Davis Mills on the second snap of the Week 11 contest at NRG Stadium and all those worries about a letdown were forgotten.

In Washington's 23-10 victory over Houston, Ron Rivera's side established that it was the superior squad from the outset and maintained that momentum for the bulk of the afternoon. In doing so, the group stacked a second win on top of the one it notched in Philadelphia and has now captured four out of the last five.

What went well versus the Texans? The better question would be: Was there anything that didn't go well?

After Fuller ruined the beginning of Mills' appearance, the Commanders' defensive line took it from there. Montez Sweat and Jonathan Allen both logged two sacks, while Daron Payne chipped in with one of his own. It's a deep front that'll hopefully get Chase Young back soon, and the overall defense has been in a serious groove for more than a month.

Mills' bunch, which featured the league's fifth-leading rusher in Dameon Pierce, mustered just five net yards in the first half. Jack Del Rio's got his guys locked in.

On offense, meanwhile, the operation was breezy even if it wasn't explosive. Taylor Heinicke went interception-less for the first time this year, Washington crushed in the time-of-possession battle and Curtis Samuel found the end zone on a jet sweep. Then there was the work done by Logan Thomas; the tight end hauled in five balls for 65 yards in a promising sign for his post-torn ACL health.

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And on specials, Joey Slye knocked in three more field goals, bringing his total to seven in the past two matchups.

Houston, of course, contributed to the vast difference in scoring. The top overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft will likely to belong to that franchise shortly, and that's a selection that'll be earned by way of a horrific record.

As for Taylor Heinicke, the positive result for the Commanders means he ought to remain under center for next Sunday's meeting with the Falcons. That said, Heinicke was uneven — he finished 15-of-27 for 191 yards — and more of a bystander in the triumph than a true participant.

Despite those points, the fact of the matter is that Rivera tasked his players with asserting themselves against a slumping opponent and, for the most part, that's precisely what they did. It was a mature effort and indicative that Rivera has the full attention of his roster.

And should Washington continue to handle its business, it'll undoubtedly gain the attention of those in the NFC playoff race.