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Commanders vs. Texans Notebook: 3 Observations From Washington's 23-10 Win

The Washington Commanders' running game and defense were pivotal against the Houston Texans.

The Washington Commanders are back over .500.

Washington had its most dominant win of the season as they rolled past the Houston Texans 23-10. With the win, the Commanders improved to 6-5 and have won five out of their last six games. Washington is now over .500 for the first time since Week 1.

Here is what led Washington to its win over the Texans and what potentially lies ahead ...

Stout Defense

Just over a minute into the game, Kendall Fuller got a pick-six to put Washington up 7-0. That set the tone for a dominant defensive performance from the Commanders. Darrick Forrest also had an interception late in the fourth quarter.

The Commanders held the Texans to -1 passing yards, and they could only muster six total yards in the first half.

The Texans had 148 total yards, and the team’s leading rusher, Dameon Pierce, only had eight yards rushing.

Washington also had Mills under constant duress and got sacked five times. Houston’s lone touchdown came with 3:19 left in the game.

With the impending return of Chase Young, Washington’s defense is more than capable of carrying the team down the stretch.

Leaning on the run game

The running game and time of possession are pivotal for the Commanders if they want to sustain their success. Washington controlled both against Houston as they ran for 191 yards and had the ball for 34 minutes and 56 seconds.

It wasn’t just the usual suspects on the ground for Washington. Six different players had a carry, and Curtis Samuel had the lone rushing touchdown of the game.

While Taylor Heinicke has performed well, Washington will go as far as its running game will take them.

Wild Card?

Heading into Sunday, the Commanders were just a half-game out of a wild card spot in NFC after winning four out of five games. Along with the win over Houston, the New York Giants, who were the fifth seed, lost 31-18 to the Detroit Lions.

Washington can control its own destiny on Dec. 4 and Dec. 18 when they face New York. Splitting the two games or winning both may be the determining factor in the Commanders securing a playoff spot. 

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