LANDOVER, Md. (AP) — Taylor Heinicke threw for two touchdown passes in a run-heavy game in the rain, Kendall Fuller intercepted Marcus Mariota in the end zone with 58 seconds left and the Washington Commanders beat the Atlanta Falcons 19-13 Sunday for their sixth win in seven games.
Playing to each team’s strength on offense regardless of the weather, the Commanders and Falcons were content to keep the ball on the ground and take some shots throwing it.
Washington ran 37 times for 176 yards to Atlanta’s 29 for 167 — using five different ball carriers.
No one got it more for the Commanders (7-5) than rookie Brian Robinson Jr, who ran 18 times for a career-high 105 yards and averaged 5.8 yards an attempt. He also caught Heinicke’s first TD pass, getting into the end zone on a 14-yard play by bulldozing cornerback Darren Hall.
Heinicke also found tight end John Bates in the end zone for a 16-yard TD and finished 14 of 23 for 138 yards with an interception. Daron Payne tipped Mariota’s pass on Fuller’s pick, and Atlanta’s Ade Ogundeji ran into Commanders punter Tress Way with 32 seconds left to send Washington to its best record through 12 games since 2008.
While the Commanders bolstered their hopes of earning an NFC wild-card playoff spot, Atlanta (5-7) has now lost three of four despite surpassing 100 yards on the ground for the 10th consecutive game.
Mariota was 15 of 25 for 174 yards and a 4-yard TD pass to MyCole Pruitt — Kyle Pitts’ replacement after the star tight end landed on injured reserve. Rookie Tyler Allgeier was the Falcons leading rusher with 54 yards.
Fifteen years since his death, Washington unveiled a memorial for Sean Taylor on the concourse before the game: a glass-enclosed helmet, burgundy jersey, pants and what appeared to be soccer cleats in mannequin form. The team retired his No. 21 last season.
Falcons: OLB Arnold Ebiketie left in the second quarter with a forearm injury. … LG Chuma Edoga was inactive for the 10th time in 12 games, this time with a knee injury. Colby Gossett started in his place.
Commanders: RG Trai Turner left with an ankle injury in the second quarter. … CB Benjamin St-Juste was out with an ankle injury. … DE Chase Young was ruled out several hours before kickoff because of his surgically repaired right knee and illness. Young has yet to play this season.