Commanders outrun Falcons, intercept Mariota in 19-13 win

Washington Commanders cornerback Kendall Fuller (29) makes an interception against Atlanta...
Washington Commanders cornerback Kendall Fuller (29) makes an interception against Atlanta Falcons running back Cordarrelle Patterson (84) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, in Landover, Md. Washington won the game 13-19.((AP Photo/Alex Brandon))
Published: Nov. 27, 2022 at 5:51 PM EST
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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.