Heinicke, defensive leader commanders over Texans 23-10

HOUSTON — – Taylor Heinicke threw for 191 yards, Kendall Fuller returned an interception for a touchdown, and the Washington commanders rolled to a 23-10 victory over the unfortunate Houston Texans On Sunday.

Heinicke, who started a fifth game in a row for the injured Carson Wentzput in another solid performance to help the Commanders (6-5) build on last week’s win over Philadelphia and win their fifth of six.

Davis Mills threw two interceptions and Houston came up with a season-low 148 yards offense as the Texans (1-8-1) lost their fifth straight loss and remained the NFL’s only one-win team.

Washington led 20-0 at halftime Fuller’s Pick-6, a passing TD Curtis Samuel and a historically poor first half from Houston’s offense.

The Texans were hit 246-5 in the first half, their fewest net yards in half franchise history, surpassing the 8 they managed in the first half of a 40-0 loss to the Bills last season had.

It was the fewest yards by a team in a half since the Raiders went down 12 in a win over the Broncos in 2015, a terrible feat even by that struggling team’s standards. Mills had a minus 1-yard pass in the first half as he was sacked three times before the break.

The commanders scored just one field goal after halftime, but their dominant first half was plentiful.

The crowd was so full of Commanders fans that chants of “defense, defense” could be heard on some properties when Houston had the ball. The only reactions from Texas fans were boos, aside from the cheers that came when World Series Champion Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman was shown on the big screens in the first half.

Montez sweat and Jonathan Allen had two sacks apiece and combined six quarterback hits to lead a Washington defense that rushed and harassed Mills all day.

Houston freshman Dameon PierceEntering the game in fifth place in the NFL with 772 yards rushing, he had 10 carries for a season-low 8 yards.

The commanders took an early lead when Fuller stepped in front of a intended pass Brandin Cooksgrabbed the ball and returned it 37 yards into the end zone on Houston’s second offensive play.

Washington made it 14-0, as Samuel scored on a 10-yard run beginning of the second quarter.

The Texans finally found some offense on their first drive in the third quarter when Cooks caught a 41-yard reception. Mills crawled for 4 yards on fourth and 3 from 15 to keep that drive going.

Beginner John Ridgeway received an unnecessary roughness penalty for flipping Pierce upside down and knocking him down after a run in the next game to give Houston a first down on the 5. But the Texans couldn’t do anything after that and settled for a field goal to make it 20-3 after Mills was released in third.

Mills’ second interception came in the fourth quarter, when Benjamin St-Juste made a dive catch with a long throw to hand the ball to Washington with his 3.

Mills dug up for a 4-yard touchdown with about three minutes left to cut the lead to 23-10.

INJURIES

Commanders: Earlier this week there was a possibility that DE Chase Young, who has been out for more than a year since tearing the cruciate ligament in his right knee, could be back. But he stayed out on Sunday. … St-Juste left in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury.

Texans: CB Derek Stingley, the third overall pick in this year’s draft, missed the game with a hamstring injury.

PAY TRIBUTE

Washington coach Ron Rivera and TE Logan Thomas wore Virginia T-shirts before the game to pay tribute to three school football players who were shot dead last weekend while returning from a field trip. Rivera wore his shirt on the field during pregame warm-ups and Thomas donned his when he arrived at the stadium to honor Lavel Davis Jr., D’Sean Perry and Devin Chandler.

NEXT

Commanders: Host Atlanta next Sunday.

Texans: Visit Miami next Sunday.

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