The Washington Commanders made it six wins in their last seven games by conquering the Atlanta Falcons at FedExField yesterday. Here are three numbers to know from the win:
With the Week 12 result, the Commanders accomplished a feat no Washington team has been able to achieve since 2005 by recording two separate winning streaks of three or more games in the same season. After starting the season 1-4, the Commanders have gone on to compile a 6-1 record since Week 6, the best in the league over that span.
The front half of that run featured three wins against the Bears, Packers and Colts. The Vikings loss threatened to perhaps de-rail the positive energy in November, but the Commanders did a great job of re-grouping and building on what they had worked on to collect three wins once again over the Eagles, Texans and Falcons.
Head coach Ron Rivera, who notched his 100th career win with yesterday's victory, points to hard work, grit and coming together as a team for the performances since mid-October. The Commanders have shown what they can do when they believe, and there is no reason to believe they cannot extend this second streak with how they are currently playing.
"Very proud of them just because the biggest thing that they've gotten to where they are right now is because they believe in what they can do," Rivera said. "They're a good group of young men...They work hard, they rally around each other. They found a common bond and a common thread and that's doing their job and being successful and winning and they understand because it feels good, and they know they're more than capable."
There can be perfectly clear blue skies on a gameday, and the Commanders will look to their talented running backs to make plays. Rainy day weather where the football can be slippery makes it perhaps even more likely that Washington's backs will see the ball a lot.
And that is just what happened with showers at FedExField yesterday. Washington rushed a total of 37 times for 176 yards. Brian Robinson Jr. accounted for 18 of those runs and 105 yards. In a performance Rivera called "outstanding," the rookie running eclipsed 100 yards for the first time in his career and became the first rookie to rush for 100 yards in a game since Antonio Gibson did so on Thanksgiving at Dallas in 2020.
As the other member of the duo the Commanders have worked to implement in a see-saw fashion, Gibson also ground down the Falcons defense with both his rushing and receiving. He finished with a total of 54 yards on nine rushing attempts and three catches.
Following the win, Rivera praised Robinson, Gibson and the other Commanders running backs for how they have stepped up to be game changers for the team.
"I love the whole running back group as a whole, from what we were getting from Antonio as a change of pace and then Antonio also catching the ball in space... And then Jonathan Williams getting back into some of the action," Rivera said. "That combination of guys is really giving us a little bit of a spark as far as being able to run the ball."
Once again, the Commanders front was instrumental in guiding Washington to victory. Montez Sweat was disruptive all afternoon, teaming up with his fellow defenders to snuff out threats posed by the Falcons offense.
His biggest play in the contest came with 8:30 to go and on Atlanta's first drive of the fourth quarter. Down by six and itching to get into Washington territory, Falcons quarterback Marcus Mariota was searching for options to pick up yards before Sweat wrapped his arms around the signal caller and slammed him on the grass.
The sack for a nine-yard loss brought up third-and-23 for the Falcons, which eventually forced them to punt. The quarterback hit was Sweat's 7.0 sack this season and his 28.0 of his career. It also saw him pass 2-time Super Bowl champion Darryl Grant on the franchise's all-time sack list.