Taylor Heinicke named starter shifting ahead, leads Commanders to win over Texans


After Taylor Heinicke led the Washington Commanders to yet one more win, coach Ron Rivera made the announcement that had turn out to be inevitable: Heinicke is not the backup to Carson Wentz.

Heinicke threw for 191 yards to enhance to 4-1 as a starter, Kendall Fuller returned an interception for a landing, and the Commanders rolled to a 23-10 win over the hapless Houston Texans on Sunday.

Heinicke, thrust into the beginning position when Wentz fractured a finger, had one other stable efficiency to assist the Commanders (6-5) construct on Monday night time’s victory over beforehand unbeaten Philadelphia. Washington has received 5 of six and is above .500 for the primary time since Week 1.

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Darrick Forrest (22) of the Washington Commanders celebrates an interception with teammates in the fourth quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on Nov. 20, 2022, in Houston.

Darrick Forrest (22) of the Washington Commanders celebrates an interception with teammates within the fourth quarter towards the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on Nov. 20, 2022, in Houston.
(Bob Levey/Getty Photographs)

“We’re going to go along with Taylor, and we’ll work Carson again in and see the place Carson is by way of when he’s able to be the backup,” Rivera stated. “Then, we’ll go from there.”

Requested why he made the choice, Rivera was succinct.

“Profitable,” he stated. “That’s the reality. That’s the place we’re.”

Heinicke was out of soccer two years in the past earlier than Washington signed him as its quarantine quarterback.

“Being a beginning quarterback within the NFL, it’s each child’s dream,” he stated. “It means quite a bit to me. It’s very particular to me. I simply need to preserve this factor rolling.”

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Davis Mills threw two interceptions and Houston mustered a season-low 148 yards of offense because the Texans (1-8-1) misplaced their fifth straight and remained the NFL’s solely one-win group.

“There’s not a complete lot that we’re doing properly,” coach Lovie Smith stated. “We’re constructing. We’re not fairly there but. We’re not soccer group proper now.”

Washington led 20-0 at halftime behind Fuller’s pick-6, a TD run by Curtis Samuel and a traditionally unhealthy first half by Houston’s offense.

Davis Mills (10) of the Houston Texans is sacked against the Washington Commanders at NRG Stadium on Nov. 20, 2022, in Houston.

Davis Mills (10) of the Houston Texans is sacked towards the Washington Commanders at NRG Stadium on Nov. 20, 2022, in Houston.
(Cooper Neill/Getty Photographs)

The Texans have been outgained 246-5 within the first half, their fewest internet yards in a half in franchise historical past. Their earlier worst was eight within the first half of a 40-0 loss to the Payments final season.

It was the fewest yards by a group in a half for the reason that Raiders had minus 12 in a win over the Broncos in 2015. Mills had minus 1-yard passing within the first half as was sacked thrice earlier than the break.

Smith grew to become defensive when peppered with questions on whether or not he is thought-about benching Mills and scoffed on the notion that he’d decide like that instantly after a sport.

“You say it begins with quarterback,” he stated. “However no, it begins up entrance. … And at the moment with that kind of stress, I don’t know what number of quarterbacks might have had success.”

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The Commanders scored solely a area aim after halftime, however their dominant first half was loads.

The group had so many Commanders followers that chants of “protection, protection” could possibly be heard on a few possessions when Houston had the ball. About the one reactions from Texans followers have been boos, aside from the cheers that got here when third baseman Alex Bregman of the World Sequence champion Houston Astros was proven on the large screens within the first half.

Antonio Gibson (24) of the Washington Commanders runs with the ball in the fourth quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on Nov. 20, 2022, in Houston.

Antonio Gibson (24) of the Washington Commanders runs with the ball within the fourth quarter towards the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on Nov. 20, 2022, in Houston.
(Carmen Mandato/Getty Photographs)

Montez Sweat and Jonathan Allen had two sacks apiece and mixed for six quarterback hits to steer a Washington protection that hurried and harassed Mills all day.

“To see your DBs come out robust like that, you understand it’s going to be sport,” Allen stated. “Particularly with a youthful quarterback, for him to throw a pick-6 on the second or third play of the sport, we all know it might have an effect on him slightly bit, in all probability maintain slightly bit longer than he was naturally going to.”

Houston rookie Dameon Pierce, who entered the sport ranked fifth within the NFL with 772 yards speeding, had 10 carries for a season-low eight yards.

The Commanders took an early lead when Fuller stepped in entrance of a cross supposed for Brandin Cooks, grabbed the ball and returned it 37 yards to the tip zone on Houston’s second offensive play.

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Washington made it 14-0 when Samuel scored on a 10-yard run early within the second quarter.

The Texans lastly discovered some offense on their first drive of the third quarter when Cooks grabbed a 41-yard reception. Mills scrambled for 4 yards on 4th-and-3 from the 15 to maintain that drive going.

Taylor Heinicke of the Washington Commanders passes in the third quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on Nov. 20, 2022, in Houston.

Taylor Heinicke of the Washington Commanders passes within the third quarter towards the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on Nov. 20, 2022, in Houston.
(Carmen Mandato/Getty Photographs)

Rookie John Ridgeway bought an pointless roughness penalty for upending Pierce and throwing him to the bottom on the following play to present Houston a primary down on the 5. However the Texans settled for a area aim to make it 20-3 after Mills was sacked on third down.

Mills’ second interception got here within the fourth quarter when Benjamin St-Juste made a diving catch on a protracted throw to present Washington the ball on its 3.

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Mills scrambled for a 4-yard landing with about three minutes left.





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