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Commanders outlast Falcons 19-13 for third straight win

Mike Florio defends his power rankings to Chris Simms, from the Chiefs securing the top spot on the list, to why the 7-3 Titans are No. 12, to the Vikings plummeting and more.

Every team in the NFC East has at least seven wins this season.

The Commanders became the latest of the division’s teams to reach that mark when the beat the Falcons 19-13 on Sunday. The win moved their record to 7-5 and they have a chance to move ahead of the Giants with a road win in Week 13.

Washington was able to hold on for the win thanks to a big play by defensive tackle Daron Payne and a special teams blunder by the Falcons. The Falcons had the ball inside the Washington 5-yard-line with less than two minutes to play, but Payne batted a Marcus Mariota pass into the air and cornerback Kendall Fuller snagged it for an interception in the end zone.

The Falcons still had all three timeouts and forced a three-and-out on the ensuing drive, but linebacker Adetokunbo Ogundeji ran into Commanders punter Tress Way to give Washington a first down that they used to run out the clock.

Sunday’s win was the third in a row for the Commanders and their sixth in their last seven games. It’s the fifth in six games with Taylor Heinicke at quarterback and he threw a pair of touchdowns to help the cause on Sunday. The Commanders’ real offensive motor was on the ground, however.

Brian Robinson ran 18 times for 105 yards and the Commanders churned up 176 yards on the ground on a wet day at FedEx Field. Robinson also caught a 14-yard touchdown and Terry McLaurin chipped in with four catches for 48 yards.

The Falcons also had success on the ground as they picked up 167 yards running the football, but the Commanders’ success running the ball meant they possessed the ball for 20 of the 30 minutes in the second half of the game. That made two second half three-and-outs as crucial to the loss as Mariota’s interception and the penalty on the punt.

Atlanta is now 5-7 and they will host the Steelers next Sunday.