2022 Week 11 Game Recap: Commanders 23, Texans 10 (By Ross Jacobs)
Raise your hand if you've heard me rant about offensive lines before. I know I sound like a broken record at this point, but it happens on a weekly basis. This game wasn't even close right from the start, and it's painfully obvious what the major difference is between these two teams and why Houston got mauled. Their offensive line was awful. They obviously haven't been good this year, but I haven't seen it this bad until now. Maybe it was just a bad day. Maybe the Washington defensive line is starting to hit their stride. But whatever the reason Houston couldn't protect Mills at all and the result was 5 sacks, 9 tfls, 9 qb hits and an easy win.
Mills threw a pick 6 on Houston's first drive and it was just downhill from there. Houston got in a hole and Washington started teeing off. Things might have gone differently if Jalen Pitre had caught either of the two easy interceptions that hit him in the hands, but he didn't.
Washington is smoking hot. They've now won 5 of their last 6, the defense is coming on (they haven't allowed more than 21 points in their last 7 games), and the next 3 games are very winnable (Atlanta and 2x NYG). They could very well be 9-5 coming into the home stretch with a game against Cleveland (already a bad team and who knows how Watson will be playing) and Dallas. They already split the series with Philly, so this division really is going to come down to the wire. As bad as all these teams were last year, they are all among the best 8 teams in the NFC this year. Shocking.
Houston...what else is there to say? Coming into the year I was in the camp that they were going to struggle because they just don't have the talent to hang in games yet. There's stuff to like but this team is just bad, plain and simple. With some more good additions next off-season maybe they turn into a version of 2022 Detroit or Atlanta. It could happen. But this year is a sunk ship. Maybe they win 2 more games? I guess it could happen. 1-2 is most likely. I'm sure they'll be fired up to play Watson at home in two weeks.
Odds are Houston will have the top pick in the 2023 draft and I pray they do not spend it on a QB because Mills is very likely better than anyone in this draft (I reserve the right to change my mind later), and this team has so many other needs...a QB isn't going to magically make this situation better. Mills isn't the problem. The offensive line needs an overhaul. They need some real receivers. The defense needs help all over the place. The only thing they don't need other than quarterback is RB.
Hopefully they can trade the pick to some sucker moving up for CJ Stroud, but if they can't move out then they should just take the best defensive player available or an elite tackle if one is worth it. Looking at the current draft order, there are only 3 teams I see that could potentially be looking to take a QB high, Houston, Carolina at #2, and possibly the Raiders but they would have to cut Derek Carr by February 15th (possible but unlikely I would think) or trade him by the draft (more likely). Most of the teams that “need” a QB, according to the media, are drafting much later (Ind, Was, Det, Atl, NYJ, NYG). So if Houston correctly avoids drafting a QB, they move down 1-3 spots and can still pick up an elite player plus more draft picks, but if they stay put I'd put my money on the choice being Will Anderson and if Carolina is the most likely trade partner then Houston gets their choice at #2 and it's still likely Anderson.
Yes, RC, I'm starting the draft talk early because this team sucks and the most interesting thing about them is who their new players will be in 2023. Sue me.
*RC NOTE: It’s almost draft season…about 6 more weeks!
Fantasy Player Notes:
– I had Brian Robinson as one of my favorite DFS options on the week and that was a colossal bust. I have no clue why Washington suddenly decided to go with a heavy dose of Antonio Gibson when Robinson has been the clear lead for weeks, but that's NFL coaching for you. Things don't have to make sense.
The worst part is that neither guy did a whole lot for fantasy despite playing against the league's worst run defense. That ought to tell you how this situation should be handled moving forward. There's no telling which guy might get the lead in a particular week and the Washington o-line isn't opening up many holes anyways. Gibson is flex worthy because he gets the passing game work, but Robinson probably needs to be on your bench unless Gibson gets hurt.
– Curtis Samuel saved his fantasy day with a short TD run which is exactly what I've been warning about with him. He's just a gadget player now, not a real part of the offense. He needs a short TD to be worth starting and you can't count on that most weeks.
– Dameon Pierce had his worst day by far. Houston got in a quick deficit and were getting mauled by the Washington front seven. I'm assuming things won't be this bad in the future but it is something to monitor. He's been a solid RB2 all year and I don't think that changes because of one bad game.
– You don't want anything to do with either of these passing games unless you can help it. Terry McLaurin is the only steady thing in Washington, a nice WR2, and Houston is just a mess. Nico Collins is just ok but is hurt by the return of Brandin Cooks. Mills can't get the ball to anyone though because he just doesn't have time to throw and the only time anyone gets open is when Cooks is matched up with a linebacker on a crossing route. Avoid unless you're very desperate.
– Logan Thomas had his best game of the year but going against the Houston linebackers likely was a big part of it. Keep an eye on him as a streaming option but I don't see any particular reason to assume this is a big trend to jump on.
– Johnathan Owens started off the season on fire but dipped down for a few weeks there. He seems to be back now. He's got 10+ tackles in each of his last 3 games and 4 of his last 5 (only down game he left vs TEN).
Snap Counts of Interest:
49 = McLaurin
45 = Dotson
41 = Samuel
46 = Thomas
46 = Gibson
23 = Robinson
48 = Collins
45 = Cooks
33 = Moore
43 = Pierce
37 = Quitoriano
26 = Akins
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