If a picture’s worth a thousand words, how many is a highlight video worth?
Let’s get to these props and predictions…
Tom Brady: over/under 310 yards passing?
Niko: OVER. If Washington defense with a full deck of cards wouldn’t offer much resistance, a Washington defense with three banged up cornerbacks doesn’t have a prayer. Tom will dictate the pace of this game and have full control throughout.
Pete: There is no doubt that 12 throws OVER 310 yards on Sunday. With defensive backs DeAngelo Hall, Chris Culliver and OLD/DE Ryan Kerrigan all questionable to play, Tom Brady should have a field day against this weak secondary.
Matt: Over. Tom Brady should go off against this Redskin defense. Brandon Lafell will be another game into his return giving TB12 another weapon adding to the Patriots lethal passing attack.
Kirk Cousins: over/under 245 yards passing?
Niko: While undoubtedly limited, Kirk Cousins has had his moments this season. Coming off a 3 touchdown 2nd half and “You Like that!” victory against Tampa, coupled with the return of deep threat DeSean Jackson, I like Cousins to hit the OVER.
Pete: As of late, Cousins has been pretty good. Do I think he should be the starting quarterback? Of course not. There is one Colt McCoy waiting in the wings, but it looks like my Longhorn will never get his day. The Pats offense is coming together, and I think they will hold the struggling Redskins offensively. I will say Cousins is just a tick UNDER.
Matt: Under. I expect the Patriots pass rush to get in Kirk Cousins face for 4 quarters and disrupt the 'Skins passing attack. Chandler Jones should add to his league lead in sacks.
Legarrette Blount: over/under 62 yards rushing?
Niko: The Redskins can be gashed on the ground. Tampa RB Doug Martin had 136 yards rushing last Sunday, and the week before Chris Ivory had 146. Blount goes OVER here in a (somewhat) balanced Patriots attack.
Pete: Is it just me, or has Blount almost completely disappeared? With the sudden emergence of Dion Lewis, who is now getting the majority of reps, and a weak Redskins secondary, I think this is going to be a passing game. UNDER.
Matt: I do not know what has happened to Blount but it seems like he does not run downhill anymore. I feel like I am watching Laurence Maroney dance around in the backfield trying to find a hole rather than running between the tackles carrying players on his back. Under
Dion Lewis: over/under 85 yards from scrimmage?
Niko: This kid has been absolutely spectacular this season. There’s not even a button in Madden that does what Dion can do. I’ll go OVER, with most coming through the air.
Pete: Lewis has been sensational this season. In last Thursday's win against the Dolphins, Lewis went off for 112 total yards from scrimmage, all while being limited with an abdomen injury. I want to say over, but at some point he has to have just an average game. I say that game is Sunday. UNDER.
Matt: Over. With this being a passing game, I see Lewis making several catches for gains of 10 yards or more as the third or fourth option on the field. The Patriots have always been a screen oriented team and I see this trend continuing this week. Over
Matt Jones/Alfred Morris: (combined) over/under 85 yards rushing?
Niko: UNDER. Whether by pace of game, game plan, or O-line struggles, this “dynamic duo” has not put together an effective performance since week 2 vs. St Louis. Belichick/Patricia will effectively take away the run on Sunday.
Pete: I've said it a lot this season, but if any team gets down early to the Patriots, they have to throw the ball to get back into the football game. It's a simple concept, and I think we will see it in full effect come Sunday. Pats are going to start off hot and the 'Skins will have to play catchup. That being said, UNDER.
Matt: Under. This run defense has really started to step up the last few weeks. Malcolm Brown is playing really good football now after looking lost the first few weeks of the season and Dominique Easley has been able to stay healthy after an early hip injury. Also, Hightower and Collins will continue to lead this defense.
Julian Edelman: over/under 6.5 catches, 80 receiving yards?
Niko: OVER on catches, UNDER on yards. Jules will move the chains and get it done; just not sure he breaks a long one.
Pete: Edelman has been right around 6 or 7 catches and 70 or 80 yards in almost every game this season. The Pats will try to air the ball out and Brady's #1 target is going to be a big reason why they succeed. I will go OVER on catches and yards.
Matt: Over. Julian Edelman is Tom Brady's number one option and go to guy. He always finds a way to get open and gets the ball when he does.
Rob Gronkowski: over/under 5.5 catches, 92 receiving yards?
Niko: OVER on both. Washington doesn’t have an answer. Feed Gronk the rock.
Pete: We have said it this entire season, and have yet found an answer: can anyone truly cover Rob Gronkowski? In short, no. Gronk goes off, again. OVER on catches, UNDER on yards. He will rumble into the end zone, though.
Matt: Over on both, no one can truly cover Gronk in a one on one matchup. When he does draw one one matchup, Brady always finds a way to get him the ball. With some many weapons on New England's offense, its hard to double cover everyone. Gronk will go off this game.
Brandon Lafell: over/under 4.5 catches, 52 receiving yards?
Niko: I’ll go barely UNDER on catches, but OVER on yards. Lafell looked a lot more comfortable last week vs. Miami and will only get better as he re-acclimates himself with the offense.
Pete: JoJo settled back in nicely into the Patriots offense last week as he finished the day with 4 receptions for 47 yards. LaFell has slowly gotten back into the swing of things, and I think his stats will reflect that this week. I am going to go UNDER on catches, as I think he will probably have 3 or 4, but I think he will be OVER on yards.
Matt: I agree with Pete here, under on catches. I think he'll get a pair of catches, one being a touchdown. I however think he'll go under on yards with the Patriots having so many other weapons, such as Danny Amendola, who have had good seasons thus far.
Desean Jackson: over/under 3.5 catches, 55 receiving yards?
Niko: Jackson has not played since week 1 with a hamstring injury but is expected to make his return this Sunday. One of the most dangerous deep threats in football, expect McCourty/Harmon to help on him over the top. He may be on a pitch count in his first game back, but will still have an big impact with the amount of attention he will garner. I’ll go UNDER on both catches and yards.
Pete: Someone has to have a big game for the 'Skins this week or they are just going to be flat out embarrassed. The Patriots usually do a pretty good job of covering up a team's best option, and, at one point and time, that was Jackson. However, this will be his first game of the season and there should be some considerable rust there. What can we truly expect from him in terms of total snaps and performance in his return against the best team in the NFL? UNDER.
Matt: I am not saying Malcolm Butler will have a bad game against Jackson, I just think Jackson will get a lot of targets and consequently, make some receptions. Butler has had pretty good coverage this year just barely getting burned on several occasions. I am going to say over on catches but under on yards.
Pierre Garcon: over/under 4.5 catches, 55 receiving yards?
Niko: OVER on both. Washington has some real talent offensively. Slowing down Reed will be a higher priority than Garcon. I expect Butler to basically be on island with Pierre and play him competitively, but Garcon will have his moments.
Pete: Stick to suing FanDuel, you clown. OVER on catches, UNDER in yards.
Jordan Reed: over/under 6.5 catches, 70 receiving yards?
Niko: Although the Pats have done a decent job on tight ends all season, Reed has been Cousins’ favorite target this season. I think Wash will have to throw 40+ times on Sunday, and Reed should collect about a fourth of those targets. OVER on both.
Pete: This is my guy that I think will have a big game for the 'Skins. In the past, the Patriots have had some trouble in covering receiving tightends. Fresh off of 11 receptions, 72 yards, and 2 TDs, I think he has another good game. I will go UNDER on catches, but he will be right at 6, and OVER on yards.
Matt: After an outburst last week against the Tampa Bay, I expect Reed to come back down to earth this week. Jaime Collins is the best player on the Patriots defense so it'll be interesting to see if he drops back into coverage on Reed. I'll say 5 catches for 50 yards, under on both.
Game Total: over/under 52 points?
Niko: OVER. The Pats offense should click from the opening drive.
Pete: OVER. The Redskins defense is pretty bad, and thats being nice. Couple that with the fact that the Patriots are the best offense in the NFL, and you have yourself a pretty bad mismatch. I don't want to say that the Patriots could score 52 points themselves, but....
Matt: I am thinking over. I see the Patriots scoring 40 by themselves with the Redskins scoring a touchdown and a pair of field goals against this Pats defense that "bends but does not break."
Niko: Pat Chung/Devin McCourty/Jamie Collins on Jordan Reed. When healthy, Reed has averaged 70 yards and almost a touchdown a game this season. Coming off an 11 catch, 2-touchdown performance, you better believe he’s going to be a focal point of the defensive game plan.
Pete: I am really interested here to see how the Patriots cover Jordan Reed. As one of the better coverage linebackers in the NFL, Jamie Collins could provide a solid one-on-one matchup with a pretty damn good tightend. Then again, I may be totally wrong and Collins doesn't even cover him. I guess we will see.
Matt: I want to see how Malcolm Butler does against a lethal receiver in Desean Jackson. Although the hype around Jackson has cooled off since he left the Eagles, I still see a very dangerous receiver who could really test an unproven corner like Butler.
Niko: Brady throws for 5 touchdowns and Gronk catches 3 of them.
Pete: In all of these Roundtables, I have constantly talked about the offense, rightfully so I may add. However, this defense hasn't gotten the credit they deserve. They have allowed only 19 points per game, which is extremely underrated considering how poorly we have talked about the defensive secondary. I think that, with all the talk about adding a corner at the deadline, the defense, specifically the secondary, plays fantastic. Maybe 2 picks as well. (A guy can dream, right?)
Matt: I am a big defense guy. I love Matt Patricia because he's a straight up savage. This defense has had some really good games the last few weeks against the Jets and Miami. I want to see if they can keep playing good football stopping the run early forcing their opponents into passing situations. This leads me into my doubts about the defense... they give up a lot of big plays on third down. I know this is something Bill and Matt have noticed so hopefully they can come to some type of solution. We all know how well the offense has played, lets now see what the defense has.
Niko: This is Jacksonville Part 2. Coming off a nice 10-day break, the Pats will be firing on all cylinders. 44-20 Pats.
Pete: 45-23. 8-0. On to the Giants.
Matt: 40 -13 Pats.