Not the best game that the Patriots have ever played, but a win is a win at this point in the season. The Patriots took on the lowly Redskins at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, and one team looked like they should have been playing at Foxboro High School instead of the Big House.
The Redskins were unable to get the ball moving on offense, and could not stop the Patriots when it mattered most. While Washington was able to hold the Patriots under 30 points for only the second time this season, the other being opening night against Pittsburgh, the Pats never truly got into rhythm.
The Patriots uncharacteristically lost the coin toss and received the ball first to open the game. They easily marched down the field and finished the drive as Brady found Edelman just short of the end zone, but, with a great second effort, Minitron was able to get in.
To everyone's surprise, the Patriots then elected to kick an onside kick, which they recovered after it bounced through countless Redskins' hands.
After that, however, things got less and less interesting.
Brady threw his first interception that was truly his fault, and the offense in general had troubling finishing off drives. Julian Edelman also fumbled on what would have been a first down deep in Redskins' territory early in the football game. Against better teams, the Patriots can't continue to make these kind of mistakes.
However, the final scoreline does not depict how truly lopsided this game was. The Patriots had 460 yards of total offense (299 passing, 161 rushing), compared to Washington's 250 (213 passing, 37 rushing).
On the other side of the football, even without Jamie Collins, the Patriots were steady, as they have been the entire season. The Front 7, led by the NFL sack leader, Chandler Jones, was able to apply pressure to Kirk Cousins and force mistakes. For the most part, the secondary was able to keep Redskins receivers quiet, as well.
All in all, the Patriots won, which is always great, but they need to refine their game and focus on finishing drives if they want to win against teams like the Giants and Broncos.
Next up, the New York Giants
By Pete Packowski