The New England Patriots hit the road to face the Washington Redskins on Sunday. The Patriots are heavily favored here in one of the most lopsided matchups of the weekend, if not the entire season. The 4-0 Patriots have been looking like their usually selves, even if it took a bit more effort than they'd have preferred to beat Buffalo last weekend. New England picked off the Bills four times in the 16-10 win.
The Redskins, meanwhile, are in the midst of an 0-4 start to the year. Head coach Jay Gruden is on the hot seat and is more than likely not going to make it through the entire season. A win over the Patriots would be one of only ways for Gruden to slow down the calls for him to be fired. Washington is in quarterback turmoil, as starter Case Keenum was benched for rookie Dwayne Haskins last weekend. However, the Redskins announced Friday that it would be Colt McCoy who will start.
Patriots go for 5-0The New England Patriots are one of three unbeaten teams in the NFL and appear likely to stay unblemished after this weekend. New England isn't immortal as Buffalo showed last Sunday by nearly knocking off the Patriots. However, Bill Belichick's team is head and shoulders above the Redskins, though are they two touchdowns on the road better?
New England has started 4-0 behind its usually philosophy -- efficient passing and staunch defense. The Patriots rank fifth in the NFL with 30.5 points per game. Tom Brady has been doing Tom Brady things, namely averaging over 250 yards passing per game. The 42-year old has thrown seven touchdowns to one interception. As ESPN's Bill Barnwell pointed out this week, the Patriots finished the first four games of the year with the third best point differential (+95) of any team going back to 1970. Brady deserves much of the credit for that success.
The Patriots defense also deserves plenty of compliments, especially after holding Buffalo to 10 points last week in what could have been a loss if not for four interceptions. Safety Devin McCourty leads the secondary with four interceptions -- one in each game. He was named AFC Defensive Player of the Month for September. If the Patriots come anything close to their average points allowed per game (6.8), they'll win this one easily.
Redskins search for first winThe Washington Redskins made the decision Friday that Colt McCoy will start behind center. McCoy suffered a broken right fibula in a game against Philadelphia last December. McCoy has not played a full game since Nov 22, 2018, when he and the Redskins lost at Dallas 31-23.
Washington's struggles are largely off the field, of course. The Redskins are without starting tight end Jordan Reed and starting running back Derrius Guice.Top left tackle Trent Williams has yet to join the team. A handful of other players are also likely to be out Sunday, including offensive linemen Brandon Scherff and Chase Rouiller. There's enough absences to fill a spreadsheet.
Jabrill Peppers picks off Dwayne Haskins and houses it 😤— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) September 29, 2019
First Michigan win over Ohio State in the Jim Harbaugh era
The Redskins must do a better job on defense if they want any chance of keeping it close with New England. The unit ranks last in the NFL in third-down conversion prevention. Top cornerback Josh Norman is questionable to play Sunday, and even when he's been on the field he hasn't played up to his potential
- Redskins are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing more than 350 total yards in their previous game.
- Redskins are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
- Redskins are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 home games.
- Patriots are 15-3 ATS in their last 18 games in Week 5.
- Patriots are 26-7 ATS in their last 33 games after accumulating less than 250 total yards in their previous game.
- Patriots are 14-5 ATS in their last 19 games on grass.