|New England Patriots||14||3||3||7||27|
Like most people who sat down to watch this afternoon's game in Foxborough, I expected the final outcome on the scoreboard. I did not, however, expect some of the sloppiness that I saw from the Washington Redskins on both sides of the ball. Defensively, the team continues to have trouble with tackling, and offensively, I can't remember the last time I saw so many dropped footballs.
The game started with a methodical Patriots drive and touchdown, and on the next drive, Ryan Grant failed to recover an unexpected onsides kick, giving the ball right back to New England. When the Redskins' offense finally got their hands on the ball more than halfway through the first quarter, they managed one play: a Kirk Cousins pass that Pierre Garcon should have caught, but didn't, leading to an interception.
It didn't get better from there, as Cousins continued to search high and low for any kind of help from his receiving corps. Carrier and Reed had drops of their own on the very next drive, and DeSean Jackson was invisible on the field. Neither Alfred Morris nor Matt Jones could get going, and Jones fumbled on the Redskins opening drive of the second half, turning the ball over to the Patriots.
The defense couldn't do much to contain the well-oiled machine that runs under Tom Brady's direction, and even though they held Rob Gronkowski reasonably in check, the much beleaguered unit that is still missing DeAngelo Hall gave up 299 yards to Brady and seven different receivers. With injuries along the defensive line (Terrence Knighton did not make the trip due to cluster headaches and Chris Baker went to the sidelines for a time with a chest injury), the run defense continues to look drastically different from the one we saw in the first few games of the season. They gave up 161 yards on the ground to New England today.
One bright spot, though, was the pair of turnovers: a fumble recovery by Will Blackmon and interception returned for 44 yards by Keenan Robinson. It was a rare positive moment against a Patriots team that doesn't make many mistakes and had a +7 turnover ratio coming into the game.
Another bright spot? At least it wasn't 52-7. Time for the team to pack up, fly back to DC, and focus on New Orleans.
By the numbers: Kirk Cousins (22/40, 213 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT), Matt Jones (11 carries, 27 yards, 1 fumble), Pierre Garcon (4 catches, 70 yards), Dashon Goldson (10 tackles), Will Compton (10 tackles), Dustin Hopkins (1/1 from 23 yards), Tress Way (4 punts, 188 yards, 47/punt average)