The Patriots prevailed again Sunday, pushing their record to 5-0 after defeating the winless Washington Redskins 33-7 on the road, moving the ‘Skins to 0-5 on the season. The final score was indicative of the talent gap between the two teams. Washington, relying on their third string QB Colt McCoy, was unable to mount any offense, gaining just 220 yards of total offense.
As lopsided as the final score was, Washington competed early. After forcing the Patriots to punt on their first possession, Washington punched in the first score of the game to take a 7-0 lead. Washington’s 65-yard touchdown run came on an uncharacteristically sloppy play by the Pats. The Patriots allowed WR Steven Simms Jr. to escape to the right- hand side and failed to execute on two tackles before Simms was able to break out and scamper to the endzone. Bill Belichick was forgiving when commenting on the play, “It happened early. It was obviously a bad play. We can certainly coach it better. We can play better.
Belichicks’ forgiveness likely stems from the overall play of the defense through five weeks, as the 65-yard touchdown was just the second offensive touchdown scored against the Patriots’ defense on the year.
Following the Redskins touchdown, the Patriots defense bounced back, holding the Redskins scoreless for the remaining 54:26.
Despite posting 442 total yards and 33 points, the Patriots offense looked sluggish at times. Brady was hit 9 times, and was sacked 4 times among those hits for a total of 36-yards. The poor play along the offensive line may have hurt the Patriots more if they weren’t playing the 29th ranked pass defense.
Overall, the Washington defense lacked the coverage they needed to hold Brady and the Patriots back, even with a strong pass rush that was able to bother Brady. Sony Michel had a breakout game, rushing for 91 yards and a touchdown. The solid run game kept the Redskins defense honest despite Brady’s 42 passing attempts.
The Patriots have a quick turnaround, they will travel home to host the rival New York Giants on Thursday night. Washington will head to Miami to face another winless team on Sunday. The Redskins will be moving forward without head coach Jay Gruden, who was fired this morning following his 5th loss of the season. Gruden was 35-49 during his career as head coach of Washington.