The New England Patriots come off a battle in Buffalo by traveling south to face a lowly Washington squad that could be on its last legs.
Last Sunday in Buffalo, New England fought tooth and nail to be able to stay undefeated. This week in the nation’s capital, the Patriots have a chance to put the final nail in the coffin of Redskins head coach Jay Gruden.
The football talk down in D.C. has consisted mainly of the future of Gruden and his job security. In New England, the football talk has been how long the undefeated streak will stay alive. This week, New England no doubt has the upper hand in Washington. However, after a tough battle against the Bills a week ago, make no mistake that this could easily be a trap game for the defending champs.
Here’s what you should be talking about as Sunday approaches.
How much punishment can Tom Brady take?
Although Brady was only hit three times and wasn’t sacked, he was hurried and flushed out of the pocket a great deal this past weekend. It’s clear the Bills’ gameplan was to make Brady uncomfortable, and they succeeded. He completed only 18 of his 39 pass attempts for 150 yards and fired an interception on his worst throw of the season to date.
At 42 years old, there’s only so much punishment Brady’s body can take, so the offensive line will have their work cut out for them in keeping the future Hall of Famer’s uniform clean for the rest of the season.
What’s going on in the mind of Josh McDaniels?
If you’re an avid fan of the Patriots and have been watching for the last five seasons, you know that the Patriots have won games by way of putting the ball in the endzone. With the Patriots having to lean on the defense as the backbone of the team, it provides a bit of a different narrative for fans.
And with Brady still under center, it’s a bit puzzling as to the play-calling that was displayed on Sunday. The running game is at a stand-still, currently ranking 24th in the NFL, and Brady didn’t appear to be on the same page with his targets.
Does this spell trouble for the Pats offense? Who knows… but McDaniels certainly needs to polish the wheels before the real tough tests come later in the season.
Can Devin McCourty make it five in a row?
The former Pro Bowl safety has started off hotter than any other defensive player on the roster, ball-hawking an interception in each of the team’s first four games. The Redskins rank 28th in total offense, and their QB duo of Case Keenum and Dwayne Haskins have thrown the same amount of interceptions as Tom Brady has thrown touchdowns this year, so it might be a pretty safe bet to assume No. 32 will have the ball in his hands this Sunday.
Will the defense continue its historic pace?
I don’t play the numbers game too often, but here are some for you to ponder: the New England defense is No. 1 in total defense, 3rd in passing yards allowed, 3rd in rushing yards allowed, and 2nd in first downs allowed.
Is it stuffy in here, or is it just the Patriots defense? Yikes. Good luck, Washington.
What are YOU talking about leading up to the Patriots/Redskins game this week? Let us know in the comments below!