Five Sundays, five victories for the New England Patriots. Playing on the road for the second week in a row, the reigning world champions took care of business by blowing out the Washington Redskins with a final score of 33-7. The game itself was a tale of two halves for the team, however, as it started slowly before finally picking up the pace in the second half. With that in mind, let’s recap the action.
Patriots (5-0) 33 : 7 Redskins (0-5)
The Patriots lost the coin toss and opened the game by kicking off, sending out rookie punter Jake Bailey to fill in for an injured Stephen Gostkowski. Bailey’s kick ended in a touchback, giving Washington the ball at its 25-yard line. And while the team started its opening drive by completing a 12-yard pass to rookie wideout Terry McLaurin over cornerback Stephon Gilmore, the series quickly stalled after a short run, tackle for loss by Dont’a Hightower, and sack by Chase Winovich.
New England started its first possession at the 16-yard line, and started by moving the football well early on. After Tom Brady missed a potential touchdown to Josh Gordon by overthrowing the open wide receiver, however, the series stalled and the quarterback was ultimately sacked on 3rd and 10. The Patriots brought on Bailey to perform his usual job — punting — and the rookie hit just a 39-yarder.
Starting in good field position, the Redskins were able to take advantage on just their second play of the series. Running an end around, the Patriots were unable to bring rookie wide receiver Steven Sims down: both Devin McCourty and Jason McCourty missed tackles, and 65 yards later, New England trailed for the first time all season. [Patriots 0 : 7 Redskins]
The visitors quickly answered Washington’s touchdown with one of their own. Using the depth of the skill positions — Ryan Izzo, Matt LaCosse and Sony Michel all had catches on the series — the Patriots were able to reach goal-to-go territory in just four plays. On the sixth of the drive, Brady found Julian Edelman from six yards out to bring the Patriots within one point. However, kicker Mike Nugent was unable to tie the game as he sent the extra point wide right. [Patriots 6 : 7 Redskins]
New England was able to get more momentum back on the next drive. Danny Shelton sacked Redskins quarterback Colt McCoy for a 7-yard loss on the first play, and the defense followed it up by two incompletions. The Patriots, however, were unable to take advantage despite driving in scoring range again on their next series: facing a 4th and 1 on the Washington 22-yard line, James White was stuffed in the backfield on a direct snap.
Washington initially moved the football well on its next possession, but the Patriots defense held its ground with Dont’a Hightower sacking McCoy on a 3rd and 2 to force a punt — one that ended in a touchback and gave New England the ball at its own 20-yard line. Again, the offense moved the football well before facing a fourth down deep in Redskins territory. This time, however, the Patriots went for the field goal from 37 yards out. Nugent was successful, giving his team the first lead of the day. [Patriots 9 : 7 Redskins]
New England’s defense again forced a punt on the next drive, with Hightower once more making big plays: after a tackle for loss on first down, he chased a scrambling Colt McCoy out of bounds short of the sticks on third down. The offense, however, was unable to make much out of its next possession and again had to punt. It did not take long for the unit to return to the field, though, as Jonathan Jones forced a fumble on the very next play after the punt with Jamie Collins Sr. recovering the football at the Washington 16-yard line.
Despite starting the drive in good field position, the Patriots were unable to take advantage: on 3rd and 6, Brady threw an interception on a pass intended for James White, his second red zone pick in as many weeks. New England’s quarterback was pressured on a blitz and tried to get rid of the football quickly, but by doing so threw into double coverage for an easy pick. Luckily for the Patriots, the defense changed possession again on another three-and-out.
New England failed to get anywhere on its next series, as a third down conversion on a Brady scramble was negated by a penalty against center Ted Karras. After the punt, however, the defense got the football back quickly thanks to Jason McCourty picking off Colt McCoy:
The interception set up the Patriots with good field position again, but the team was unable to capitalize — at least with a touchdown. Instead, Mike Nugent was brought onto the field for his second field goal attempt and he hit it from 23 yards out to give New England a four-point lead. [Patriots 12 : Redskins 7]
New England received the second half kickoff and followed it up by delivering arguably its best drive of the day: the team marched 75 yards in seven plays, with five runs and just two passes being called. The plan worked well as the Patriots got into a good rhythm and capped the series with a 29-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Brandon Bolden. [Patriots 19 : Redskins 7]
The Patriots’ defense also started well into the third quarter. While the unit did give up one first down on the drive on a pass to Terry McLaurin, the unit ultimately forced another Washington punt to set up the offense at its own 12-yard line. Despite starting deep inside its own territory, the unit produced a second straight impressive series — with the running game again looking good: Sony Michel had a 25-yard carry and later followed it up with a 14-yarder for the score. [Patriots 26 : Redskins 7]
Following another touchback from Bailey, the Patriots defense stifled its opposition once more, forcing a punt after just four plays. This time, the Patriots were unable to take advantage and instead had to punt after Tom Brady was sacked for the fourth time on the day. For Washington, however, the next drive was more of the same with Hightower and Michael Bennett combining for a sack on its first play to end the third quarter.
Playing from behind the sticks, the Redskins were unable to gain a first down on the drive and had to once again punt to Gunner Olszewski. New England’s offense then picked up where it left off after its first two possessions of the second half: the unit marched 58 yards in 10 plays, with Sony Michel and James White again carrying much of the load before Tom Brady connected with Ryan Izzo for a 10-yard touchdown. [Patriots 33 : Redskins 7]
New England’s defense followed up the Patriots’ touchdown with yet another quick stop, which allowed the team to insert backup quarterback Jarrett Stidham into the lineup for the second time all season. It was an uneventful game for the fourth-round rookie, as neither team was able to put any more points on the board.
Pats Pulpit Live: Week 5 at Washington
Welcome to another victory edition of Pats Pulpit Live! The Patriots started slowly, but caught fire in the second half of their 33-7 blowout of the Washington Redskins. They are now 5-0 on the year.Posted by Pats Pulpit: For New England Patriots News on Sunday, October 6, 2019