BOSTON (CBS) — If the Washington Redskins were as good as Bill Belichick made them out to be, this Sunday’s game might actually be competitive. They’re not, and it won’t be.
This game is a contrast of teams headed in opposite directions. The New England Patriots, at 4-0, are rolling. “The Patriots seem like they’re on a mission,” notes CBS Philadelphia sports anchor Don Bell. “They’re favored by 14.5 points. It is the largest point spread of the weekend in the NFL.” The 0-4 Redskins are rolling too… downhill. As Bell observes, “the Redskins are one of the worst teams in football, one of the bottom two or three, for sure.”
Last week’s 16-10 win for the Patriots over the improved Buffalo Bills was the first real challenge the team has faced this season. Indeed it was the first of their games to be competitive into the third quarter. Tom Brady had an off-week, managing only 150 yards passing on a surprisingly poor 18-39 passing. But the defense saved the day, repeatedly picking off and sacking both Josh Allen and Matt Barkley.
Whatever Redskins quarterback(s) they face this week, be it Case Keenum, Dwayne Haskins or Colt McKoy, is in for a similarly long day. Keenum has been uninspiring since his 380-yard, three-touchdown outing against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 1. Rookie Haskins, the team’s great hope for the future, was ineffective against the New York Giants, going 9-17 for 108 yards and three interceptions.
Neither deserve all the blame, however. Adrian Peterson and the running game have been lousy all season. The offensive line is a mess, with tackle Trent Green refusing to play for the team and guard Brandon Scherff questionable for Sunday’s game with ankle issues. The one offensive bright spot — rookie wide receiver Terry McLaurin, who has a touchdown reception in each of his first four outings — also might miss the game. Even the defense, one of the NFL’s better units last season, has been inconsistent.
As Bell sums it up, “they have issues at quarterback. They have issues all over that roster.” Coach Jay Gruden, if he keeps his job through Sunday, may not retain it come Monday.
“This is the easiest pick of the week,” says Bell. “I expect Tom Brady to go in there and stomp them out, considering how poorly he played up in Buffalo last week.”
The Patriots play the Redskins Sunday @ 1 ET on CBS.