For people who are into making comparisons between the 2007 Patriots and the 2015 Patriots, here’s another one:
The Redskins limped into Foxboro to play the Patriots in their eighth game of the 2007 season, and proceeded to get stomped, 52-7.
After that game, Redskins coach Joe Gibbs said, “I don’t know of a weakness that they have.”
And now they’re back for the first time since . . . in the Patriots eighth game of the season . . . appearing to be immensely overmatched again.
We wonder if current Redskins head coach Jay Gruden will be saying something similar Sunday (1 p.m., FOX).
Cousins and Co.
The Redskins barely have a prayer on Sunday as it is, but believe it or not things would look even bleaker a few weeks ago if they had met. Tight end Jordan Reed is back, and led the team with 13 targets in their last game. Top wide receiver Desean Jackson has been out since Week 1 with a hamstring injury, but is optimistic that he’ll return this Sunday in New England. That gives the Redskins a legitimate deep threat – and one that has the skill to get behind the Patriots secondary. “They led the league in big-play passes last year and he had a lot of them, so he’s a very explosive player, just tremendous at all three levels,” Bill Belichick said of Jackson. “He can catch and run, he can get over the top of the defense, and he’s a very good intermediate route runner who can get open and create space and take intermediate plays and turn those into big plays, too.”
Line ‘em up
We know how banged up the Patriots offensive line is right now. The hits just keep on coming, with Tre’ Jackson the latest to go down with a knee injury. He appears to be out this weekend, too. The Redskins play physical on defense, and are actually third in the NFL in forced fumbles with 14. The O-line will once again be tested in both the passing and running game. “They’ve got great size up front,” Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said. “This is going to be a big challenge for us relative to their front four and many times, I call it their front eight because they drop a safety down in the box quite a bit. There are a lot of guys down in there. They do a good job of trying to overload you relative to numbers, and they’re a big powerful group with great size.”
The Redskins may be coming off a bye week – and a nice comeback win the week before – but this game should be right up there with Jacksonville’s on the difficulty scale. Getting Jimmy Garoppolo a full quarter of work might be in the cards before the team heads to New York for what should be a fun one against the Giants.