It has often been said in these parts that the Patriots treat games as if they are business meetings. The Pats were predictably all business Sunday at Gillette Stadium, clocking in at 1 p.m. and clocking out at 3:59 p.m. with a 27-10, no-nonsense victory over the Redskins. The win moved New England to a perfect 8-0 on the 2015 season.
The Pats’ offense came out of the gate by putting up 14 points in the first quarter and the defense was stout throughout as it did not give up a touchdown until there were just 25 seconds left in the fourth.
The Patriots now turn their attention to the New York Giants, one of the few teams in the league that has been able to solve the Pats on a relatively consistent basis in the Bill Belichick/Tom Brady era.
Three things we learned Sunday against Washington:
1. Set the tone
The Patriots had found the end zone twice before the Redskins ran even their second play from scrimmage. Tom Brady (26-of-39, 299 yards, two touchdowns) hit Julian Edelman for an eight-yard TD and LeGarrette Blount rumbled in to sandwich a Logan Ryan interception. Ryan’s pick came when Kirk Cousins’ pass bounced off of Pierre Garcon at the Washington 41-yard line. The Redskins never let things get out of hand, but at the same time never posed a threat to the far-superior Patriots the rest of the way.
2. Rush hour
On Sunday, Blount must have thought that it was late January and that the Patriots were playing the Colts. The burly back was in rare form, carrying the ball 29 times for 129 yards. He electrified the Gillette crowd late in the third quarter as he spun and slammed through a handful of Washington defenders.
The lightning to Blount’s thunder did not enjoy Sunday’s game, however. Dion Lewis, who had shown flashes of brilliance in the first half of the season, was injured with 5:20 left in the third. Washington’s Chris Baker fell on Lewis’ left ankle, but it was later reported that Lewis had a knee injury. He walked slowly off the field and into the locker room but did not return to the game.
3. Logan Express
Ryan is now in a second place tie for most interceptions in the league this year, with four. While Malcolm Butler gets most of the secondary praise these days thanks to what transpired in last February’s Super Bowl, Ryan has emerged as a legit starting cornerback this season and the Patriots have yet to truly miss Darrelle Revis. Ryan and the Pats’ secondary held Cousins to just 22-of-40 passing for 217 yards and a late, garbage-time touchdown. The Redskins QB finished with a 68.4 passer rating. The Pats also wiped out the production of the returning DeSean Jackson, allowing just three catches for 15 yards to the big-play-creator.