The 7-0 New England Patriots host the 3-4 Washington Redskins in the tenth meeting between these two teams on Sunday. Here is a look at how the two teams compare statistically; the numbers reflect an average per game (or per play) rather than gross totals. Per-game stats rather than gross totals are used because that makes the rankings more meaningful, considering other NFL teams have played a different number of games thus far due to bye weeks.
When: Sunday, November 8 at 1:00 pm ET
Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough MA
Television: CBS; announcers: Kevin Burkhardt, John Lynch
Weather: Forecast is for a sunny day with temperature at kickoff of 54°; zero percent chance of precipitation and a slight breeze with winds of 9 mph.
Odds: The Patriots opened as 12½ point favorites a week ago Thursday, prior to last weekend’s games. On Sunday night following the blowout win over Miami the line quickly moved up to 14 in most venues. That has remained relatively steady since then; the only exceptions being SportBet.com at Pats -15, and Bovada with the Patriots at -14½.
The over/under is 52, with a few places a half point higher or lower. Typical money lines have the Patriots at -1600 and the Redskins at +900, while several venues have taken the game completely off their money line board due to the unusually large risk.
Head-to-Head Series Record: Washington leads 6-3. The Patriots have won the last two meetings by a combined score of 86-34, and are 2-1 in the Bill Belichick era.
In 2011 the Pats won 34-27 in a game that was highlighted by Rob Gronkowski dragging two defenders along for a 49-yard gain, and Wes Welker becoming the third player in NFL history with four 100-catch seasons. This was also the game that the sports gossip circuit had a field day with when Bill O’Brien and Tom Brady were caught on camera shouting at each other following a Brady 4th quarter interception in the end zone of a pass intended for Tiquan Underwood. Mike Shanahan‘s team marched down the length of the field but Jerod Mayo caught a Rex Grossman pass intended for Santana Moss on the 5-yard line with 20 seconds remaining to secure the victory.
The media had an even bigger field day in 2007 when the Pats defeated Joe Gibb‘s Redskins 52-7. Bill Belichick was excoriated in the press for going for it on fourth down rather than kicking a field goal late in the game, with some to this day still using that as a reference that BB is ‘arrogant’ and worthy of scorn.
In 2003 the Patriots lost at Washington by the score of 20-17. The Pats put forth a very lackluster week four performance that day to fall to 2-2, committing four turnovers: three picks by Brady, and a Kevin Faulk fumble on the goal line. The Pats went on to win the next 21 games in a row, including their second Super Bowl. Washington advanced to 3-1, but lost ten of their remaining twelve games – and that was the end of Steve Spurrier‘s career as an NFL head coach.
Patriots Offense versus Washington Defense
Scoring: Pats 35.6 (1st); Washington 24.0 (16th)
Yardage: Pats 415 (5th); Washington 360 (18th)
First Downs: Pats 25.0 (1st); Washington 19.3 (10th)
Yards per Play: Pats 6.3 (2nd); Washington 6.0 (27th)
Yards per Drive: Pats 38.4 (3rd); Washington 32.5 (17th)
Points per Drive: Pats 3.25 (1st); Washington 1.97 (17th)
Drive Success Rate: Pats .784 (1st); Washington .696 (14th)
Points per Play: Pats .540 (1st); Washington .401 (23rd)
Touchdowns: Pats 4.0 (1st); Washington 2.7 (17th)
Red Zone Touchdowns: Pats 3.3 (1st); Washington 1.3 (6th)
Red Zone TD Percentage: Pats 71.9% (2nd); Washington 47.4% (4th)
Plays per Game: Pats 65.9 (12th); Washington 59.9 (5th)
Third Down Conversions: Pats 5.7 (10th); Washington 5.0 (13th)
Third Down Percentage: Pats 47.1% (2nd); Washington 39.3% (20th)
Punts per Score: Pats 0.5 (1st); Washington 0.9 (22nd)
Rushing Yards: Pats 85.3 (30th); Washington 128.4 (30th)
Yards per Rush: Pats 3.88 (23rd); Washington 4.91 (31st)
Passing Yards: Pats 329 (2nd); Washington 232 (11th)
Yards per Pass Attempt: Pats 8.3 (3rd); Washington 7.8 (24th)
Completion Percentage: Pats 68.9% (4th); Washington 63.2% (15th)
Passer Rating: Pats 115.8 (1st); Washington 97.9 (23rd)
TD Passes/Picks: : Pats +19, 20:1 (1st); Washington -8, 11:3 (21st)
Complete Passes: Pats 28.4 (3rd); Washington 20.1 (5th)
Incomplete Passes: Pats 12.9 (18th); Washington 11.7 (23rd)
Quarterback Sacks: Pats 2.6 (21st); Washington 1.9 (20th)
Sack Yardage Lost: Pats 15.0 (19th); Washington 15.0 (18th)
Washington Offense versus Pats Defense
Scoring: Washington 21.1 (21st); Pats 19.0 (8th)
Yardage: Washington 340 (24th); Pats 346 (12th)
First Downs: Washington 20.7 (13th); Pats 20.9 (19th)
Yards per Play: Washington 5.1 (28th); Pats 5.3 (9th)
Yards per Drive: Washington 31.7 (13th); Pats 29.7 (10th)
Points per Drive: Washington 1.79 (20th); Pats 1.63 (8th)
Drive Success Rate: Washington .704 (11th); Pats .695 (13th)
Points per Play: Washington .320 (24th); Pats .290 (9th)
Touchdowns: Washington 2.3 (21st); Pats 2.3 (11th)
Red Zone Touchdowns: Washington 1.9 (11th); Pats 1.7 (16th)
Red Zone TD Percentage: Washington 61.9% (10th); Pats 63.2% (27th)
Plays per Game: Washington 66.1 (9th); Pats 65.6 (19th)
Third Down Conversions: Washington 6.1 (5th); Pats 5.4 (19th)
Third Down Percentage: Washington 43.0% (10th); Pats 40.0% (21st)
Punts per Score: Washington 1.1 (16th); Pats 1.4 (7th)
Rushing Yards: Washington 99.0 (23rd); Pats 96.7 (7th)
Yards per Rush: Washington 3.73 (28th); Pats 4.23 (21st)
Passing Yards: Washington 241 (18th); Pats 249 (16th)
Yards per Pass Attempt: Washington 6.5 (30th); Pats 7.1 (12th)
Completion Percentage: Washington 68.4% (6th); Pats 63.0% (14th)
Passer Rating: Washington 84.8 (21st); Pats 85.3 (10th)
TD Passes/Picks: : Washington +1, 9:8 (27th); Pats -3, 11:8 (9th)
Complete Passes: Washington 26.3 (5th); Pats 24.6 (23rd)
Incomplete Passes: Washington 12.1 (11th); Pats 14.4 (8th)
Quarterback Sacks: Washington 1.1 (2nd); Pats 3.7 (2nd)
Sack Yardage Lost: Washington 6.9 (2nd); Pats 26.3 (2nd)
Patriot Giveaways: 0.4 (1st); Washington Takeaways: 1.4 (15th)
Washington Giveaways: 1.7 (22nd); Patriot Takeaways: 1.4 (15th)
Penalties: Patriots 7.3 (17th); Washington 6.7 (9th)
Penalty Yards: Patriots 65.3 (23rd); Washington 56.4 (9th)
Opponent Penalties: Patriots 8.3 (3rd); Washington 7.4 (14th)
Opponent Penalty Yards: Patriots 79.0 (1st); Washington 66.7 (11th)
Football Outsiders Statistics and Rankings
Team Efficiency: Weighted DVOA: Patriots 40.4% (1st); Washington -5.7% (18th)
Team Efficiency: Offense DVOA: Patriots 29.5% (1st); Washington -0.2% (17th)
Team Efficiency: Defense DVOA: Patriots -2.2% (10th); Washington 6.3% (22nd)
Special Teams DVOA: Patriots 8.8% (1st); Washington 0.9% (13th)
Defensively the Patriots game plan to take away an opponent’s strength, and dare that opponent to beat the Pats elsewhere. Washington does not run the ball effectively (28th in yards per carry, 23rd in rushing yards per game) so that is not New England’s area of concern.
So who will Bill Belichick and Matt Patricia scheme to stop? WR DeSean Jackson is Washington’s most explosive player, but this would be his first appearance since week one; we are still not even sure if Jackson will play. I’m thinking that if he is a go then Belichick will put Malcolm Butler on Jackson and Logan Ryan with safety help on Pierre Garcon; that would leave Justin Green on Andre Roberts.
To me though the biggest concern is not one of the wide receivers, but tight end Jordan Reed. Reed is too quick for any linebacker to cover him, and at 6’2″ 237 it is a very difficult task for a corner to bring him down. The Patriots have occasionally had issues with opposing tight ends for several years now, and Reed could cause the Pats fits. Patrick Chung has done a fine job this year covering Jason Witten (five catches for 33 yards) and Charles Clay (three catches for 19 yards), but Reed is at this point much better than either of those two players.
In 4½ games this year – Reed has missed time due to concussions – the tight end has 350 yards receiving with three touchdowns and 22 first downs, catching 35 of the 47 passes (74%) thrown his way. Reed leads Washington in first downs and is tied for the lead in receiving yards and touchdowns, despite the time he has missed. To me the primary challenge is to stop Reed – much the way the Pats did against Tony Gonzalez a few years ago – and dare Kirk Cousins to beat the Patriots deep.
On the other side of the ball the Patriots should be fine as long as they don’t beat themselves. NT Terrance Knighton did not make the trip due to migraines, which will help the banged-up offensive line protect Brady. Linebacker Ryan Kerrigan will play but is doing so with a fractured hand, and corner Chris Culliver has been unable to practice due to inflammation in his knee. The Washington defense is neither talented nor deep enough to keep up with all of New England’s offensive options; this D is somewhere between Jacksonville’s and Miami’s, and we saw what the Patriot offense was able to accomplish against both of those teams.
Prediction: Patriots 38, Washington 20
Despite the huge spread I would still take New England minus the points; the Patriots are simply that much better than the Skins.
Posted Under: Patriots Stat Breakdowns
Tags: 2015 NFL Season 2015 Patriots against the spread betting line New England Patriots odds Patriots Patriots stats Pats picks predictions stats Washington Redskins Week 9