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Patriots News 11-5, Players To Watch Against Washington

Steve Balestrieri
Steve Balestrieri on Twitter
3 weeks ago at 5:00 am ET
Posted Under: Patriots Commentary

Patriots News 11-5, Players To Watch Against WashingtonEric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, and Happy Gameday. Here are our Sunday 11-05 Patriots news and notes. We hope that the kids had a great Halloween. 

News on the injury front doesn’t seem to be getting much better this week before the Patriots take on the Commanders. I spoke with another “SteveB” via email this week about the rash of injuries this season. So, you know, with a name like that, he had to have great questions.  About the “why” so many injuries this year question, I think one factor is the turf field at Gillette Stadium. I would like to think that the NFL, with their focus on “player safety (there is no sarcasm font), would figure out a way to allow grass fields to stay green even in the winter months. 

Calvin Anderson has been placed on IR due to an illness, while DeVante Parker will miss this week’s game due to a concussion he suffered against Miami. In addition, the Patriots have 10 players listed as questionable. 

DL Christian Barmore
LB Ja’Whaun Bentley
TE Pharaoh Brown
OT Trent Brown
DL Davon Godchaux
CB Jonathan Jones
OL Vederian Lowe
WR Tyquan Thornton
LB Josh Uche
DL Deatrich Wise

Thornton was a late addition to the injury report with a foot injury. Godchaux is listed as an illness, not an injury. Washington ruled out WR Curtis Samuel and C Ricky tromberg and has only S Percy Butler listed as questionable.

Quick Hitters For the Patriots and NFL News: 

Trade Deadline: The Patriots didn’t make any moves at the NFL Trade deadline, and it wasn’t a shock. They supposedly received some trade interest in Josh Uche but probably felt that the compensation wasn’t good enough to justify losing him for the remainder of the season. 

They also reportedly had some interest in Chase Young, which possibly speaks to their long-range plans to keep Uche. I think he’ll walk this upcoming off-season. On another note, I think the team really needs to build a young core with some good veterans, which they can base their roster reconstruction around. 

That would include Kyle Dugger, Michael Onwenu, Christian Gonzalez, Christian Barmore, Jabrill Peppers, Matthew Judon, Demario Douglas, Rhamondre Stevenson, Keion White, Marte Mapu, and Marcus Jones.

I’m surprised that Dugger hasn’t been resigned yet. Of course, it could be that they’ve been working behind the scenes to do just that. We won’t know until the season is over. But he’s been a consistent playmaker, as has been Peppers.

The team must decide on Trent Brown (who says he wants to return) and Hunter Henry, among other veterans. But we’ll get into all that at a later date. 

Alex Austin: The Patriots signed the rookie cornerback after he was released last week by Houston.  Buffalo drafted Austin in the 7th round of this year’s NFL Draft. The Bills cut him at the end of training camp, and Houston subsequently signed him as a member of the practice squad.  

He appeared in three games for Houston, mainly on Special Teams.  

Kayshon Boutte: The Patriots’ rookie WR hasn’t been active since Week 1, but with Kendrick Bourne being placed on IR and DeVante Parker out with a concussion, he will get another chance to show that he belongs. 

Boutte seems to have picked it up a notch at practice this week. Head coach Bill Belichick noted his play has improved.  

“I think this has probably been his best week,” Belichick said. ” 

“Performance, consistency, assignments, production. Practice is practice, but there are opportunities out there for everybody. You either take advantage of them or don’t take advantage of them.”

Patriots 4th & 2 Podcast: If you haven’t listened to our podcast, Patriots 4th & 2”, in a bit, please check it out. Patriots 4th & 2 has expanded. 

Derek Havens and I spoke about the loss to the Dolphins with a quick look at the Commanders. We were joined by Clare Cooper @clazzyclare, who jumped in to give us her opinion on a few topics. Earlier, I recorded a short podcast with the terrific Ms. Cooper, where she and I spoke about the team at the midway point of the season.

Russ Francis/Chuck Fairbanks: The former Patriot tight end and head coach should be in the Patriots team Hall of Fame, and the fact that Francis isn’t in is an absolute travesty. Francis and the Raiders’ Dave Casper changed the game with how teams used the tight end position…this will be on our Sunday posts until it happens. Casper is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Francis’ numbers stand up well against Casper’s, yet he isn’t in the team’s. 

Patriot Players to Watch Against the Commanders —

The Patriots are facing a dangerous offensive team today. However, the powers that be in Washington traded away their best defensive players, DEs Montez Sweat and Chase Young, from a unit that has given up a ton of yardage and points.  

So here are our players from a Patriots perspective to watch today.  

J.C. Jackson: Jackson will probably draw the best of Washington’s WRs, Terry McLaurin, who has gone over 1,000 yards for three years in a row. Belichick raved about McLaurin this week, as he does every week about a member of the opposition. But his praise is warranted. McLaurin is one of the best and most unheralded players in the league. 

He has very good hands, runs great routes, and will go across the middle or deep. Jackson will have his hands full. 

Keion White: The Patriots’ rookie edge player played 62 snaps last week after returning from a concussion. And he provided some good pressure on the QB, a couple of run stuffs, and drew a holding penalty. 

This week, facing a Washington OL that has given up 41 sacks, they’ll be looking for even more from White. Getting pressure on Sam Howell will be imperative this week. Although the OL has been porous this season, the Washington offense is very dangerous and has scored 30 points three times.

Sidy Sow:  The Patriots drafted Sow this spring and experienced moving him to right tackle before moving Michael Onwenu there. Sow returned to right guard, a more natural position, and he’s played well. 

But this week against Washington, the interior of the Commanders’ DL is very tough, with Jonathan Allen and DaRon Payne bringing pressure up the middle. Sow and Cole Strange have a tough test ahead of them in giving Mac Jones time to step up in the pocket and into his thr

Christian Barmore: Barmore is playing some of his best football right now, and they need him to step up once again, stuff the run, and bring pressure on Sam Howell from up the middle. 

Barmore is LG Chris Paul, who will be making his second-ever start this week and allowed three QB hits against Philly. The Patriots defense needs to get Howell moving and disrupt the timing of the offense. 

Demario Douglas: After Kendrick Bourne was injured last week, Miami shifted double coverage on Douglas, something the rookie wasn’t prepared to handle at this early stage of his career. 

With Bourne on IR and DeVante Parker out with a concussion, the WRs available consist of Douglas, Smith-Schuster, Jalen Reagor, Kayshon Boutte, and Tyquan Thornton. Of those, Douglas has been the most productive so far this season. 

And he’ll be looked to to provide a spark this week for an offense that is in dire need of it. He’ll see some more of the double coverages until the other players show that they can be trusted more in the passing game.                                                       

Week 9 Predictions

Thursday Night Football: 

Pittsburgh over Tennessee 1-0

Sunday Day Games:

Kansas City over Miami (9:30 am start)
Atlanta over Minnesota
Cleveland over Arizona
Green Bay over LA Rams
New England over Washington
New Orleans over Chicago
Baltimore over Seattle
Tampa Bay over Houston
Indianapolis over Carolina
NY Giants over Las Vegas
Philadelphia over Dallas

Sunday Night Football:

Cincinnati over Buffalo

Monday Night Football: 

LA Chargers over NY Jets
(Bye week Denver, Jacksonville, Detroit, San Francisco)

Last Week          12—4

2023 Season      75—47

2022 Season:   178—92—2

2021 Season:   183—88—1

2020 Season:   169—86—1 

2019 Season:   162—93—1


“Yeah, he’s had a good year, really productive. I think I talked about it. He throws the ball to all the receivers. He gets the ball out quickly; he is a pretty athletic kid, a tough kid. He’s been sacked some, but he’s tough. He stands in there and makes some tough throws. Been in a lot of close games; you can see his poise. It looks like he’s gained a lot of confidence from his teammates. He’s earned it. So, he’s had a pretty impressive year.”

Bill Belichick asked about Commanders’ QB Sam Howell. 

And Belichick spoke about college basketball coach Bob Knight, who passed away this week at 83.

“Yeah, I had a good relationship with Coach Knight. Very sad. The last few years have been tough. 

“I met Coach Knight when I was probably under 10, and I have known him definitely my whole adult life. He and my dad were good friends and Coach [Bill] Parcells, so I saw a lot of Coach Knight. Learned a lot from him, enjoyed my time with him. Wonderful man, and obviously a great coach, up there in the big five in basketball. Mike [Krzyzewski] kind of in from the same tree with [Adolph] Rupp and [John] Wooden. Unfortunately, tough loss for coaching.”


“Talent sets the floor; Character sets the ceiling.” Bill Belichick

Follow me on Twitter @SteveB7SFG or email me at [email protected]

Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcasts on Stitcher and Streamyard as Russ Goldman, Derek Havens, and myself from discuss the latest Patriots news and game analysis.


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Posted Under: Patriots Commentary
Tags: Bill Belichick Demario Douglas Jaylen Reagor Kayshon Boutte Kendrick Bourne Mac Jones Matthew Judon New England Patriots Sam Howell Terry McLaurin Tyquan Thornton Washington Commanders

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