Early on in today’s game against the Washington Redskins (0-5), the Patriots found themselves behind 7-0, which was the first time they trailed in a game so far this season. The Pats responded by scoring 33 unanswered points, en route to a 33-7 victory which improved them to 5-0 on the season.
Here are some takeaways from this Week 5 victory.
1. The defense continues to dominate!
On Washington’s second drive, Steven Sims outran most of the Patriots’ defense on his way to a 65-yard touchdown which gave the Redskins their only lead of the game. Following that play, the Patriots were able to completely neutralize Washington’s offense, as they held Colt McCoy to 119 passing yards, and forced 2 turnovers (1 interception and 1 fumble). Other than Sims’ big run, the Redskins were held to 80 rushing yards, with Wendell Smallwood accounting for the brunt of it. The Pats were able to make McCoy uncomfortable all game long, as they sacked him 6 times, and also accumulated 8 QB hits.
Although the Redskins were definitely an inferior opponent, the dominance of the Patriots’ defense cannot be questioned, as they once again held an opponent to single digits, and gave up only 220 total yards of offense.
2. Great rebound by the offense!
The Patriots’ offense was sluggish in the first half, as they were held to 9 points, with several of their drives ending with punts due to the inability of the offensive line to protect Tom Brady, who was sacked 4 times and hit an additional 9 times. As the second half started, Brady and the offense were able to dissect Washington’s defense with ease, and he ultimately finished with 348 passing yards, to go along with 3 touchdowns and an interception. Julian Edelman (8 receptions for 110 yards and a touchdown) and Josh Gordon (5 receptions for 59 yards) were Brady’s top targets throughout today’s game. Unfortunately, the Pats lost Phillip Dorsett to a hamstring injury, which makes it interesting to see if Bill Belichick and the front office will consider adding another receiver to an increasingly thinning receiving corps.
Even though Brady and the passing game were remarkable, the most encouraging aspect of today’s victory was Sony Michel finally having his breakout game. Michel finished with 16 carries for 91 rushing yards and a touchdown, and was helped out by rookie fullback Jakob Johnson, who was able to effectively clear lanes for him. Michel had been struggling prior to today’s game, so any sort of success should hopefully give him confidence as the season moves along.
Even though the Redskins’ defense didn’t challenge the Patriots down the stretch, it was impressive to see the Pats overcome their anemic start and finally meet their potential on offense after two uneven performances.
- Passing: Tom Brady – 28/42 for 348 yards, 3 touchdowns and 1 interception
- Rushing: Sony Michel – 16 carries for 91 yards and 1 touchdown
- Receiving: Julian Edelman – 8 receptions for 110 yards and 1 touchdown
- Defensive: Dont’a Hightower – 8 tackles (including 1.5 sacks)
- Passing: Colt McCoy – 18/27 for 119 yards and 1 interception
- Rushing: Steven Sims – 1 carry for 65 yards and 1 touchdown
- Receiving: Terry McLaurin – 3 receptions for 51 yards
- Defensive: Cole Holcomb – 10 tackles
What’s next?: The Pats have a short week as they welcome Daniel Jones and the New York Giants (2-3) to Foxborough for a matchup on Thursday Night Football.