Head coach Jay Gruden had a tumultuous week, and crowned it with his decision to start veteran backup Colt McCoy instead of Case Keenum or rookie Dwayne Haskins. The results were more of the same for the Washington Redskins, as their offense was out of sync the entire game.
The difference this week was that Greg Manusky's defense showed up and showed out, harassing New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. They gave up 206 yards in the first half, but sacked the Golden Boy three times, and picked him off, stopping the Patriots in the red zone twice. Then halftime happened, the Patriots came out refocused and took Washington to the woodshed.
When it was all said and done, Washington was blown out again, this time by the score of 33 to 7. The loss dropped the Redskins to 0-5 on the season for the first time since 2001. Here's how it went down.
It Was All Over When...
.... the Patriots came out running in the second half. Washington held New England to just 19 yards rushing in the first half, bottling up their contingent of quality backs. The third quarter was a much different story from the get go. Sony Michel, James White and finally Brandon Bolden combined for all 75 yards on the drive, culminating in a 29-yard pass to Bolden when he shook a linebacker on his route to the sideline. It was all downhill from there.
WR Steven Sims, an undrafted rookie, was the star of the show, giving Washington the early 7-0 lead. It was the first time New England has trailed all season and he did it on an impressive play call from Gruden. Rookie Kelvin Harmon came around, then McCoy faked a handoff and gave it to Sims on an end around.
The up-until-now returner made a beautiful head fake and weaved his way through three Patriots, breaking free of a tackle and scampering up the sideline for the 65-yard score.
Sims, who likely has been working with McCoy much of the season as neither has played much, was clearly a guy the QB was comfortable with. The connection didn't work in the passing game though, with just one reception for two yards.
The Redskins defense has been much-maligned, but the porous Patriots protection made them look like stars on the afternoon. Matt Ioaniddis and Ryan Kerrigan split a sack, and then there was Jonathan Allen, Tim Settle and Daron Payne bringing Brady down.
Washington came into the game with just five sacks over the their first four games, so it was nice to see the big guys able to celebrate, if only for a few plays at a time.
Key Stat: 2.52
The Sims' 65-yard run was spectacular, but the vaunted New England defense shined for the remainder of the game. Washington had just 63 yards outside of that run on 25 other plays, just a 2.52 yards-per-play average. Washington finished with just 230 yards for a 4.2 per-play average.