Best and worst: Patriots 27, Redskins 10
BEST OR WORST coin toss
The Patriots lost the coin toss again this week, so can we stop talking about how they ALWAYS win the coin toss? Unless . . . they did win the coin toss? Hear me out. Technically the Redskins won the toss. But they deferred to the second half (an old Bill Belichick trick). All that really does is give the Patriots a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. But if the Redskins choose to receive, Belichick gets what he wants . . . which is the ball to start the second half. So there really is no winning the coin toss against the Patriots.
BEST way to start a debate
Huge debate between the CSNNE crew on this play. And by huge debate I mean everybody against me. I said the Pats went for it on 4th-and-2 because Bill Belichick knows the Redskins can't stop them and actually thinks they're a joke. Everybody else said it's because the field-goal attempt was too long going into the wind. I believe it was about a 47-yard attempt. Pretty sure Stephen Gostkowski could kick a 47-yard field goal through a tornado, so my point stands. Belichick thinks the 'Skins are a joke. He's right. And I'm right.
Julian Edelman got popped pretty hard going across the middle on third down deep in Redskins territory. Of course, he held on for the first down. It was a bit reminiscent of the hit he took in the Super Bowl. What I'm trying to say is he got knocked into next week. The hit drew an unnecessary roughness penalty, which put the ball on the 8-yard line. Sure enough on the next play Tom Brady went back to Edelman, who somehow had enough working brain cells to make the catch, the run, and the dive for the touchdown.
BEST wake-up call
Remember that whole debate on Bill Belichick not taking the Redskins seriously? OK . . . NOW we know he doesn't take them seriously. An onside kick completely out of nowhere? Come on. He's just toying with them now. Poor Skins never had a prayer. But Tom E. Curran actually made a good point (he does that on occasion) . . . Belichick did that to keep his own players engaged. Maybe the Redskins are no competition for the Pats, but that doesn't mean they can sleepwalk through the game.
WORST way to utilize a skill
Oh, Jules. We commend Edelman for being a tough guy to take down. This time, it came back to hurt him. After Brady hit Edelman down the middle, he fought for some extra yardage with Will Blackman on his back. But Blackman got a hand in there and ripped the ball from Edelman's grasp. He then fell on it and just like that the Redskins had their 15th forced fumble of the season. It's one of the few things they're actually good at.
BEST way to remind everybody you're the Redskins
Classsssic Redskins. On the very first play after the turnover, Kirk Cousins fires one off the hands of Pierre Garcon and right into the hands of Logan Ryan. This is exactly why the Redskins can't have nice things. They get a gift and they just give it right back.
WORST Tom Brady impression
Tom Brady threw an interception. It was his fault this time, too. I'm not gonna say much more because honestly my mind can't really comprehend what I just saw. I will say this though: He made the tackle after the interception. Pats could hang 70 on the Redskins today but Brady is going to be thinking about the pick all day.
WORST health on the offensive line
There's going to be a point in the season where we don't report on injuries to Patriots offensive linemen. It might be because the Patriots don't have any left, though. Seriously. Another injury to one of their lineman, as Sebastian Vollmer left the game with a head injury. So, obviously the thought is concussion symptoms. Not sure on which play it happened on. But since those guys are literally banging their heads on every single play, it could have been any one of them. The Pats can't take on any more injuries to their offensive line.
BEST Belichick impression
I know we talked about the Redskins winning the toss and deferring etc. etc. I made fun of them for it. But ya know what? It kind of worked. Despite allowing the Patriots to score on the opening drive of the game, the Skins did end up kicking a field goal at the end of the second quarter, and then got the ball to start the third quarter. Another old Bill Belichick trick. Only problem is they fumbled it on the drive to start the third quarter. Whoops.
WORST goal-line offense
The Patriots had 1st-and-goal from the 5-yard line . . . and didn't score. It seems like the Patriots are leaving a lot of points out on the field today. They settled for a field goal to make it 20-3. It should probably be 35-3 right now. Brady missed Brandon LaFell on first down. On second down, LeGarrette Blount ran it for four yards. On 3rd-and-1, Blount actually fumbled it but recovered it for a two-yard loss. Stephen Gostkowski came on for the chip-shot field goal. You don't get the sense that it's going to come back to bite the Patriots, but it would have been nice for them to execute deep in the red zone there.
WORST injury news
Every freakin' week it seems a big-name running back goes down in the NFL. This week, unfortunately, it looks like that player is Dion Lewis. We aren't going to jump to any conclusions here, but we do know that Lewis left the game with a knee injury. He made a cut in the open field and immediately grabbed his left knee as he fell to the ground. Lewis walked off the field under his own power but was visibly upset on the sidelines as coaches and players consoled him. We'll keep our fingers crossed, as losing Lewis for an extended period of time (or worse, the rest of the season) is a huge blow to the offense. He's also such a fun player to watch.
BEST way to step up
Dion Lewis out, Brandon Bolden in. Bolden is listed as a running back on the Patriots roster, but doesn't run often. He's a big part of their special teams unit. But he was a big part of the team's first drive in the fourth quarter. Bolden rushed for a 12-yard gain on 2nd-and-20 and then caught an 18-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady on the next play. I call that one The Bolden the Beautiful. And with a 27-3 lead, this one is completely over.
BEST and WORST kind of day
Anytime you walk off with a win, you walk off with your heads held high. The Patriots did that once again today. Nobody expected the Redskins to be a match for them, and it turns out they weren't. The Patriots could have played a lot better today, too. They left points on the field. Bill Belichick will say there were plenty of things they could have done better. But it's also the worst kind of day when two important members of your team leave due to injury. Sebastian Vollmer and Dion Lewis are pretty high up there on the importance scale. We'll have to see how serious the injuries to both are. Otherwise, 8-0 heading to New York for a big game against the Giants next week. It should be a fun one.