In the eyes of the NFL world, the Redskins stand no chance this Sunday against the Patriots. Vegas installed Washington as more than two touchdown underdogs, the highest point spread on the board. 

It makes sense too. New England comes to FedEx Field with a 4-0 record and the best defense in the NFL. The Redskins are nearly the opposite, 0-4 and the 31st ranked defense in the league.

So why are they even playing? Crazy things happen in the NFL, especially unexpectedly. 

  1. The Redskins will start Colt McCoy at quarterback, his first start this season and his first action since breaking his leg last December. Plenty will scoff at McCoy as the Redskins savior, but keep in mind Washington head coach Jay Gruden wanted the former University of Texas as his starter when training camp opened. McCoy knows Gruden's offense and should be able to run it more efficiently than either Case Keenum or rookie Dwayne Haskins. Will he be better than those guys? That remains to be seen. 
  2. By going with McCoy, Gruden is leaning into a quarterback controversy. Plenty of folks want the Redskins to go with Haskins. The logic goes that at 0-4, Washington's season is likely shot, so why not go to the rookie and let him develop? The theory makes sense too, but keep in mind Haskins struggled mightily in the second half against the Giants last week, throwing three interceptions. Haskins will start, and possibly very soon, but Gruden isn't ready to give the rookie his chance yet. 
  3. Enough about quarterbacks, because there is a legitimate chance that this could be Gruden's last game. Speculation is swirling that Washington could move on from their head coach of the last six years. It would be a major move, as the Redskins haven't fired a coach in-season since 2000. It might not happen, but it could. Any coach at 0-5 and in the penultimate year of his contract, with a rookie QB that isn't getting developed, should be on the hot seat. Gruden's seat is on fire. 
  4. Ok, enough about quarterbacks and coaches. The Redskins run game stinks. The team is averaging fewer than 50 rush yards-per-game, good for 31st in the league, and averaging 2.9 yards-per-carry, also good for 31st in the league. There are only 32 teams in the league. The Redskins defense also stinks. The team is giving up nearly 30 points-per-game, good for 31st in the league. Remember, there are only 32 teams in the league. 

News & Notes

  • The Patriots have 18 sacks through four games and are on pace to match the NFL record for sacks in a season held by the 1985 Bears. 
  • The Redskins have five sacks through four games. 
  • The Patriots have 10 interceptions through four games and are on pace to break the NFL record set by the 1986 49ers. 
  • The Redskins have four interceptions through four games. 
  • The Patriots' defense is allowing a 13.4 percent conversion rate on third-downs, best in the NFL. 
  • The Redskins' defense is allowing a 62.9 percent conversion rate on third-downs, worst in the NFL. 

They said it - Redskins safety Landon Collins on the team's 0-4 start:

"Until you put your feet in here or put your feet in between these white lines, you don't know what we're doing. So it's easy to block that out. You can say 'we suck,' or this is happening because of this, but you don't know. It's easy."