Washington Redskins at New England Patriots (-14, 52 o/u)
The unbeaten New England Patriots (7-0) are once again massive home favorites this Sunday as the downward trending Washington Redskins (3-4) come to town. New England and Washington will hook up at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough this Sunday (1:00 PM Eastern).
The 14-point spread equals the largest spread the Pats have faced this season; they were also 14-point favorites against the Jaguars in Week 3, easily covering with a 51-17 win.
The Patriots have had ten days to prepare for Sunday’s game after beating the Miami Dolphins, 36-7, last Thursday. They have ridden the arm of QB Tom Brady all season and the 38-year-old is having a monster year, throwing for 2,410 yards, 20 touchdowns, and just one interception. He also leads the league with an 115.8 passer rating, even as he deals with a depleted offensive line.
“I think our offensive line and [offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo] and [offensive coordinator Josh] McDaniels have done a good job of again building our depth in preseason, where we had guys play multiple positions so that we can take seven linemen to a game and support all five positions, and be able to do different things offensively,” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick told the Associated Press.
Brady’s great season has come at the expense of the run game. The Pats average only 22 attempts and 85 yards per game on the ground.
Brady will try to continue his great season against a Washington defense that’s performed a little better than expected, allowing a half-decent 24.0 points against and ranking 11th against the pass.
Like the Pats, Washington also had extra time to prepare for Sunday’s game, coming off a Week 8 bye. The team will be hoping the week of rest hasn’t killed the momentum from a monster Week 7 comeback against Tampa Bay. Kirk Cousins led his team all the way back from a 21-point deficit, throwing a last-second TD to top the Bucs, 31-30.
The game-winning drive was just the cherry on top of a big day for the Michigan State product, who completed 33 of 40 passes for 317 yards and three touchdowns. While Cousins will be facing a much stiffer test this weekend, he’ll also have number one receiver DeSean Jackson, who has been injured since week one with a strained hamstring, back in the mix.
Belichick recognizes that Jackson will present matchup issues for his new-look secondary.
“[Cousins and Jackson] led the league in big play passes last year,” said the coach. “He’s a very explosive player. Just tremendous at all three levels. He can catch-and-run. He can get over the top of the defense.”
Brady is 2-1 in his career against Washington, throwing eight touchdowns and four interceptions, but this is the first meeting since 2011.
The Redskins offense has proved to be streaky; the total has gone over in five straight when the team scored 30 points (or more) in its previous outing. With the Pats offense operating at a high level – and leading the squad to 13 overs in its last 19 in Foxborough – look for Sunday’s game to be another high-scoring affair.
Pick: OVER 52.
(Photo credit: Andrew Choy (flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode]. Photo has been cropped.)
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