Washington Redskins () vs New England Patriots ()Date : 08/09/2018
Time : 7:30 PM
Location : Gillette Stadium
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
Washington Redskins vs New England Patriots
The New England Patriots are set to open the preseason at Gillette Stadium where they will play in an AFC-NFC crossover matchup as the Washington Redskins will travel to Massachusetts, the opening kick is slated for 7:30 PM. The Patriots are looking to continue their 9-year playoff streak while the Washington Redskins are trying to climb back into relevancy in the NFC East.
Washington Redskins's Latest Performance :
The Jay Gruden experiment has failed to take off in Washington as the Redskins have only made the playoffs in one season over the 4-year tenure and nothing was different last year as Gruden led the ‘Skins to a 7-9 finish. Kirk Cousins was supposed to be the QB of the future for Washington but after the Michigan State alum had a 4,000+ yard season last year the free agency interest picked up which essentially landed him in Minnesota. The Redskins were able to find a QB who has proven to be a winner at the NFL level as Alex Smith was able to lead the Chiefs to a playoff appearance last season behind a 4,042 yard and 26 TD season. Rookie Samaje Perine was the top running back last season for the ‘Skins as he was able to rush for 603 yards but they were able to upgrade that position this past offseason as they drafted Derrius Guice out of LSU in the 2nd round. Jamison Crowder was able to separate himself from the rest of the pass catchers as the 25-year-old compiled a team-high 789 yards. The Redskins are expecting more production out of Brian Quick who was once a 500+ yard pass catcher for the Rams, and are hoping Paul Richardson benefits in his new home after spending the start of his career in Seattle. The defense could ultimately be the ones to blame for their 7-9 record as they let opponents score an average of 24.3 PPG which was the 27th worst in the NFL. Luckily the Redskins will return their leader LB Zach Brown who will hold down the middle of the defense after having a team-high 84 tackles last season. Joining Brown will be one of the best pass rushers in the NFL as Ryan Kerrigan is coming off a 13 sack season in what was his 6th season for the Redskins and Preston Smith who contributed another 8 sacks himself. The pass rush has potential to be even better this season after Gruden spent his first-round pick on DT Daron Payne who had a stellar career at the University of Alabama. CB Kendall Fuller benefited from a solid pass rush as he was able to bring down 4 interceptions last season but the former Virginia Tech superstar has now moved onto Kansas City. Josh Norman is a $75 million dollar man but the former Carolina Panther failed to play like it last year as he failed to come down with an interception and if the Redskins want to improve they will need Norman to fill the void of Fuller and then some.
New England Patriots's Latest Performance :
Bill Belichick has been able to solidify himself as arguably the best coach in NFL history as he has led the Patriots to 14 playoff appearances over the last 15 seasons. The New England Patriots were able to make their 3rd Super Bowl in as many as 4 years last season but they were unable to come away with a win as they fell to the Philadelphia Eagles. New England has the advantage of being led by one of the best QBs in NFL history as 41-year-old Tom Brady has failed to look like a 19 season veteran. Brady was able to make his 13th Pro Bowl in 2017 as the former 6th round pick was able to throw for 4,577 yards, 32 TDs, and only 8 interceptions. The Patriots keep their run game to a minimal but they weren’t too shabby in that department last season as Dion Lewis was able to lead the team in rushing with 896 yards and 6 TDs. The Patriots were able to bulk up their running back room as they brought in the former Cincinnati Bengal standout Jeremy Hill as well as used an early draft pick on Sonny Michel out of Georgia. The WR unit thinned out real fast for the Pats as Danny Amendola departed for Miami, Brandin Cooks is in Los Angeles, and Julian Edelman is suspended for the first 4 games of the season. Monster TE Rob Gronkowski is the top returning pass catcher as he was able to compile a team-best 1,084 yards and 8 TDs. The defense was a top 5 unit last year but they will try to repeat their success this season with a new defensive coordinator after Matt Patricia took the head coaching job in Detroit. The backend of the defense is one of the stronger units for New England and they only got stronger with the addition of Jason McCourty and rookie Duke Dawson. Jason’s brother Devin was the top tackler for the Patriots last season as the safety was able to compile 77 tackles. Duron Harmon is another Rutgers grad (McCourty twins) and he was a ballhawk last season as he had a team-high 4 interceptions last year. New England received a solid pass rush from their front 7 last season as Trey Flowers led the team with 6.5 sacks and the rush could be even better this season after Belichick was able to add Adrian Clayborn to the roster.
How Washington Redskins & New England Patriots Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
Washington went 7-9 ATS in 2017
New England went 11-5 ATS in 2017
In-Depth Analysis of each team:
New England ranked 2nd in PPG as they averaged 28.6 while Washington ranked 16th with 21.4 PPG.
New England ranked 5th in points allowed as opponents scored an average of 18.5 PPG while Washington ranked 27th as opponents averaged 24.3 PPG.
Against The Spread Selection: Washington Redskins +4
My reason for the pick :
Unfortunately, if you are tuning in to watch Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski terrorize the Redskins defense you are in for a rude awaking as these two superstars will fail to see much playing time. The reason that I am backing the Redskins is that they have a solid backup QB in Colt McCoy as well as a solid starter in Alex Smith who could see an extended amount of time in what will be his first game as a Redskin. Bill Belichick has been around forever and he knows that the preseason means absolutely nothing (hence his 42-42 ATS record) which has me backing Washington and the +4 spread.