If one didn't know better, one would think the Washington Redskins are in the midst of another bye week, along with the Colts, Patriots, and Panthers. If one didn't know any better, the Patriots would be 8-0 and preparing for the 7-0 Indianapolis Colts. The New England Patriots may not be over-looking the Redskins but "The Talking Heads" sure have. Midway through the Monday night game, they were off to Indy and "The Battle of the Titans".
Speaking of Titans, their game with the Raiders is being billed as the better match-up. No one is giving the Redskins or the Panthers even an outside shot of winning this weekend; true, Carolina might be starting a 43-year-old quarterback but the Patriots still have to get past the Redskins. This will be the most talented defense the Patriots will have faced this season: the Redskins are ranked fifth in the NFL in yards allowed (276.8 per game), eighth against the pass (allowing 196.2 yards per game), and third in points allowed (14.7 per game). The Redskins are being totally over-looked against Brady and Company by the so-called experts. No one has mentioned the fact that quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick have beaten the 30 other NFL teams they have faced, but have not been able to beat the Redskins. No one thinks the Redskins actually have a chance to win this game, if the game is even mentioned.
The Patriots won the first regular season meeting in this series on Oct. 1, 1972; the then-undefeated Redskins lost 24-23, but went on to win nine straight on the way to becoming the NFC Champions. The two teams have faced each other seven times in the regular season, and the Redskins have won the last six meetings. The last time the Redskins and Patriots faced each other was on Sept. 28, 2003; the Redskins won the game at Fed Ex 20-17. After the loss, New England went on to set an NFL record by winning 21 consecutive games, as well as two Super Bowls. Most recently, the Patriots beat the Redskins 41-0 in a preseason game before the 2006 season and hold a 12-5 edge in preseason victories.
News, Notes, and Quotes:
-- The NFL announced on Thursday that middle linebacker London Fletcher has earned GMC Defensive Player of the Week honors for his performance during the Redskins' win over the Arizona Cardinals. Midway through the second quarter, Fletcher picked off a pass intended for Anquan Boldin, returning it 27 yards for a touchdown.
-- Offensive lineman Kevin Sampson moved from the practice squad to the active roster on Tuesday. To make room for the 6'4", 312-pound lineman, a seventh-round draft pick by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2004 out of Syracuse, the team released tight end Cody Boyd. The 6'8", 264-pound tight end, who played his college ball at Washington State, had spent the whole 2007 season on the Redskins' roster; he signed after spending the preseason with the Pittsburgh Steelers but had been deactivated every game.
-- The Redskins' Week 11 game at Texas Stadium on Nov. 18 has been changed to a 4:15 p.m. ET kickoff time. This time change may mean the game will be televised nationally as there is only one other game scheduled for that time slot. It will be broadcast on FOX.
-- When asked if the Redskins think the Patriots might be looking past them, offensive tackle Chris Samuels said, "I think we're good enough to beat anybody as long as we take care of our business, so I hope they're preparing for us and not overlooking us. I want them to bring their best game. I know we're going to bring ours."
The New England Patriots (7-0) will play host to the Redskins at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. this Sunday. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:15 pm EST. For those not in the area you can follow the game online. The Patriots are coming off a 49-28 blowout win over the Miami Dolphins; the game was as close as the score would imply because New England "sat" a lot of starters after jumping out to a 42-7 halftime lead. The Patriots are led by quarterback Tom Brady (137.9 QB rating, 2125 yards, 27 Touchdowns, and 2 Interceptions) and outside linebacker Tedy Bruschi (38 Tackles, 24 Solo/14 Assists and 2 Sacks). The New England Patriots are ranked first in points scored with 279 points and the defense is ranked eighteenth in points allowed, giving up 120 points.
Running back Laurence Maroney (groin) was on the field for just seven of 52 snaps against Miami and his back-up, Sammy Morris (chest/collarbone), did not take part in Wednesday's practice. Starting tight end Ben Watson (left ankle) missed Wednesday's practice.
Complete Tale of the Tape:
Total Offense: Washington is ranked 25th with 304.5 yards per game and New England ranks 1st with 432.9 ypg.
Rushing Offense: Washington is ranked 16th with 114.7 yards per game and New England ranks 7th with 133.4 ypg.
Passing Offense: Washington is ranked 25th with 189.8 yards per game and New England ranks 1st with 299.4 ypg.
Total Defense: Washington is ranked 5th giving up 276.8 yards per game and New England ranks 3rd with 269.5 ypg.
Rushing Defense: Washington is ranked 5th giving up 80.7 yards per game and New England ranks 9th with 92.7 ypg.
Passing Defense: Washington is ranked 8th giving up 96.2 yards per game and New England ranks 4th with 182.1 ypg.
T Stephon Heyer Questionable (strained hamstring)
Heyer did not take part in practice on Wednesday, but did practice Thursday with limited participation.
C Casey Rabach Probable (strained groin)
Rabach took part in practice on Wednesday and Thursday.
RB Rock Cartwright Questionable (quadriceps)
Cartwright missed Wednesday's and Thursday's practices; there is a good chance he will not be able to play.
DE Fred Smoot Probable (Hamstring)
Smoot was limited in Wednesday's and Thursday's practices but expects to play on Sunday.
LB Marcus Washington Probable (Hamstring)
Washington participated in all of Wednesday's and Thursday's practices.
CB Carlos Rogers Probable (Knee)
Rogers was limited in Wednesday's and Thursday's practices but expects to play on Sunday.
RG Randy Thomas Out (torn triceps muscle)
Thomas expects to have the brace on his arm removed next week and hopes to return for the Dec. 16th game.
FB Broughton, Nehemiah (Knee)
TE Ecker, Tyler (Groin)
WR Espy, Mike (Knee)
WR Harris, Steven (Knee)
WR McAddley, Jason (Hamstring)
OL Tucker, Ross (Neck)
OT Jansen, Jon (Ankle)