The New England Patriots look to expand their four game win streak this Sunday when they face the Washington Redskins. The Redskins have lost seven of their last eight and sit at 4-8 on the season. The Patriots, coming off a rather embarrassing victory over the win-less Indianapolis Colts, are looking to work out a few things this week against the Skins’. New England comes in as nine-point favorites, so lets go over a few things to watch for:
- The Patriot’s Run Game: The Patriots have moved this offense on without the run game, and honestly it is probably for the better. But the Patriots are clearly the favorite in this game and it can only help if the Pats try and establish a run game. Getting rookie Stevan Ridley involved, along with starter BenJarvus Green-Ellis, would do wonders for this Patriot offense. All a running game could do for the Patriots, is open things up for Tom Brady, which might not be fair to some defenses.
- Rex Grossman vs. Patriot’s secondary: Rex Grossman has struggled this year but has a strong chance to put up some numbers vs. this Patriot defense. New England is giving up 310 yards of offense through the air which is currently last in the NFL. This is also a great chance for the Patriot secondary to figure out a rotation. Last week, Nate Jones and Matt Slater started at safety. Slater, a converted wide receiver, struggled mightily against Dan Orlovsky and may have forced the Pat’s coaching staff to make a change.
- Rob Gronkowski: The 6’6 tight end had three touchdowns last week, one of which was ruled a rushing touchdown, giving him 13 receiving scores on the year. This has him tied with Vernon Davis, 2009, and Antonio Gates, 2004, for the most receiving touchdowns in a single-season by a tight end. Look for Brady to help Gronkowski take control of that record this Sunday.
Tom Brady vs. Redskin’s secondary: The Redskin’s secondary hasn’t given up 300 yards passing to a quarterback all year. DeAngelo Hall leads this secondary but hasn’t had his strongest season. Hall, who still believes he is one of the top corners in the league, is the captain of this defense and is going to need his best performance this weekend. The Patriot offense is averaging 316 yards of passing offense and looks to continue that trend against the Skins’.
- AFC East in sight: With a win this weekend, and a New York Jets loss, the Patriots will clinch the AFC East. The Jets are home this weekend vs. the Kansas City Chiefs. It wouldn’t surprise anyone if the Jets won this weekend, but in case of a loss, the Pats’ will be AFC East champs for the third year in a row. After a division crown, the Patriots will have their sights on a first round bye and home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Sports Bettors: Patriots -9 and OVER at 48
The Patriots and Redskins kick off at 1 PM ET. this Sunday.
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