Well, the bye week is over. That was fast. Your week of stress-free NFL watching came and went just like that.
This Sunday might be stress-free too because the Washington Redskins are going up against the New England Patriots and we all know what the outcome will be, barring these three things:
1) Divine intervention
2) Referees fixing the game
3) Tom Brady decides to take the day off to chill with his wife in his Ugg boots
However, this game is still important, it’s the biggest test of the year so far. What a team to have to play after the bye week. That's like a college student going on spring break and then having to take the GRE right after. The GRE is undefeated and is known for being a little sneaky, but nothing has ever been proven. And the college student is pretty inconsistent. They are coming off a win, but haven't won back-to-back games in more than a year.
Does this analogy make any sense? Probably doesn't but that is not what is important here. The point is, this is a good measuring stick for the Washington Redskins organization.
The last time the Burgundy and Gold went up to Gillette Stadium they were plastered 52-7 by the Patriots, who were undefeated at that time too. No need to speak on that. The last time these two teams faced off in general was in the 2011 season, the year before both Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins were drafted. Rex Grossman somehow led the team to a one-touchdown loss in a 34-27 game (the original RG, we didn’t forget about you).
This Sunday, both teams will be rested as they’re coming off of extended weeks. It looks like the Skins are hoping to be much healthier than they were for most of the season.
DeSean Jackson is expected to play for the first time since Week 1 while Chris Culliver and DeAngelo Hall are anticipating as well. Realistically, it won’t really matter who is back there in the secondary because, Tom Brady, but having your starters back won’t hurt.
Here are some stats that probably don’t matter, but could be used during an interview as small talk to impress the boss and land that job you’ve been waiting for:
- The Redskins lead the all-time series 6-3
- The Redskins defense has allowed 587 yards in the last three games, the New York Jets and Oakland Raiders haven’t given up that many yards up all season
- Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has 40 receptions on the season and 7 touchdowns, which averages out to every 6 catches he is good for a touchdown
- The Redskins are 1-10 on the road under Jay Gruden
- The Patriots have the second highest third-down conversion rate in the league
- Tom Brady is 94-15 playing at home
A loss Sunday won’t end the season, it’s only Week 9. The New York Giants play on the road in Tampa Bay, and the Buccaneers have shown they aren’t a cake-walk. Then the Dallas Cowboys will play the Philadelphia Eagles, one of those two struggling teams will somehow beat the other, so worst case the Skins will end Sunday still just one game back in the loss column in the NFC East.
I don’t know what will really happen, but I can tell you that Gronk will run over at least one player.
I don’t know what will really happen, but I can tell you that Robert Kraft will be in attendance wearing a suit and a fresh pair of Nike Air Force 1s.
I don’t know what will really happen, but I can tell you that after the game a Redskins fan will concoct a very good explanation and gameplan for how RG3 would have beaten the Patriots by 30.
The Redskins are 14.5 point underdogs, their biggest spread of the season. They’ll either either get one of their biggest wins in franchise history or be just another date on the Pats 2015 “revenge tour.”