The New England Patriots did what champions do. They jumped on the visiting Washington Redskins early, aggressively attacked throughout and took advantage of mistakes. All of that is reflected in the 27-10 final score, a result that dropped the Redskins to 3-5 and kept the undefeated Patriots unblemished. While it's doubtful anything would have changed the outcome, Washington's miscues didn't allow the Burgundy and Gold any chance truly to put pressure on Tom Brady and company.
Playing without nose tackle Terrance Knighton and a hobbled back seven, the Redskins allowed a touchdown on New England's drive, during which the Patriots (8-0) could have scored three different times. While Redskins receivers repeatedly dropped passes thrown by quarterback Kirk Cousins, the Patriots' eventually dropped Washington into a 17-0 hole. Though the Redskins moved the ball at times and held the Patriots defense in check in spots, they never truly challenged the defending Super Bowl champions, who dominated with the running game. Washington's lone touchdown, a three-yard pass from Cousins to Jordan Reed, came with 25 seconds left.
Key stat: The unwanted run game patterns continued on both sides of the ball. New England rushed for 161 yards on 37 attempts, averaging 4.4 yards per carry with LeGarrette Blount (29-129-1) leading the way. That's the fourth straight opponent with at least 160 rushing yards. Meanwhile, Washington only averaged 2.5 yards on 15 attempts. Matt Jones, playing ahead of Alfred Morris, had 27 of the 37 rushing yards.
Player stats: Cousins finished 22 of 40 for 217 yards with one touchdown and one interception. The numbers aren't pretty, but only those that didn't watch the game put the loss on the quarterback. ...Pierre Garcon led with 70 yards on four receptions, but his two drops were the truly notable stats. Jamison Crowder had six receptions for 50 yards. ...Brady wasn't at his best, but certainly did more than enough for the win. He went 26 of 39 for 299 yards with two touchdowns, though Brady threw his second interception of the season with Keenan Robinson doing the honors. ...Julian Edelman scored New England's first touchdown while Brandon LaFell led all receivers with 102 yards.
Drop-a-palooza: The very first pass from Cousins resulted in yet another interception. Just don't blame this one the quarterback as the pass bounced off Pierre Garcon's hands and ultimately into the hands of Patriots cornerback Logan Ryan. The next two passes from Cousins were also dropped, including a potential long gainer for tight end Derek Carrier. Those two had company as Washington dropped seven throws. Speaking of drops...
Matt Jones: The rookie running back had one of those six drops, but his biggest muff came with one of his 11 carries. Trailing 17-3 on the opening drive of the third quarter, Washington effectively moved the ball to New England's 42 yard-line. On third-and-two, the Redskins went with a run, but Jones fumbled the carry. New England recovered and turned the turnover into a field goal. It's clear the coaching staff prefers the robust rookie to the plodding Morris, but Jones won't keep the job if he keeps up this fumbling pattern that started earlier in the season. On the positive side, Jones accounted for 35 yards during a lengthy 75-yard drive that ended with Dustin Hopkins' 23-yard field goal in the second quarter.
Defense: New England moved the ball with ease during the first half and repeatedly picked up on linebacker Perry Riley in coverage, including on Brandon Bolden's 18-yard touchdown catch early in the fourth quarter that effectively sealed the win. However, the 27 points were their fewest this season. Washington came away with two turnovers in the first half, including Will Blackmon's fumble recovery after the Patriots gained possession with a surprise onside kick following their first score. The defense also never touched Brady, finishing the game without a sack.
Injury report: Safety Dashon Goldson (hamstring) and Robinson (stinger) received questionable tags during the game.