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Gametime: Redskins at Patriots

The Game: Redskins (4-2) at Patriots (7-0)
The Place: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA
The Time: 4:00pm
The Channel: Fox
The Skinny: The Patriots are undefeated, untested and dare we say have been undermanned for their 7-0 start to the season. Runningback Laurence Maroney missed three weeks and only played seven snaps in week 7, safety Rodney Harrison missed four weeks and DE Richard Seymour hasn’t played a snap and here the Patriots are at 7-0.

This week the Pats will have as close to a full roster than any other week this year. As previously reported, Seymour has been activated and should play some today. Maroney returned last week and though he only played four snaps, it’s likely he’ll get the bulk of carries today with Sammy Morris listed as doubtful.

The Patriots are playing the 4-2 Washington Redskins who sit in third place in the NFC east. The ‘Skins could have an even better record if not for choke jobs against the Giants and Eagles. Quarterback Jason Campbell doesn’t have the gaudy statistics but he can get the job done for a young quarterback. Clinton Portis is always a threat in the backfield but the real strength of this team is the defense, specifically the secondary.

3 Keys to the Game:

  1. NEUTRALIZE THE REDSKIN SECONDARY: Washington has four first round picks in their secondary and are led by CB Fred Smoot and safety Sean Taylor. Taylor has five interceptions in his last four games and has a nose for the ball. He’s a playmaker and loves to jump routes. The Pats must control underneath against the mediocre linebacker corps of the Redskins. Wes Welker should be able to do his thing and if Watson – who is listed as questionable – plays he should have a big game in the seam.
  2. STACK THE BOX: The Patriots need to make Campbell beat them. Portis doesn’t have a 100 yard rushing game this year but in an instant can be burning you down the sideline. New England must stop Portis and take the running attack out of the picture. The Redskins receiving corps has been disappointing, especially Santana Moss who removed himself from a game two weeks ago because of his shoddy play.
  3. STAY HEALTHY: With the Colts game looming next week and a couple players returning from injury, the Patriots need to protect their playmakers, I.E. Maroney, Seymour and Watson (if he plays). Maroney only played seven snaps last week and should see more action today. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Seymour play just a couple series, trying to get the rust off before next week.

Prediction: The Pats haven’t played a better secondary all season than they will today. The Redskins have some real playmakers who can make game-changing plays. But the Patriots also have some playmakers and should control the game. With the running combination of Maroney and Kevin Faulk, the Pats should establish the run early on and force the saftey’s up, and that’s when Tom Brady will burn them with Randy Moss and Donte Stallworth. I think it will be close early on but in the end, we’ll just start salivating on next week’s war with the Colts. Here’s one guy who hopes Indy wins today against Carolina.

Patriots 38, Redskins 17

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