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The 9-3 New England Patriots will attempt to lock up the AFC East title this week when they face the 4-8 Washington Redskins in FedEx Field.
The Patriots would clinch their third division crown in a row with a win and a New York Jets loss. New England has won its last four games and is currently on pace to own the top seed in the AFC for consecutive seasons.
Washington, on the other hand, is having a disappointing year. In training camp, starting QB Rex Grossman predicted that the Redskins would win the NFC East. The start to their season was promising, as they headed into the bye week with a 3-1 record.
However, the ‘Skins lost the next six games and could not take advantage of the Philadelphia Eagles’ struggles, and are tied for last in their division.
Both the Redskins’ Jabar Gaffney and the Patriots’ Andre Carter will be facing their former teams on Sunday.
Interestingly, both teams originally played in Boston; The Redskins from 1932-1936 and the Patriots from 1960-1970.
The Patriots banged up O-Line will face a tough test this week against the Redskins front seven.
Right tackle Sebastian Vollmer (back) and Dan Connolly (groin) both missed last Sunday’s game against Indianapolis. Vollmer did not practice while Connolly was limited. In addition, Ryan Wendell, who started last week in place of Connolly, is also limited with a calf injury.
The Redskins love to blitz LBs Ryan Kerrigan, London Fletcher and Brian Orakpo, so Bill Belichick may be forced to assign extra tight end help to protect the pass.
The Patriots’ secondary is bad. The Redskins passing attack is atrocious. Want to know how many TDs Washington has thrown this season? 12. With 19 interceptions.
Unfortunately for the Patriots, starters Devin McCourty (shoulder), Kyle Arrington (foot), Patrick Chung (foot) and James Ihedigbo (shoulder) were all limited in practice. We could be looking at Matthew Slater and Antwaun Molden getting way too many snaps.