The New England Patriots went to the nation's capital to take on the Washington Redskins. The first half indicated that the Patriots would be in for another tight matchup. The second half went just a bit differently. The offense put up 21 points and the defense put up a shutout in the second half. The Patriots moved to 5-0 while the Redskins fell the 0-5, while firing Jay Gruden after the game in the process. With the dust settled and another victory Monday in tact, let's look at three ups and three downs from the Patriots most recent victory over the Redskins.
Up: Tom Brady
Tom Brady had an off game last week against the Bills. So a big performance in Washington was critical for the Patriots to get back on their dominant track. The first half wasn't great. He had one touchdown pass to Julian Edelman, but he also threw a careless interception later on in the first half. Brady kept calm and came alive in the second half to finish the game with 348 passing yards and three touchdowns. Brady looked fine when he had time in the pocket to process the defense and set his feet. It's the same thing with Brady, he needs time to throw. If you pressure him, he struggles to get out of the pocket. One thing to keep an eye on for Thursday night is how well the offensive line blocks for Brady. If he has time to throw Thursday night, Brady will carve up the Giants defense.
Down: Kyle Van Noy
This is not a testament to Kyle Van Noy as a player. Sometimes, you are just not as active as other games. He didn't have a tackle or a sack in the game. Again, it was probably just a case of being one game where he wasn't the star. The Patriots defense has been great the whole year. For Van Noy, it was weird to see him not on the stat sheet. Watch Van Noy come out on Thursday night and lead the team in sacks!
Up: Julian Edelman
Julian Edelman lit it up yesterday on the score sheet. The wide receiver finished with eight receptions for 110 yards. He even found the endzone in the first quarter on a crucial drive with the Patriots down 7-0 at the time. When the Patriots offense is rolling, Brady is always finding Edelman in a key situation. Obviously, we know Edelman has been dealing with a little bit of a chest injury the past few weeks. It didn't seem like it was stopping Edelman from getting involved. When he's going, the Patriots become that much more dangerous to play.
Down: Devin McCourty
Devin McCourty isn't going to register an interception every single game. But just because you don't make an interception doesn't mean you can't be productive in other aspects. McCourty was similar to Van Noy in the sense that you didn't hear his name called much. He had one assist on a tackle throughout the day. It's hard to follow up an AFC Defensive Player of the Month type of performance. Chuck this up as just a non-factor type of game for Devin McCourty. I'm sure we'll see him back in the spotlight, making a big play very soon.
Up: Jason McCourty
Unlike his brother Devin, Jason McCourty led the way for the Patriots on defense. He led the team with six tackles and also had an interception to set up the Patriots in Washington territory. It is good to see Jason McCourty making big plays for the Patriots. Imagine spending 10 seasons putting your heart and soul into the game to not make the playoffs? McCourty went through that heartbreak. "J-Mac" has certainly added speed and skill to the Patriots defense since his arrival in 2018.
Down: Jakob Johnson
Jakob Johnson has taken the place of fullback James Develin. While Develin is tough to replace, it seems like Johnson wasn't targeted much yesterday. He had one reception for five yards on the whole day. What will the plan be for Johnson going forward? Who knows! Maybe just be in the game to block? Whatever it is, it doesn't look like Johnson will be involved with catching or rushing the ball anytime soon.
A win is a win. The Patriots looked great in the second half. Now, it's a short week with the Giants coming to town. Yes, they have Daniel Jones, who has given the Giants renewed life. Also, Saquon Barkley could very well be back. But, the Patriots should take care of business against the Giants. The win against the Redskins was a good way to getting back to playing well in all three phases of the game. But now, we're onto the Giants!