WAS-NE Grades: Patriots push past Washington to stay undefeated
Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Patriots’ 27-10 win over Washington:
– Kirk Cousins (+2.5) performance looks worse in the box score than his play deserved. The Washington receivers dropped seven passes this week, which is the third-most any quarter back has had dropped by their team in a single week this season. With those seven dropped passes, and the one pass that was thrown away taken out, Cousins had the 10th highest PFF accuracy percentage at 74.4, nearly 20 percentage points higher than his actual completion percentage.
– Will Blackmon (+3.1), who was signed before Week 2 this season, had the best game of his short career for Washington. Blackmon was targeted six times and allowed just three catches for 30 yards, but had one pass deflection and forced and recovered a fumble when New England looked to be taking over the game from the onside kick recovery.
– First-round rookie Brandon Scherff (-4.9) had a difficult game verses the Patriots, as he struggled against Akiem Hicks (+2.6) and Alan Branch (+1.7) in the run game, as well as in the passing game. Scherff struggled with the speed of Rob Ninkovich (0.0), and the rare occasion when Chandler Jones (+3.2) was moved over to him. Also, Dominique Easley (+3.1) was able to have success against the rookie. All of this accumulated to Scherff having his worst game so far this season.
DE Stephen Paea (+3.4)
CB Will Blackmon (+3.1)
DE Ricky Jean-Francois (+2.7)
QB Kirk Cousins (+2.5)
DE Jason Hatcher (+1.3)
New England Patriots
– Tom Brady (-1.0) didn’t have a poor game, but at the same time, wasn’t playing at the level that we have come to expect from Brady, especially this season. Brady threw a poor interception where he failed to locate the dropping linebacker, putting it right into the defender’s chest. The Patriots relied on an abundance of screens, throwing screens on 28 percent of all passes.
– The Patriots’ defensive line was able to cause problems for Washington all game long in both the run game and as pass rushers. The play of Alan Branch (+1.4), Akiem Hicks, (+2.6) and Sealver Siliga (+1.5) managed to throttle the Washington run attack, only allowing 22 yards on 11 rushes that occurred between left guard to right guard. As a pass rusher, Dominique Easley (+3.1) led the Patriots with eight total pressures, to score a pass rushing productivity of 22.2, ranked fifth in the league this week.
– The Patriots’ rushing game was very effective against Washington, especially with LeGarrette Blount (-0.7) leading the attack. The only thing holding Blount’s grade down was a fumble at the 4-yard line that he recovered. Blount managed to get out onto the right end 10 times, as the Washington defense look scared of his ability to run into the middle of the defense, which forced Washington’s CBs to make tackles. For the most part, they were able to do this, except for one run where Blount forced three missed tackles to gain 21 yards. As a whole, Washington struggled to take Blount down on the first contact, as he forced 10 missed tackles.
DE Chandler Jones (+3.2)
DT Dominique Easley (+3.1)
WR Julian Edelman (+2.7)
TE Rob Gronkowski (+2.7)
DT Akiem Hicks (+2.6)