Through the first seven weeks of the NFL season, the New England Patriots look like a high school powerhouse team playing a team of 7th graders just learning the game. Week after week they have laid waste to each of the teams that have been put in their way, making it look way to easy. Best ever? That remains to be seen, but as for now, the Pats are the most impressive looking team that has been put on a NFL field in sometime. This week though, poses a new challenge, and one that might, just might, actually test them in the Washington Redskins. I know, I’m dreaming and the Pats are set once again to win by 17-28 points at home where they lose next to never. But, there are a couple of reasons why Washington has what it takes to give the Pats possibly their toughest test of the season – and here they are:
1. The Redskins secondary – Washington has a solid secondary that with players like rookie LaRon Landry at safety, and Carols Rogers, Fred Smoot and Shawn Springs at the corner spots. Remember a few weeks back they gave Brett Favre and the passing game in Green Bay fits, to the point where the Skins should have won that game if it were not for a few turnovers. New England’s offensive bread and butter is to throw, and this could finally be the week that someone can test them in that department.
2. The Trick Play Department – The Skins have the ability with Antwaan Randle El to possibly cross up the Pats with a trick play or two. That is something that I have not seen many teams try to do against the Pats, and that is be a bit more creative with their offensive game plan. Let the linebackers be agressive, and then throw in some reverses and wide out throws and things of the sort. After all, you already know you have nothing to lose.
3. Your Hall of Fame coach calling you out – As if as NFL players you need to be motivated, this past Monday Skins coach Joe Gibbs took a shot at his own team, saying “We’ll probably be the biggest underdog in the history of sports.” He also added – “We’re going to struggle hard.” Nothing like saying your team doesn’t have a shot. You have to think players like Clinton Portis, Santana Moss and other read that and now have extra reason to play even harder on Sunday, to not only prove everyone, but even their own coach wrong.
4. Their Playmakers are due – Clinton Portis has not rushed for 100 yards in a game this season, and his best game was week one with 98 yards. Santana Moss has 8 yards recieving the last two weeks. The offense was beaten up by the Cardinals at home last week. Again, being counted out can be a factor that the Skins can use to their advantage. Portis and Moss will give extra effort knowing they have been down the last few weeks, so look for them to do whatever they can to have big games.
So hey, why not the Redskins? Could the Pats be looking past Washington for their meeting in two weeks with the Colts? Possibly. This is a Washington team that has to have a lot of things fall in place to be able to pull off a monster upset in New England. But they do have the talent, now they just have to have the ball bounce their way and do it.