Washington Redskins vs. New England Patriots Pick-Odds-Prediction - 8/7/14
New England Patriots (12-4) at Washington Redskins (3-13)
NFL Football: Thursday, August 7, 2014 at 7:30 pm (FedExField)
The Line: Washington Redskins -1 -- Over/Under: 36.5 See the Latest Odds
The New England Patriots open the preseason slate with a trip to the Washington Redskins on Thursday night.
The Patriots enter the preseason with their eyes probably set on the playoffs which means staying healthy in these early 'exhibition' contests. A return to the AFC title game is not first and foremost on their minds as the team simply wants to head in to the regular season with a full compliment of players. Injuries and poor play from the offensive line hurt the passing game with Tom Brady getting sacked 40 times a year ago even though he still threw for over 4,300 yards despite having a very young group of receivers to work with. Having said that I doubt if we will see Brady and a healthy line simply because there is no need to risk getting hurt. Ryan Mallet will likely see the bulk of the action under center which will be the only time he has to shine because his chances of seeing the field with a healthy Brady are slim.
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Washington heads in to the season with Jay Gruden in his first year at the helm. The Redskins are probably better known for turmoil in the locker room then for what happens on the field. Out is Mike Shanahan who never turned the Skins in to winners and was somewhat inflexable in how things were done. Throw in the the injury to Robert Griffin III and Shanahan's day's were numbered. The Redskins will hope for a healthy Griffin III to team with RB Alfred Morris and Pierre Garcon and newcomer DeSean Jackson to give the offense plenty of potential. As for the preseason opener I'd look for Kirk Cousins to be handing the ball off and throwing sparingly to get this one over with ASAP while letting some youngsters on the defensive side of the ball show their wares for a unit that needs improvement.
Obviously the preseason opener isn't the game where Robert Griffin III and Tom Brady lock horns. I'm going with Washington because I think Belichick just wants to get in and out and back home. I will update and change this if I see anything that could effect this by Thursday morning...