Additional Thoughts From New England Patriots Loss To Redskins

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Aug 7, 2014; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins running back Silas Redd (24) carries the ball as New England Patriots defensive end Michael Buchanan (99) defends in the third quarter at FedEx Field. The Redskins won 23-6. Mandatory Credit: Rafael Suanes-USA TODAY Sports

5. Backup defensive ends can’t force pressure

Starting defensive ends Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich both got last night off, which thrust all of the backups into the spotlight. One of the keys to getting a good pass rush in 2014 will be finding a few guys that can effectively spell Jones and Ninkovich, so they don’t have to play 95% of the defensive snaps. However last night, the group probably took a step back, rather than a step forward.

Whether it was Micahel Buchanan, Will Smith, or Zach Moore, not one of them could get consistent pressure on the Redskins’ signal callers. Yes, occasionally Moore would get into the backfield, and Buchanan did come up with a sack late, but overall, they definitely struggled. This will have to change as we move towards the regular season, because the Patriots can’t go another year with the only two productive pass rusher being Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich.