Patriots vs. Redskins: 5 Players To Watch


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Here are five players to watch in Sunday’s game.

5. Dion Lewis/LeGarrette Blount

The Redskins have the 3rd worst run defense in the NFL, and I think this would be a good week to give Tom Brady’s arm a little rest and get the ground game going. I’m not saying completely abandon the pass, because there will be plenty of plays to be had against Washington’s secondary. However Lewis and Blount should be able to have a decent day on the ground, so I hope Josh McDaniels and company try to run the ball in this one.

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4. DeSean Jackson

It appears Jackson will be ready to play this Sunday, and even if he isn’t at 100%, he will be the Skins’ most dangerous weapon on the field. I think Malcolm Butler will draw the assignment for the majority of the game, although the Pats will be sure to have a safety over the top at all times. Washington doesn’t have many weapons that scare you, but they have to be aware of Jackson, because he still has the ability to take the top off of a defense.

3. Dont’a Hightower/Jamie Collins

I legitimately think these two guys are defensive player of the year candidates, as they have been playing lights out the last few weeks. The Redskins don’t scare you with their running game, but it will be key for the Pats to stuff the run and force Kirk Cousins to throw the ball. If they do that, Hightower and Collins can start to tee off on Cousins, and there will be plenty of turnovers.

2. Ryan Kerrigan

Kerrigan has been injured lately, but like Jackson, it appears he will play this Sunday for the Skins. Kerrigan is Washington’s best edge rusher, and even limited, he could make a big impact on New England’s league-leading offense if the Pats allow him to do so. Sebastian Vollmer will have to win his individual 1-on-1 matchup this week, which I am confident he will do, but this is also a reason why the Patriots should try to run the ball more. If they have the run game going, Kerrigan won’t be able to just tee off on Brady.

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  1. Brandon Lafell

LaFell rebounded nicely last week after an awful showing against the Jets, catching four balls for 47 yards. His route-running appears to be as sharp as ever, as he was separating against coverage, but his hands need to catch up. With the Skins’ depleted secondary, LaFell could definitely get back on track if Washington game-plans to take away Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman.