We’ve seen this one before. The Patriots won another close shootout, this time 34-27 over the Redskins. Here’s what we learned:
1. The Patriots defense was bailed out at the end, but it shouldn’t have got that far. They actually forced two punts in the fourth quarter with a seven point lead. Tom Brady and the Patriots offense failed to score after both stops, resulting in one pissed off offensive coordinator.
2. It looked like the Redskins tied the game in the final two minutes, but a Santana Moss touchdown was called back by penalty. On the next play, Moss bobbled a pass that was intercepted by Jerod Mayo. Game over.
3. Yeah, it’s not a great sign for the Patriots that they gave up 463 yards of offense to Washington. The bigger problem is that New England’s defense doesn’t really seem to be getting improving in December like Bill Belichick teams usually do. Washington held the ball for more than 36 minutes.
4. How good is Tom Brady? He threw for 357 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception and it felt like one of his worst games of the year. He missed a number of open receivers, including Wes Welker late in the fourth quarter on a play that could have put the Redskins away.
5. Rob Gronkowski caught six passes for 160 yards and two touchdowns. Defensive linemen couldn’t tackle him. Cornerbacks definitely couldn’t tackle him.
6. The Texans’ win in Cincinnati makes life tougher on the 10-3 Patriots in their bid to get a bye. The Patriots may have to win out to keep the spot. Next week’s game in Denver will be a fascinating matchup.