The Patriots will play the Redskins inside of Gillette Stadium on Sunday afternoon, the 2nd of their NFC East opponents.
The Redskins are coming off a bye week while the Pats are coming off a few extra days of rest after playing and winning on Thursday Night Football.
The Redskins are not a team to be overlooked, even with a 3-4 record, they are a very streaky team, so getting into rhythm is important for them and important for the Patriots to stop.
Here are the three most important matchups to watch when these two face-off.
1. RB Alfred Morris Vs DT Malcom Brown
Brown has been a lot better lately and he’s good at eating up the other team’s OL and giving plenty of space to the linebackers to stuff the run. He will need to continue that this weekend because Washington will try to run with Morris and Jones, both dangerous backs. Morris more of a speedster and Jones the bruiser need to be stopped so the Redskins will be forced to throw to win and don’t get to use their rollout play action as much.
2. DE/DT Chris Baker Vs RG Josh Kline
As of right now, I believe that is the matchup and it is one to watch. Kline has been holding his own, and he will have to do it again when he faces Chris Baker, who has 3.5 sacks on the season. This could change because who knows what the Pats will do with Bryan Stork or David Andrews, both very good centers, and they could move either one to the guard spot and if they do that then they can kind of tinker with the right tackle spot. I’m sure though, they will continue to play musical chairs, so whoever is at right guard and right tackle, needs to keep the Baker away. This will be on blitzing down when they send house, when they don’t, I’m sure Fleming will get Baker.
3. WR Desean Jackson Vs CB Malcolm Butler
This could be the matchup if Jackson indeed makes his return from a hamstring injury that’s kept him sideline since week one. Speed Vs The Butler should be an interesting battle, and if Butler can take him away, he takes away part of the field, and a deep part. Taking away one weapon for Cousins will just put more pressure on the turnover prone QB.