Patriots-Redskins prediction

Posted Dec. 11, 2011 @ 3:19 a.m.
Posted By Kevin Fishbain

The Patriots took a bit of a step back in the fourth quarter of last week's win, giving up 21 points in the final stanza to Dan Orlovsky and the winless Colts. WR Deion Branch had to recover an onside kick to seal the victory.

From reports in the locker room after the game, the Patriots were not acting like a team that had just won its fourth game in a row. That usually is not good news for Bill Belichick's future opponent, and this week it's the Redskins.

Washington's defense, which is eighth in the league, could make things a little interesting, assuming OLBs Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan can pressure Tom Brady. If the Patriots' offensive line holds, though, New England should be able to score. The Redskins don't have anyone to match up with TE Rob Gronkowski (in fairness, who does?) and double-teams on Gronk should open things up for Aaron Hernandez.

The Patriots have given up more passing yards than any team in the league, but they also have an opportunistic defense, which doesn't bode well for the interception-prone Rex Grossman. The 'Skins also are short on weapons at wide receiver, and their top pass catcher, TE Fred Davis, has been suspended for the rest of the season.

DE Andre Carter could have a solid showing, with the Redskins having to go to the bench at left tackle because of Trent Williams' suspension.

Washington may keep it close — many teams have vs. New England, but the Patriots will ultimately win this one by a few scores.

Prediction: Patriots 35, Redskins 17