Commanders offense vs. Patriots defense
Now this is where things can get hairy. Of the 53 players on the Patriots roster, 31 of them are on the defensive side of the ball. Of those 31, 12 players are either 'questionable' or on the injured reserve. Five of their questionable guys are starters. That means there are 19 healthy players on their defense and there are only six healthy starters. Buddy… that’s not good. Not good at all.
That’s kind of the crux of it. They aren’t healthy and they’re playing that way. They don’t have talented enough guys for head coach Bill Belichick’s schemes to work.
As far as the Commanders’ offense goes, we’ve seen them play amazing and we’ve seen them play atrociously. Maybe they carry some momentum from last week into this game. Sam Howell realized that he could use every receiver and running back, and he realized that if he wanted to throw the ball quickly he could.
You have to believe that offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy is smart enough to cook up a game plan that can move the ball against a team whose defense’s health rivals that of a sick ward during the 1918 Spanish Flu. Is that belief based on the Commanders’ performance during a divisional game and is it foolish? Yes and yes.
Prediction: Commanders +2.5
Most people say that there are no moral victories in football. The Commanders aren’t most people. If you’re trying to jazz up your team after they had a great offensive performance and then traded two of the best players on their team, you’re probably going to try to use every bit of motivational material you can get.
The Commanders should come into this game knowing that they are capable of moving the football and scoring points. The Patriots should come into this game knowing that they are broken and weak. You have to think that confidence (no matter how delusional) is going to help Washington walk away with a dirty win.