What to Know
This is the fifth time in franchise history that New England has started the season 5-0, and only the second time since 2007.
Tom Brady whisked by Brett Favre into 3rd place on the career list with 71,923 yards passing, now trailing only Peyton Manning & Drew Brees.
Many in the crowd were wearing dark blue jerseys and cheering for the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots.
Through two quarters, New England’s offense looked like it had picked right up where it left off in Buffalo last week.
In other words, not good.
Everything changed in the third quarter, however, when a revitalized running game opened up the passing game for the Patriots, who ultimately pulled away to avoid embarrassment in the nation’s capital with a 33-7 win over Washington.
Tom Brady topped 300 yards through the air for the third time this season, moving past Brett Favre on the NFL’s all-time passing yards rankings for third place behind Drew Brees and Peyton Manning. Brady is just 18 yards back of his longtime nemesis in Manning and could easily pass him on his first throw of the game this Thursday.
Despite another shaky effort from the offensive line, Brady was able to distribute the ball to nine different receivers – a season-high – with highlights including the first three-catch game in his career for Sony Michel, and the first career catch for Jakob Johnson.
In total, Brady was 28 for 42 for 348 yards, three touchdowns and an interception before Jarrett Stidham replaced him in the fourth quarter. The rookie didn't throw a pick-six upon entering the game this time, which was nice.
Brady was also sacked four times, with Marshall Newhouse, Ted Karras and Marcus Cannon culpable. Could the Patriots make sure that disgruntled Washington left tackle Trent Williams is on Air Kraft back to TF Green Airport with them?
Julian Edelman became the first New England receiver to amass 100 yards through the air in a game in 2019, hauling in a season-best eight passes for 110 yards and a 6-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter.
Ryan Izzo became the 75th player, including the postseason, to catch a touchdown pass from Brady with a 10-yard grab in the fourth quarter. Brandon Bolden also caught a 29-yard touchdown pass from Brady in the third.
One player who didn’t catch a pass from Brady was Phillip Dorsett, who left the game early with a hamstring injury and didn’t return.
Aside from allowing Steve Sims Jr. to break loose for a 65-yard touchdown run in the first quarter that marked the first time all year that the Patriots have trailed, it was another banner day for the New England defense – although Washington’s offense was just as culpable.
Colt McCoy threw an interception to Jason McCourty and was sacked six times, while Jamie Collins recovered a Trey Quinn fumble.
With Stephen Gostkowski shelved for the season, it was a so-so debut for kicker Mike Nugent. He missed his first PAT after Edelman's touchdown and hit the upright on Izzo's score, although the ball took a favorable bounce through the goal posts.
It's a short week for New England as it prepares for another NFC East opponent, this time the New York Giants, who head to Foxboro for Thursday Night Football.