A preseason win for the Washington Redskins over the New England Patriots (23-6) doesn’t really mean anything, but it was a chance for Jay Gruden to have a taste of being a head coach instead of a coordinator, for Robert Griffin III to play one series and for Tom Brady too look good on the bench, not getting a single snap, which isn’t unusual.
Brady, like the most of the Patriots starters, didn’t get a chance to play in the first preseason game. He wasn’t alone. Darrelle Revis, Danny Amendola, Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman and Jerod Mayo were also out of the picture for the first game. Ryan Mallett got to start and was later replaced by Jimmy Garopollo, who did a much better job when no one was expecting it.
Griffin finished with 2-for-4 in his series, nearly getting a touchdown. He finished with nine yards in the air and didn’t attempt to go off for a run. The Redskins saw how things turned out last season, and they might be even more cautious than before regarding their prizes possession. A lot of it has to do with relationships in the team, but it also has to do with the situation of Griffin’s knees, not just his friendship status with the head coach and owner Dan Snyder.
The Redskins also had some players sitting out: DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon, Ryan Clark and Phillip Thomas, all with minor to a bit more kind of injuries. The Redskins have a very good backup quarterback situation, and both Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy showed there are people to rely on if Griffin’s injury issues come back to haunt him and the franchise.
Alfred Morris looked good, rushing five times for 27 yards. The Patriots had a lot of troubles on the defensive side of the ball, and Bill Belichick didn’t seem happy with anything he saw on both sides of the ball. Mallett completed only 5-of-12 passes, while Garopollo threw for a touchdown pass, completing 9-of-13. Both Cousins and McCoy threw a touchdown pass, with Aldrick Robinson on the receiving end in the first quarter and Ted Bolser doing it in the third quarter.