- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 6, 2019

LANDOVER — Jay Gruden fumed, barking at his players as they returned to the sideline. Quarterback Colt McCoy had just thrown the ball out of bounds on third down, marking yet another failed drive, another Tress Way punt.

Earlier in the week, the Redskins coach named McCoy as starter. The 33-year-old, Gruden believed, knew his system best and would be able to generate much-needed offense with the league’s No.1-ranked defense and defending champions on the schedule.

Despite the change, Washington struggled to find any sort of a rhythm Sunday and lost 33-7 to the New England Patriots.

In what felt like a home game for the Patriots with a sea of diehard fans cheering after every score, quarterback Tom Brady and New England pulled away in the second half — scoring 21 points.

The Redskins were a mess on offense. They punted 10 times. They converted just one third down. And McCoy, who has six years of experience in Gruden’s offense, threw for only 119 yards.



Washington fell to 0-5, and Gruden will now see if he gets to coach another week.

To have any hope of beating the Patriots, the Redskins needed enough breaks to go their way. They got a few in the first quarter. On Washington’s second drive of the afternoon, the Redskins ran an end-around to Steven Sims — who break free for a 65-yard touchdown.

But the Patriots answered right back. In just six plays, Brady carved up the Redskins’ secondary — finding his tight ends for back-to-back 20-plus yard gains. He capped off the drive with a six-yard touchdown pass to Julian Edelman.

On the extra point attempt, kicker Mike Nugent, signed just days earlier, missed. Another break for Washington.

The Redskins’ defense finally played up to the level coaches and players imagined before the season. Against the Patriots, the defensive line — featuring a young trio of Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne and Matt Ioannidis — wreaked havoc upfront. Brady was sacked three times in the first half and the pressure helped limit the damage when the Patriots entered the end zone.

But — shades of last season — the Redskins’ offense couldn’t spin the defense’s momentum forward.

Twice in the second quarter, Washington committed disastrous mistakes. First, McCoy hit wideout Trey Quinn on an eight-yard route, but the ball was punched out — and New England recovered on the 16-yard line.

Later, with just 58 seconds left in the half, McCoy threw an interception right to Jason McCourty at the 27-yard line as Sims failed to break in on his route.

The two turnovers, however, resulted in only a Patriots field goal. Somehow, the Redskins only trailed 12-7 at halftime despite having only 128 yards, half of those coming on Sims’ run.

Washington’s offensive ineffectiveness began to take its toll in the second half.

The Patriots used big play after big play to slice the Redskins’ secondary. Tired defenders missed tackles and New England had success on the ground and through the air.

New England’s first touchdown of the second half occurred shortly after exiting the locker room, capping off a seven-play drive with a 29-yard pass to running back Brandon Bolden. The Patriots scored again on a 14-yard rush from Sony Michael and on a 10-yard pass to Ryan Izzo, who was uncovered in the end zone.

Brady finished with 348 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.

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