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Week 9 Game Preview - Commanders @ Patriots

Week 9 - Washington Commanders (3-5) @ New England Patriots (2-6)


Nuts & Bolts

  • Date: November 5, 2023

  • Time: 1:00 p.m. ET

  • Venue: Gillette Stadium - Foxborough, MA

  • How to Watch: FOX

  • Matchup History: Washington leads all-time series 6-5

  • Last Meeting: New England def. Washington 33-7 on 10/6/19

  • Betting Lines: Via DraftKings

    • Spread: Washington +3.5

    • Over/Under: 40.5

  • Prediction: Washington 13, New England 20

  • Official Game Notes: HERE

  • Follow Along on Twitter

 
  • Head Coach: Ron Rivera (4th season, 25-32-1 record in Washington)

  • Record: 3-5 (0-2, T-3rd in NFC East)

  • Last Time Out: Lost vs. Philadelphia Eagles 38-31 on 10/29

  • Player to Watch: Sam Howell


The Commanders have lost five of their last six games after a 2-0 start. The latest, a 38-31 defeat to the Eagles in a game that their first-year starting quarterback played lights out. And yet, it still wasn’t enough.

QB Sam Howell threw for 397 yards and 4 touchdowns in the game, both career highs. Entering the game, he was the most-sacked quarterback in the NFL and was only taken down once by the defensive front with the most sacks in the league.


And, like always, the inconsistent Commanders had gaps on defense the moment they found their rhythm on offense, just as we’ve seen the exact opposite on occasion throughout the year.


Now, Washington heads back on the road for back-to-back games away from the DMV. Next week, it’s Seattle. But first, the Commanders head to New England to take on Bill Belichick’s Patriots.


This week, rumors have begun swirling through Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio that Bill Belichick could become the subject of a potential trade between Washington in New England in the upcoming offseason.


With the Commanders having offloaded both Montez Sweat and Chase Young at the trade deadline, it seems pretty clear that new owner Josh Harris is looking for a fundamental change across the organization and starting from scratch, which likely means a new head coach as well.


For now, Ron Rivera and Belichick face off in a game that both coaches desperately need for their teams.

 
  • Head Coach: Bill Belichick (24th season, 264-114 record in New England)

  • Record: 2-6 (2-2, 4th AFC East)

  • Last Time Out: Lost @ Miami 31-17 on 10/29

  • Player to Watch: Rhamondre Stevenson


The New England Patriots have never missed the playoffs back-to-back years under Bill Belichick.


They are in serious danger of missing the playoffs for the second straight year.

New England sits 2-6, has the 26th rated offense in the NFL, ranks 31st in points per game, and has a top ten defense that also has the fourth fewest takeaways in the league.


They can’t seem to get it going.


After an 0-2 start, the Patriots won ugly over the Jets, 15-10. Over the next three weeks, New England scored 20 combined points across three games and lost to the Cowboys by 35, Saints by 34, and Raiders by 4.


Then, out of nowhere, they beat the Bills 29-25 and last week lost @ Miami 31-17.


The Patriots have good passing numbers as a team, mainly because they’ve spent almost the entire season playing from behind, and have the 27th best rushing offense in the league, with both Rhamondre Stevenson and Ezekiel Elliott struggling to gain traction in the backfield.


Despite all of that, New England enters Week 9 with a golden opportunity to begin to turn the season around.


Over the next month, the Patriots play Washington, Indianapolis, @ New York Giants, and the Chargers.


All winnable games, Bill Belichick has the chance to save his team’s season and get back to .500 with four straight wins.


Of course, easier said than done, especially for a team that, at times, has struggled on offense as much as any other team in the league this season.


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