in one of the most boring Patriots wins ever, New England easily handled Washington 27-10. They improved to 8-0, which is nice and all, but the injuries the team suffered today may come back to bite the Pats late in the season.
Dion Lewis went down on a non-contact knee injury, which almost always is bad. When a knee gives out without being knocked or dinged, there’s probably significant damage. Adam Schefter tweeted that there’s no swelling yet but that the ACL seems loose, so there’s one good sign and one bad. My bet is on the torn ACL, because guys can often walk and now show swelling with torn ACLs. Remember Rajon Rondo in January 2013?
Sebastian Vollmer also suffered a concussion, and while those are serious from the perspective of repeated head trauma, he will likely be back soon. The Pats play the Giants next week, and I’m not buying their pass rush even with the 8-fingered Jason Pierre-Paul. The weeks after, though, the Pats play the Buffalo and Denver pass rushes, meaning that Vollmer’s health will be imperative.
It’s getting close enough to the end of the season — and the Pats have enough of a lead in the AFC East — that health might be an even bigger factor than wins in determining whether the team had a successful week. Except for the games against the Broncos and Jets, the 2 teams chasing the Pats in the conference and division respectively, I’d love to see Belichick take out Brady and Gronk a little earlier, and running plays that statistically cause fewer injuries would be nice, too. Doesn’t it seem like screen passes, which is when Lewis got injured, cause the most injuries either for the skill position players or for the offensive linemen who are running outside to block with tons of guys in a pile at their feet? If my hunch is true and those plays cause more injuries, I’d love to see BB dial up less of those.
But if there’s one thing that being Patriots fans have taught us, it’s that a win is a win. 8-0 baby. On to New York.