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The Washington Commanders were sellers at the deadline, getting rid of two excellent pass rushers in Chase Young and Montez Sweat. Now, they take on a Patriots team that’s been putting some things together offensively, much better than at the start of the season.
Below are the best prop bets for this matchup.
On average, the Patriots score 2.9 points in the first quarter, but over their last three games, that average is close to six. They scored a touchdown in the first quarter against Miami in Week 8.
Against the Commanders here, we’ll take a chance on them getting a field goal on their first drive. The Patriots offensive line is far from a tough unit. Still, without Sweat and Young to worry about now, this will help quarterback Mac Jones hang in the pocket and make some passes.
The offense is still far from trustworthy, though, and they’re facing a Commanders defense with two solid starting cornerbacks. That said, we think the lack of pass rushing options will help the Patriots at least make it down inside the Commanders 30-yard line and kick a field goal on their first offensive drive.
The Patriots modus operandi is typically to take away the opposing team's top weapon. Well, on the Commanders, that regularly changes. This season, five players have at least 20 receptions. Quarterback Sam Howell has completed a pass to 12 different receivers this season. The Patriots defense doesn’t exactly have the personnel capable of locking down several weapons, which include Jahan Dotson, Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel, and more.
Howell threw for nearly 400 yards against the Eagles last week, and you know this team will play with a bit more motivation after being deemed “sellers” at the deadline.
Look for them to go down the field here and get a score with their numerous receiving options.
This ties into what we mentioned above. On defense, the Patriots have allowed 11 touchdowns through eight games. Cornerback J.C. Jackson has been with the team for four games, and in that stretch, he’s allowed three touchdowns, which leads the team. He’s allowing 11.7 yards per catch, and quarterbacks are throwing downfield against him, with an average depth of target of 15.1 yards.
Howell isn’t afraid to sling the ball around. He’s second in the league in attempts and one of just three quarterbacks with at least 300. He’s also top three in completions and has a 6.9^ completion rate.
He’ll have an excellent matchup here against a beatable Patriots coverage unit.
*All statistics courtesy of Pro Football Focus.
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