For as perfect as the Patriots have been in 2019, the Redskins have been just as imperfect.
Washington’s season has been defined by poor play all-around, especially at quarterback. Case Keenum, who started the first four games for the Redskins, was pulled in the second quarter of the team’s 24-3 loss against the Giants last Sunday after committing his sixth turnover in two games.
Dwayne Haskins entered the game and led the Redskins to a field goal in his first career drive. But the rest of Haskins’ afternoon went poorly. He threw three interceptions, including a pick-six, in the second half and only had 117 passing yards for the game as the Redskins fell to 0-4 on the season.
With Keenum and Haskins struggling against the Giants, the Redskins did not know who would start at quarterback this weekend.
“Yeah, it’s pretty unusual,” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick told reporters on Friday. “We have to be ready for all three [quarterbacks]. All three are capable, all three have played.”
Belichick can now turn his focus to one quarterback. Redskins head coach Jay Gruden finally named Colt McCoy the team’s starting quarterback on Friday afternoon. McCoy has started 27 games in his 10-year career, going 7-20 in those starts.
— Michael Giardi (@MikeGiardi) October 4, 2019
That was the only thing Belichick said about the 2019 Redskins. However, he was asked about the Redskins of the 1980s and ’90s, who won three Super Bowls over a 10-year span.
Those Redskins teams were a familiar foe for Belichick, who coached for the division-rival Giants as a linebacker coach and defensive coordinator from 1980-90.
“Well, they had, obviously, a lot of success,” Belichick said. “It was, I would say, probably one of the simplest offenses that we’ve ever gone against but every week the formations and the way they built the plays changed, so it was basically two running plays – inside zone and counter OT – and they had a handful of passing plays but they were built differently with different personnel groups, different shifts, motions and they created a lot of pre-snap looks.”
Belichick was very complimentary of the head coach on the other sidelines, Joe Gibbs, who was the Redskins head coach for 16 years in two tenures.
“Joe did a great job with the one-back passing game,” Belichick said. “He took it from [Don] Coryell but he took it to a one-back game more so than most other teams and what you saw in the league in that – Joe came in in ’81 I think – Gibbs, and [Joe] Theismann and they had great success running that passing game similar to Coryell’s style.”
Belichick’s Giants went 11-8 against Gibbs’ Redskins over the 10-year span the coaches were with both teams, including a Giants 17-0 win over the Redskins in the 1986 NFC Championship Game.
Despite having a winning record against Washington, Belichick shared how tough those games were.
“Those games – it was a war,” Belichick said. “Their team didn’t change very much either. Our team was kind of defensively the same, and offensively their team was very much the same.”
The Patriots will face the Redskins on Sunday at 1 p.m. at FedEx Field.