FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (Aug. 26, 2006) -- Tom Brady started the rout and the Patriots defense finished it.
The winless Redskins were woeful all game long.
"I hope it looks as good in the regular season as it did tonight," Brady said after New England's 41-0 victory against Washington.
He completed 17 of 30 passes for 231 yards and a touchdown before leaving after the first series of the third quarter. The Patriots (2-1) recorded seven sacks while allowing eight first downs and extending their streak to nine quarters without giving up a touchdown.
"It should do something as a morale boost," cornerback Ellis Hobbs said, "but, at the same time, let's put it in perspective. It is preseason."
That didn't make the lopsided loss easy to take for the Redskins, who fell to 0-3 and gave up three times as many yards (464) as they gained (154). Both teams are coming off seasons in which they fell one victory short of playing for their conference championships.
"We are going through a real tough time," Redskins coach Joe Gibbs said. "I think when you go through tests like this, you find out what you are made of."
Washington reached the New England 12-yard line with 46 seconds left but couldn't score on its remaining four plays.
Tight end Benjamin Watson, who caught only 31 passes in his first two seasons, had eight receptions -- seven in the first half -- for 97 yards and a 6-yard touchdown that put the Patriots ahead 17-0 midway through the second quarter. He was helped by Washington's formation of two deep safeties.
"I was open a lot. The scheme they played allowed me to catch a lot of balls," he said. "Tom did a good job of finding me."
Through three preseason games, Brady is 35-for-54 for 404 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. Washington's Mark Brunell, who hasn't led a scoring drive in any of his 11 preseason possessions, including seven against New England, went 7-for-16 for 51 yards and three sacks. Backups Todd Collins and Jason Campbell also struggled.
"They got a little bit of the blitz, particularly at the end," Brunell said of the Patriots defense, "but for the most part, it wasn't overly complicated."
The Patriots got impressive performances from two rookies.
First-round pick Laurence Maroney scored the first touchdown on a 5-yard run. Stephen Gostkowski, who beat out veteran Martin Gramatica after Adam Vinatieri joined Indianapolis as a free agent, was perfect on two field-goal attempts and five extra points. Overall this preseason, he is 6-for-6 on field goals and 9-for-9 on extra points.
"I've missed before in college and high school," Gostkowski said. "If you miss, you figure out what went wrong and kick the next one."
The Redskins defended the pass as poorly as they did the run a week earlier when they allowed 145 yards rushing in the first half of a 27-14 loss to the New York Jets. Against the Patriots, they gave up 193 yards passing in the first half.
That bodes poorly for the regular season, since first-stringers usually get their most playing time in the next to last preseason game. Washington will play host to Baltimore on Aug. 31 and open the season against Minnesota on Sept. 11.
"If we don't take care of the little things, this thing is going to snowball," Redskins defensive tackle Joe Salave'a said.
The Patriots got catches from only two wide receivers in the first three quarters on Deion Branch's 30th day as a holdout. The team has given its best receiver until Sept. 1 to seek a trade and negotiate with another team.
New England scored on its first two possessions on Gostkowski's 23-yard field goal and Maroney's run.
Five minutes into the second quarter, John Hall's 43-yard field goal attempt for Washington was blocked by Richard Seymour before Watson scored on the next series. Gostkowski's second 23-yarder made it 20-0 at halftime. Heath Evans scored on a 1-yard run in the third quarter and Patrick Cobbs scored on two 1-yard runs in the fourth.
- ILB Junior Seau, in his ninth day with the Patriots, started in place of Monty Beisel. SS Rodney Harrison and DE Seymour saw their first preseason action.
- Washington RB Clinton Portis missed his second game with a shoulder injury, but should be ready for the opener.
- Patriots RB Corey Dillon didn't return after being poked in the eye in the first quarter.
- T.J. Duckett had 8 yards on four carries four days after being traded from Atlanta to Washington.
The Associated Press News Service
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