A win, but at what cost?
That's a question the Patriots and their fans may be asking this Monday morning following New England's 27-10 win over the Redskins Sunday afternoon at Gillette Stadium.
Bill Belichick's team improved to 8-0 on the young season, one of three remaining unbeaten NFL teams, but the victory also saw an already banged up New England team lose Sebastian Vollmer, Dion Lewis and Duron Harmon to injury.
Lewis' non-contact left knee injury in the third quarter was the most concerning of the three, with rumor site ProFootballTalk.com reporting the impressive passing back had an MRI Sunday night and that he and the team were awaiting results of those tests.
ESPN reported Sunday night that Lewis didn't have early swelling in the knee, which was a good sign, but that he had looseness in the knee, an obvious bad sign that could point to an ACL issue.
The Boston Globe says that while the Redskins were never a threat to the Patriots, injuries are. The Globe notes the importance of LeGarrette Blount and the running game in the win over Washington. The Patriots shorthanded offensive line, an area most hit with injuries, had to adjust on the fly against the Redskins with a lot of guys playing new positions for the very first time. The Globe notes the Patriots defense did its job against a Washington passing attack that literally dropped the ball.
Boston Herald columnist Ron Borges says that the injuries are starting to threaten the Patriots core. The Herald says the game with Washington was all but decided by the end of the first quarter. Steve Buckley looks at how Brady stayed calm in the midst of a lot of moving Patriots parts on Sunday. The Herald notes that New England was a little sloppy in its eighth win, something that could catch up to the team if it continues moving forward. The *Herald *Blog has Brady talking about how much he enjoys playing football this time of year as the season turns to the second half of the schedule.
The Providence Journal breaks down the "ugly, injury-plagued" Patriots win. ProJo columnist Jim Donaldson says New England's "next-man-up philosophy" is being tested yet again.
ESPNBoston.com breaks down the increased workload for Blount and linebacker Jonathan Freeny in Sunday's win. It may not have been easy, but the Patriots made things work on the offensive line against Washington. ESPNBoston.com notes that in getting to the quarterback, NFL sacks leader Chandler Jones is also working to improve his rating in the Madden NFL video game. The site also has a complete recap of the Patriots latest win.
WEEI.com focuses on the resiliency the undefeated Patriots are showing midway through their title-defense season. A couple weeks after a drop-filled return from PUP, WEEI breaks down Brandon LaFell's 100-yard day against Washington. Cameron Fleming had never played left tackle before Sunday, but the young lineman was happy to keep Brady's blindside clean against the Redskins.
WEEI.com sites a CBS Sports report that the Patriots are hopeful Lewis has an MCL sprain and not a more serious injury.
CSNNE.com says that while all NFL teams must deal with injuries, the Patriots handle the situation better than most. The site says that Brady's confidence in his line allowed the make-shift group to play more confidently.
NFL.com analyzes how the league's three unbeaten teams – the Patriots, Panthers and Bengals – have remained that way. NFL.com also has former New England 100-catch receiver Wes Welker wondering why he doesn't have a job in the league right now.
In typical tabloid fashion the New York Post has a headline saying that an ACL injury is feared for Lewis despite the fact that the story doesn't really back up the large-font lead-in.
NESN.com offers up a look at the Patriots latest win from the perspective of advanced stats.
The New York Times says the Patriots were sloppy but got to 8-0.
MassLive.com notes that Malcolm Butler got the job done against Washington's Desean Jackson, with the Redskins wideout complaining that he can't throw the ball to himself.