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Replay: Best of the Week on Patriots.com Radio Thu Jun 20 - 02:00 PM | Tue Jun 25 - 09:55 AM

Patriots vs. Redskins

When Adam Vinatieri misses both an extra point and a makeable field goal in the same night, you know things aren’t going well. Yes, the Patriots did win their second preseason game by the tune of 20-13, but no, their performance will not be getting the rave reviews of their first showing.

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             When Adam Vinatieri misses both an extra point and a makeable field goal in the same night, you know things aren't going well. Yes, the Patriots did win their second preseason game by the tune of 20-13, but no, their performance will not be getting the rave reviews of their first showing.  

This one was anything but the well-oiled exhibition of the Patriots first preseason game. Despite some offensive fireworks and good pass coverage on defense early on in the first quarter, New England looked sloppy for most of the night on both sides of the ball. As the game progressed, the offensive line seemed to tire with Damien Woody on the sidelines with a leg injury and that meant Brady began feeling pressure. It also meant that neither Smith nor Faulk could get on track with the ground game.

On defense, when the Redskins decided to run, the Patriots looked soft up the middle in their various packages to the tune of 131 yards. Fortunately for the guys in blue, Washington was having their own problems, committing 13 penalties along with three turnovers.

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             On the night, Brady was 9 for 18 for 145 yards and a touchdown. Patrick Pass led the Patriots rushers with 46 yards on 7 carries while Antowain Smith had 33 yards on the same number of attempts with a touchdown to boot.  

Two big plays marked the night offensively for the Patriots; an 85-yard touchdown pass from Brady to David Patten and a 98-yard kick off return by rookie Bethel Johnson.

Washington looked in preseason form on their first series with two incomplete passes and then a shotgun snap by center Wilbert Brown that sailed over the head of QB Patrick Ramsey. That forced a punt from the Washington 4-yard line that Tyrone Poole returned to the 40.

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             Six plays later, the Patriots were in the end zone. Smith started at running back and carried for 13 yards on his first try through a nice hole left of center. Brady hit David Patten on the 5-yard line and Smith ran it in from there. The extra point, however, hit the left upright, leaving the Patriots up 6-0.  

Damien Woody left the game after the drive with a leg injury and was replaced by Dan Koppen at center.

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             The first turnover of the game came on Washington's next drive. Running back Trung Canidate did most of the work getting the Redskins down to the Patriots 43 and then Ramsey hit Laveranues Coles on third and 10 for a gain of 19. But on the next play, rookie corner Eugene Wilson picked his pocket.  

And Washington paid for the mistake. On third and 5 from his own 15, Brady dropped back with excellent protection and waited for David Patten to beat his man down the right sideline and then launched a beautiful pass that Patten took in stride and into the end zone. This time, Vinatieri was good on his extra point attempt and the Patriots were up, 13-0.

Both teams traded possessions until Washington finally broke onto the scoreboard towards the end of the second quarter. Rock Cartwright converted a fourth and 1 attempt with a 7-yard run and then Ramsey found Coles for 37 yards. Canidate ran it in from 6 yards out and the Redskins were within six points after the extra point.

The half ended with the Patriots taking a shot at a 57-yard field goal that Vinatieri had the distance on but was wide to the left.

The second half began on a dubious note for New England. Bethel Johnson fielded the opening kickoff and fumbled it, recovered it and fumbled again. Mike Vrabel finally jumped on the ball but not until it rolled back to the New England 3. But since this is preseason, Washington returned the favor after the Patriots were forced to punt from deep in their own territory. Unlike New England, Washington was unable to recover its muffed punt return, leaving that to Antwan Harris. Despite the good fortune, Rohan Davey – in for Brady – had a rough night and the offense only went backwards, unable to take advantage. Davey completed only one pass for minus-3 yards, playing the entire second half.

The Redskins got on track with a nice 16-play, 68-yard drive mostly on the ground as the Patriots were having their problems stopping the run. The drive ended in a 27-yard field goal by John Hall and the Redskins pulled within three.

That was when Bethel Johnson made up for his earlier flubs. On the ensuing kickoff, the speedster was just that, simply running away from the Washington coverage with the preseason's first special teams touchdown.

The Patriots offense continued to sputter and the defense was having trouble getting off the field. Were it not for some Washington miscues, the score could have easily tilted in Washington's favor. For instance, on the Patriots 20-yard line, Skins quarterback Rob Johnson let the ball slip through his hands as he prepped to pass on third and 12. He recovered but the play put the field goal team on and Hall hit his second of the night to close the margin to a touchdown at 20-13.

After Vinatieri hit the left goal post from 45 yards out towards the end of the game in what seemed like the only chance the Patriots had to score in a long time, the Redskins had one last try to tie the score. Working in two-minute mode, Gibran Hamden had the chore of leading the Washington offense but on third and 13 from the Patriots 39, Chris Akins read Hamden's intentions and picked him off to end the game.

New England stays on the road next week to take on the Eagles in Philadelphia

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