LANDOVER, Md. — It’s important to wait out an entire game before coming to any grand conclusions.
It’s understandable if Patriots fans were ready to mortgage the future for an offensive playmaker after the first half of Sunday’s matchup between New England and the Washington Redskins. The undefeated Patriots only led Washington 12-7, and New England’s offense stalled twice in the red zone. It as pretty ugly.
Then the Patriots wiped the floor with the Redskins in a second-half surge and won 33-7.
Here’s who helped the Patriots most in the blowout.
LB DONT’A HIGHTOWER
Hightower missed Week 4 with a shoulder injury and was a one-man wrecking crew in his return to the field in Week 5.
Hightower led the team with seven tackles while registering three tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. He also broke up a pass near the line of scrimmage.
WR JULIAN EDELMAN
The undersized receiver continues to play through a chest injury but caught eight passes on nine targets for 110 yards with a touchdown in his best game of the season. He did drop the lone incompletion thrown his way.
RB SONY MICHEL
Michel had a nice bounce-back game after struggling early in the season. He carried the ball 16 times for 91 yards with a touchdown. He also caught his first three passes of the season for 32 yards.
CB JASON MCCOURTY
Jason’s twin, Devin, didn’t get an interception for the first time this season. But Jason made up for with a pick of his own.
Jason McCourty let up three catches on four targets for 22 yards with the pick.
Tight end Ryan Izzo caught two passes for 39 yards with a touchdown. Tight end Matt LaCosse also caught one 22-yard pass.
Running back Brandon Bolden caught one 29-yard touchdown pass and had five carries for 13 yards.
Kicker Mike Nugent hit two field goals and went 2-of-3 on extra points.
Oh, and this guy named Tom Brady completed 28-of-42 passes for 348 yards with three touchdowns and an interception.
PATRIOTS PASS RUSH
Hightower chipped in with 1.5 sacks while Jamie Collins, Danny Shelton and Chase Winovich had one apiece. Michael Bennett shared a sack with Hightower. The Patriots as a team also were credited with a sack. Defensive end Deatrich Wise and linebacker Kyle Van Noy hit Redskins QB Colt McCoy.