GAME OVERVIEW ::
BY PAPY324 >>
- This game features one of the highest-tempo teams in the league (Pats) and one of the pass-heaviest teams in the league (Commanders).
- No one on either side of the ball is priced above $6,000 on DK.
- 5-foot-8 6th round rookie Demario Douglas is currently projected to serve as the Pats No. 1 WR.
- The Commanders traded away DEs Montez Sweat and Chase Young, primarily hurting their pass rush, but their run defense as well.
- The Commanders passing game has been boom or bust this year, creating a wide range of DFS outcomes for this game.
- The most likely scenario is a low-scoring game with a lot of inefficient plays, but it is possible this game becomes more exciting than the total would indicate.
How WASHINGTON Will Try To Win ::
The 3-5 Commanders limp into Week 9 fresh off division losses against the Eagles and Giants. Ron Rivera’s team started the season with two wins but has gone 1-5 since, only beating the Falcons in a close game. The mood of management was on display this week when they traded two former first-round picks in Sweat and Young. The Commanders are still publicly saying they care about this season, but freeing cap space ($90 million available) and stockpiling draft picks (three in the top 50) tips their hand that 2023 has become a throwaway season. The Commanders management might not be trying “to win”, but the coaching staff’s jobs are always on the line, which means you can bet Ron Rivera will still be trying to keep his team believing that this year matters. The Commanders quietly have the highest pass play rate in the league (72%) under new offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy. They have the second-highest Pass Rate Over Expectation (PROE), only a tick behind the Chiefs.
The Commanders are throwing because passing is their new offensive philosophy, not because they are typically chasing points in negative game scripts. The Commanders O-line hasn’t been great this year (19th-ranked unit per PFF), but they got back guard Chris Paul (no, not that one) and center Tyler Larsen last week against the Eagles. They did a relatively good job against Philly’s fierce rush, only allowing 14 pressures on 55 dropbacks. There is reason to believe the Commanders O-line is trending up as a pass-protecting unit. The Patriots defense has been good against the run (seventh in DVOA) but has seen its pass defense (18th in DVOA) slip after losing star rookie cornerback Christian Gonzalez. The Patriots prefer to lean on man coverage, which makes losing a shutdown corner hurt even more. The Commanders were going to pass anyway, but the Patriots being weaker through the air sets up perfectly for another pass-heavy game plan. Expect Bieniemy to stick with what he knows, which is slinging the rock all over the field.