NFL Picks: Capper Predicts Lower Than Expected Total for WAS vs. NE

Swinging Johnson

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 6:45 PM GMT

Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015 6:45 PM GMT

Washington heads to Foxboro , home of the defending champ Patriots, to try to keep up with Tom Brady and company. Let’s take a look at the total NFL odds makers are offering & our best NFL pick.

Can the Redskins Contain Brady?
Tom Brady loves to pass and he does it arguably better than anyone in the history of the game. Because of that the Patriots average more yards through the air than anyone else in the league except the San Diego Chargers. Washington will see plenty of short routes to Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski with a sprinkling of Danny Amendola mixed in for good measure. Brady cycles through his receivers better than anyone in the game and can thread the needle with surgical precision.

He is not known for the long ball because his targets have historically been comprised of slot receivers and tight ends. But we all remember the record setting days of Brady-to-Moss, therefore if one of the peripheral receivers like Aaron Dobson or Keshawn Martin can shake loose along the sidelines Brady will be there to deliver. Therefore the Redskins 11th ranked pass defense will face a stern test but they are a decent group but have very little ball-hawking abilities as their meager season total of just three interceptions reflect.

Ironically what Washington doesn’t do very well is stop the rush. Despite the fact that New England ranks 30th in rushing, averaging only 85.3 yards per game, does not mean head coach Bill Belichick will eschew the rush as he did against the Jets when over 90 percent of the Patriots offense was passing. The Jets are ferocious run stoppers but quite the opposite is true with Washington. Therefore, Belichick will undoubtedly look to integrate the run far more often than usual because he sees a weakness. That’s what great head coaches do and no one has ever done it better than the Evil Genius.

 

Can Cousins Connect?
Over the course of the last three games the ‘Skins have played the Falcons, Jets and Bucs. In those games Washington faced two of three passing defenses that are statistically better than the Patriots with the lone exception being the Falcons. The numbers he’s produced this season don’t knock your socks off as Kirk Cousins is primarily responsible for Washington’s 18th ranked passing yards per game averaging 241.3 and 21st place standing in points scored (21.1 PPG). I say primarily because receivers have to make the catches, the offensive line needs to protect and the running backs have to contribute as well to take the heat of the quarterback when he does throw. It’s a community effort that is needed to put points on the scoreboard and oftentimes Washington has parts that are working while others seem to be taking the day off. I will tell you that Cousins will struggle mightily if he doesn’t release quickly. The Patriots’ have a formidable defensive rush and complicated blitz packages than can make a quarterback dizzy. If he can get off quickly then he can take advantage of space in the middle that New England is prone to allowing.

 

NFL Pick
The NFL odds makers are hanging this number at 52 except at Pinnacle who is currently offering 52 ½. It’s a tall total because the Patriots score 30 points in their sleep. They scored exactly that against the top rated Jets defense and there is no reason to suspect Washington will prevent that. But the question remains how much running will New England do because when teams run, the clock ticks. That may be a significant factor in determining which way I go in my NFL picks for this total. In addition the Patriots have a nasty defensive front that creates chaos in the backfield and flat out punishes tailbacks through the middle. New England ranks 7th in that category and they are getting better at it every week.

Though football pundits and talking heads on NFL pregame shows have taken the Patriots to task for allowing Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner to walk in the offseason the secondary has not been bad. They are ranked 18th in the league in passing yards allowed and are no means near the equivalent of last year’s defensive backfield yet they are serviceable because the front line has been beefed up with high draft picks and savvy acquisitions.

I think the final score in this one will be lower than anticipated. Let’s try to take advantage of this inflated number and go low.

NFL Pick: Play Under 52 ½ (-105) at Pinnacle

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