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The story catching everyone’s attention from Sunday’s Patriots Redskins showdown wasn’t tight end Rob Gronkowski breaking the NFL record for most touchdown receptions by a tight end. It wasn’t how the Patriots barely escaped Washington with a victory, or how the defense managed to do just enough to win the game despite surrendering 463 yards.
It was how Tom Brady and offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien had a screaming match on the side line after Brady threw an interception. The Patriots were up by 7, and Brady tried to sneak one into Tiguan Underwood, but was picked off with just over 6 minutes to go in the game.
The Redskins got the ball and started marching down the field trying to send things to overtime as Brady and O’Brien were engaged in a screaming match. “I threw a pretty bad interception, so he wasn’t happy about it,” said Brady, “And there was probably a long line of coaches and players that were pretty (upset) at me after that, but Billy got to me first. He let me have it; I deserved it.”
Brady finished 22 of 37 for 357 yards three touchdowns and his first interception in over a month. He also passed Warren Moon for sixth on the all time touchdown list and crossed the 4000 yard mark for the fourth time in his illustrious career. Gronkowski had quite the day catching six passes for 160 yards and two touchdowns propelling him past Antonio Gates and Vernon Davis for most touchdowns by a tight end ever.
The Patriots hardly won an easy one, needing a penalty and a tipped pass to save the day. Santana Moss made a catch for the score, but it was negated by a pass interference call on Moss. On another play, Moss tipped a pass right into the hands of Jerod Mayo to seal the deal for the Patriots who have the worst defense in football.
Rex Grossman finished 19 of 32 for 252 yards with two touchdowns and the one interception. Roy Helu had another big day rushing for 126 yards on 27 carries. “You kind of don’t want to give up those yards in the first place,” Patriots safety James Ihedigbo said. “But at the same time, we’re going to bow our necks once we get down there, and say, ‘Hey, they’re not getting in the end zone.’”
The Redskins had a great day despite missing both left and right tackles and tight end Fred Davis. The loss was bad, but the officiating really had the Redskins upset after the game. There was the flag on Moss late in the game, but another call where linebacker London Fletcher was flagged for hitting a sliding Brady with a forearm to the head. Replay showed that he clearly hit him in the chest. Coach Mike Shanahan said the call was “horrible.”
“We don’t get no calls around here, man,” Moss said. “You guys have been covering us for a long time. Y’all see what goes on out there. We blow our breath on one of the doggone guys over there and it’s a penalty. Our quarterback gets killed — and you just almost hit somebody that’s a quarterback and we get flagged. So a lot of stuff goes on. But I guess we’ve got to play against a team and the ref.”
New England continues their quest for the best seed in the AFC with a trip to Denver to face Tebow-mania and then back home to finish against the Dolphins and Bills. Washington, looking to finish the season strong heads to New York to try to play spoilers against the Giants, then home to play Minnesota and finish up their season at Philadelphia.
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