FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots were uncharacteristically careless with the football in the first quarter Sunday, with two turnovers.
How unusual was that?
Consider that the Patriots had two first-quarter turnovers in their last 26 games combined, according to ESPN's Stats & Information.
So while they had a 17-3 lead over the Washington Redskins at halftime, this is the type of mistake-filled football that won't go over well with Bill Belichick and his coaching staff. Receiver Julian Edelman had a ball ripped out of his grasp for the first turnover, while quarterback Tom Brady fired an errant pass in the direction of Edelman, as he made the tackle on the return.
Also, running back Dion Lewis dropped a would-be touchdown pass on the first drive, a mistake the Patriots overcame.
While the mistakes were unusual to see from the Patriots, some credit also should go to Washington. After an uninspiring start, the Redskins hung in at a time when it looked like a blowout was a possibility.
Elsewhere for the Patriots, there are significant injury concerns along the offensive line. Starting left tackle Sebastian Vollmer left the game late in the second quarter with a head injury, forcing 2014 starting center Bryan Stork to take his place. The Patriots only entered the game with six healthy offensive linemen, and unless Vollmer returns, they are down to just five and can't afford another injury (otherwise, tight end Michael Williams might be pressed into duty).
Washington gets the ball to open the second half.