Today the New England Patriots (2-6) play host to the Washington Commanders (3-5). There is not a lot of history between the squads, having only played 11 times in the past. But like any matchup history, there are some memorable games, common players, and a few blasts from the past on the leaderboard. Time for this week’s edition of Fun Facts…
There have been 64 players to play for both the Patriots and Commanders. Among them are Washington’s backup QB Jacoby Brissett, who was the first black quarterback to ever start a game for New England back in 2016.
The only player to play at least 40 games for each franchise was DE Tony McGee. He played eight seasons in New England (1974-1981) amassing 77.0 sacks. He then went to Washington for his final three seasons (1982-1984). McGee was a member of the Washington Redskins 1982 Super Bowl championship team.
There were five former Washington players on the inaugural Boston Patriots roster in 1960:
OL Walt Cudzik
DE Bob Dee
DT Harry Jagielski
OL Tony Sardisco
RB Billy Wells
Thirteen players have played in multiple seasons for each franchise, including Patriots Hall of Famer Bob Dee.
Although the franchises have played in 16 combined Super Bowls, nobody has played for both the Patriots and Commanders in a Super Bowl.
Among the other notable NFL players to play for both the Patriots and Commanders are Andre Carter, Reggie Dupard, Christian Fauria, Irving Fryar, Joey Galloway, Charlie Gogolak, Rickie Harris, Brandon Meriweather, David Patten, Shawn Springs, and Ross Tucker.
In the 11 previous meetings between the Patriots and Raiders, Washington owns a 6-5-0 advantage. They have never met in the postseason.
The first game was on Oct. 1, 1972 at Schaefer Stadium in Foxboro. Pro Football Hall of Fame WR Charley Taylor had a huge game for Washington. He finished with seven receptions for 134 yards and two touchdowns. It was not enough to beat the Patriots however. New England prevailed 24-23 behind QB Jim Plunkett (255 yards passing, two touchdowns) and RB Josh Ashton (132 yards from scrimmage, two touchdowns).
The most recent meeting took place Oct. 6, 2019. New England won 33-7 to improve to 5-0 on the season. Washington fell to 0-5. Patriots QB Tom Brady passed for 348 yards and three touchdowns.
After New England won that first meeting in 1972, Washington went on to win their next six matchups, between 1978 and 2003. The Patriots have won the last four meetings.
The most notable trade in recent history was when Washington traded the very talented, yet perennial headache, Albert Haynesworth. It was definitely a low risk / high reward move by Bill Belichick. New England only shipped out a fifth round draft pick for the former All Pro. But after only six games Haynesworth was done in New England. .
Statistical Leaders in the Patriots-Commanders Series
1,599 – Tom Brady, NE
13 – Tom Brady, NE
6 – Tom Brady, NE
240 – John Riggins, WAS
2 – Tom Brady, Curtis Martin, NE
16 – Wes Welker, NE
207 –Rob Gronkowski, Harold Jackson, NE
2 – Four Players, NE
2 – Charley Taylor, WAS
29 – Stephen Gostkowski, NE
25 – London Fletcher, WAS
3.0 – Mike Vrabel, NE
1 – Seven Players, NE
1 – Thirteen Players, WAS