The playoff atmosphere continues as the Jets continue to make a push for the playoffs, in a now very crowded playoff picture. The Jets are now 6-5, and make the trip south to face Mike Shanahan and the 4-7, but not easy, Washington Redskins. The Redskins are on the outside looking in at the playoff race, but there isn’t a team that wouldn’t enjoy the prospect of knocking the brash Rex Ryan out of the playoff race. Let’s take a look at the history between these two teams:
The Redskins have dominated the all-time series between these two teams, with an 8-1 record, and winning the last four straight. The last time these two teams met was in November of 2007, when the Redskings topped the Jets 23-20 in OT. Here are some keys to Jets’ success:
STOP FRED DAVIS
The Jets, as we have all seen this season, have a problem with the hybrid, pass catching tight end. Seemingly any TE that can catch a pass gives this defense fits. For all of his talents, Eric Smith, and the rest of those guys in the middle, have a tough time stopping the TE. So, guess who the leading receiver on the Washington Redskins is…..
The tight end!
Fred Davis has recorded 53 catches for 697 yards and 3 TDs, landing him fourth in the league amongst TE’s in receiving yards. He has also amassed 5 TDs in his last 8 December games. You know that coach Mike Shanahan will have his team well prepared, and that means acute awareness of the Jets’ difficulties with tight ends. Fred Davis will be a factor. They need to stop him in order to have a chance in this game.
Consistency will be a big key across the board Sunday, and the rest of the way. Coach Ryan said it best in a press conference this week when he said that they have been as good as it gets in this league, and as bad. That will start with the vaunted Jets’ defense. The bread and butter of this team.
And they had better come to play on Sunday, because the Redskins will not be a push over. Beatable, but not a pushover.
Starting with the quarterback position, and the embattled Rex Grossman. He has had his good moments this year, and his bad.(Sound familiar Jets fans?) Overall he has been in the middle of the road, with a 60% completion percentage, 10 TDs, 14 INTs, and a 73.6 rating. Lately he has played well especially last week, going 26-35 with 314 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs, and a 96.6 quarterback rating. So just like any other QB, if he gets time he will make his throws. Get pressure on him, led by Aaron Maybin, and Grossman will make mistakes.
The Jets have a good chance to dig in on the rush defense this week. Uncharacteristic of a Mike Shanahan team(especially in Denver), this team does not run the ball well. The Redskins are actually 31st in the league in rushing, averaging a mere 86.4 yards per game. A team that doesn’t rush the ball well plays right into the Jets hands. However, they are running better of late. Roy Helu rushed for his first career 100 yard game for Washington last week, running for 108 yards and 1 TD. He is the only rookie with 350 yards on the ground and 25 yards through the air.
Play Jets defense on the ground, and the Jets will be fine.
FAST START AND CONSISTENT OFFENSE
This has been the recurring theme with the offense all year, starting well, and playing well. Tom Moore has been around the Jets’ facility this week, lending his consulting opinion on the offense, which should help. And it starts at the QB position.
We all know the trials and tribulations of the one and only Mark Sanchez. He threw for 4 TD passes last week, 2 of them to Dustin Keller. However, he threw for under 50% passing. We don’t need to go over his problems with decision making, it’s well documented. He makes you scratch your head for a great deal of a game, and then plays well in the clutch. He needs to make good decisions for four quarters.
And establish the run right away. Mark Sanchez is at his best when the run game is going well, and he can work off of play action. Shonn Greene is running better of late, rushing for over 60 yards in 4 of the Jets’ last 5 games, and is 116 yards shy of his career high. The Redskins do give it up on the ground, allowing almost 118 yards per game, so they can be rushed on.
This has been the Jets’ time under coach Rex Ryan. The Jets are 4-2 on the road in December during the Ryan regime. They have to keep it up, in order to keep their playoff hopes up.
There you have it, your week 13 preview. Enjoy the game, see you on the other side.