The Washington Redskins on Sunday welcome the New York Jets, whom they have faced nine times, with Washington owning an 8-1 advantage.
The Redskins enter the game as three-point underdogs and owners of a 2-3 record at home. The Jets have a 1-4 record on the road.
Comparisons between the teams: Washington ranks 20th in total offense, averaging 322.4 yards a game, while the Jets rank 25th. When it comes to the pass, Washington ranks 14th (236.0 yards per game) and the Jets 21st (214.5). New York averages 100.4 rushing yards a game (25th) while the Redskins rank 31st with 86.4 rushing yards a game. New York ranks 14th in the league in scoring with 23.3 points per game. The Redskins muster only 16.6 points per game, 27th overall.
Defensively, Washington ranks 11th overall, holding foes to 330.6 yards a game, while the Jets are slightly better, limiting teams to 318.7 yards per game (good enough for eighth). The Redskins rank 10th in the league when it comes to points allowed, giving up 20.2 points per game. The Jets are 17th, giving up 21.9 points per game.
Here are the key matchups for this game:
WSH RB Roy Helu vs. NY ILB Bart Scott
Looking to build on the balanced attack that the offense featured last week against the Seattle Seahawks, the Redskins likely will give rookie running back Roy Helu a steady dose of carries, and he likely will be involved in the screen game as well. Scott is one of the Jets’ top run-stoppers, boasting 44 tackles. He and his fellow defenders are aggressive, but can be run on. They rank 15th with 114.1 rushing yards allowed per game.
WSH LT Trent Williams vs. NY OLBs Calvin Pace and Aaron Maybin
Williams is coming off of two of the best games of his career, having neutralized Dallas’ DeMarcus Ware and Seattle’s Chris Clemons. He looks to continue his strong play as he faces off with Pace and Maybin, who share duties at the right outside linebacker spot for the Jets. Pace has started all 11 games for the Jets and has four sacks. Maybin comes off the bench to change things up, and has five sacks.
WSH WRs Santana Moss and Jabar Gaffney vs. NY CBs Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie
Playing in his second game since returning to action after a four-game layoff, Moss aims to continue getting back on track as he faces the team with which he spent the first four seasons of his career. Gaffney is coming off his best two games as a Redskin with a combined 12 catches for 187 yards and a touchdown. Revis and Cromartie are part of a defense that ranks seventh in the league against the pass, holding opponents to 204.6 yards a game. Revis has four interceptions and Cromartie has three. Tight end Fred Davis and receiver Anthony Armstrong could end up being go-to targets for Rex Grossman with Revis and Cromartie blanketing Moss and Gaffney.
WSH ILBs London Fletcher and Perry Riley vs. NY RBs Shonn Greene and LaDanian Tomlinson
Fletcher ranks second in the NFL with 107 tackles, and Riley is developing into a strong run-stopper for the Redskins, recording 35 tackles in the last three games. Greene leads the Jets in rushing, averaging 4.0 yards a carry, and Tomlinson (3.6 ypc) is expected to be back in the mix this week after missing last week with a knee injury. The Redskins goal is to stop the run and force Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez to shoulder the load. But if New York gets the run game going, the pressure eases on Sanchez, and the Jets’ offense will have more success.
WSH OLB Brian Orakpo vs. NY LT D’Brickashaw Ferguson
A pair of two-time Pro Bowl selections face off as Orakpo goes toe-to-toe with Ferguson. Orakpo’s goal will be to get to Sanchez and fluster him all game. But Ferguson possesses good athleticism and has an ability to adjust to those second- and third-effort moves defenders throw at him. This should be a good showdown.
WSH CBs DeAngelo Hall and Josh Wilson vs. NY WRs Plaxico Burress and Santonio Holmes
Burress leads the team with seven touchdowns to go with his 67 catches for 479 yards. Holmes has five touchdown catches to go with 66 receptions for 494 yards. Hall and Wilson will have their hands full with this tandem. Burress has the size advantage on both; Holmes has great speed. Look for the Redskins to mix up coverages as their safeties try to give their corners some help over the top on both receivers.