The Redskins will face a talented but under-achieving New York Jets team. New York is in survival mode, in a last-ditch effort to make the postseason. That means they will come out swinging and trying to make things happen. If the Redskins can weather the storm early, there may be some opportunities. A team trying that hard opens itself up to making mistakes.
If they find themselves in good situations, the Redskins will need to take full advantage. If quarterback Rex Grossman can get the offense going early, as he did last week against the Seahawks, Washington stands a good chance of being able to settle into its game plan, which will give the team its best chance to win.
I never thought I’d say this, but teams have been going right at the talented Jets cornerbacks, Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie. Even if Grossman hands them a couple, I still think the Redskins should attack this secondary.
Establishing the run may be tougher than it was last week against the Seahawks, but Washington must work to get running back Roy Helu going again. If he can have a repeat performance, or even something close to one, the Redskins should be able to control this game.
On defense here’s the plain and simple: Mark Sanchez has not become the elite quarterback the Jets had hoped for. But they do have some really good players receiving his passes, and if Sanchez has time behind a good offensive line, he will get the ball there.
The Redskins’ pressure defense will definitely need to get to Sanchez and keep him uncomfortable. If it doesn’t, I’m not confident that the coverage will hold up.
The challenge also will be to stop Jets running backs Shonn Green and LaDainian Tomlinson (if he plays). Stopping the run will turn out to be the most important objective in Sunday’s game on defense. Forcing Sanchez to win the ball game with his arm is a risk the Redskins should be willing to take, and live with.
Finally, block on field goal attempts. I mean, seriously, if any field goals or extra points are blocked again this week, I would cut whoever lets it happen. I don’t care if he’s a starter on offense or defense. He has to go.
If the Redskins do these things, they could shock some people and win the game. But I have to go with the Jets in a close one. I don’t think the Redskins will be able to throw effectively and, quite frankly, I don’t think a rookie running back can carry them to a victory against this defense.