Jets vs. Redskins: Keys to NY's Latest Must-Win Game
If the Jets want to make the NFL postseason, they are most likely going to have to win their final five games, and then they're even going to need some help.
Their latest must-win game is against the Washington Redskins in Washington.
Stop Roy Helu
Last week against the Seattle Seahawks, Roy Helu rushed for 108 yards and a TD.
The New York Jets need to stop Helu.
The Jets run defense has been solid the past five games; they have not allowed a 100-yard rusher and only allowed one team, the Denver Broncos, to gain over 100 yards on the ground.
Stopping Helu would put the game in Rex Grossman's hands and may force him to turn the ball over.
Force Rex Grossman to Turn the Ball over
Rex Grossman had a pretty good game last week against the Seattle Seahawks. He threw for 314 yards and two TDs, and he also had two interceptions.
After focusing on the run, the New York Jets have to blitz and confuse Grossman as much as they can.
The Seahawks were able to sack him only once, but they were able to hit him nine times. The Jets need to do more because Grossman was still able to win the game.
Last week, against the Buffalo Bills, the Jets had three sacks along with five QB hits. They may need a repeat performance to win this game.
Darrelle Revis Needs to Play Better
This is crazy to say, but Darrelle Revis needs to play better.
Last week against the Buffalo Bills was possibly the worst game of his career.
In his first matchup with Bills receiver Stevie Johnson, Revis gave up three catches for 84 yards. Last week, Revis gave up 13 catches for 84 yards and was beat for a TD.
Against the Washington Redskins, Revis may have to face Santana Moss, a receiver similar to Johnson.
If he is not assigned to Moss, Revis we'll have to shutdown Jabar Gaffney, who had five receptions for 72 yards in his last game.
Cover Fred Davis
The New York Jets have had their trouble with athletic tight ends this season. The linebackers are too slow to catch them, and the safeties and corner backs are to small to bring them down.
Most recently, Buffalo Bills tight end Scott Chandler took advantage, having six catches for 50 yards.
Fred Davis is another athletic tight end that can burn the Jets.
The Jets need to come up with schemes to take Davis out of the game.
Against the Seattle Seahawks, Davis had four catches for 58 yards and a TD.
Protect Mark Sanchez
Last week against the Buffalo Bills, the New York Jets offensive line gave up no sacks and only allowed one QB hit, they must continue this.
Led by Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo, the Washington Redskins are tied for third in the league with 33 sacks, so the Jets are going to have to be on their game.
An upright Mark Sanchez is better than an on-the-ground Mark Sanchez.
Shonn Greene and the Running Game
After gaining only 10 yards against the Denver Broncos before going out with an injury, Shonn Greene got back on track last week against the Buffalo Bills rushing for 78 yards.
As a team, the Jets gained 138 yards on the ground against the Bills.
Shonn Greene and Joe McKnight have to find a way to be effective against the Washington Redskins.
The Redskins are giving up 118 rushing yards per game; the Jets need to take advantage of this and get their running game going to keep some of the pressure off their QB.
Finally, there was a Dustin Keller sighting last week against the Buffalo Bills.
Keller was finally a factor in a game this season. He had four catches for 61 yards and two TDs.
Before last week, Keller has not had caught a TD since Week 2.
It baffles me why he is not used more in the Jets passing game when he presents a mismatch just about every week.
Santonio Holmes and Plaxico Burress
Plaxico Burress and Santonio Holmes are both happiest when they are heavily involved in games.
Against the Buffalo Bills, Burress had four catches for 54 yards and a TD, while Holmes had two catches for 22 yards and a TD. Holmes also had two carries for 28 yards.
Both were equally used by offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. This is when the offense is at its best.
The Washington Redskins rank 10th in the league against the pass, so the Jets are going to need to use both Holmes and Burress.
Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer can call the perfect game, but Mark Sanchez has to execute it.
If the pass is not there, Sanchez has to dump it down or throw it away. He cannot continue to force the ball.
Sanchez has thrown six interceptions in his last five games, two of them were returned for TDs.
The Washington Redskins only have eight interceptions on the season, but they have only allowed 13 passing TDs.
Sanchez must take care of the ball.
Jets Special Teams
When are these fumbles going to stop?
Last week against the Buffalo Bills, Antonio Cromartie fumbled a punt return that led to a TD.
In Week 10, against the New England Patriots, Joe McKnight fumbled a punt return that led to a field goal.
These both were momentum-swinging turnovers that cannot happen against the Washington Redskins or for the rest of the season, especially since every last game are must-wins.