February 22, 2020

Washington Redskins Game 6 Preview: at New York Jets

The Washington Redskins head into MetLife Stadium for the second time this year to face the much-improved New York Jets. The Redskins look to get back on the winning track after a brutal close loss to the Atlanta Falcons, while the Jets are fresh off of a bye week and ready to add another win to their 3-1 record.

The Redskins took a tough one on the chin last week in Atlanta when they climbed back to send the game into overtime, only to have a pick 6 do them in. The Jets have been nice and rested and will definitely feel confident going into this game, so it is up to Gruden and co. to put together a creative game plan to knock them off their rhythm.

The Jets are a similar team to the Redskins, creating their identity through tough defense and a run game behind Chris Ivory. Their stout defensive line, led by rookie lottery pick DE Leonard Williams and veteran DE Muhammad Wilkerson, is a big reason why they are second in the NFL in rushing defense at 95 yards per game. Their two Pro Bowl cornerbacks, Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie, are incredibly athletic and create problems for all opposing QBS. The Jets defense is only allowing 13.8 points a game, good for best in the entire NFL.

The Redskins will look to take it to the Jets early and set the tone as they have in many games this season, but injuries and lack of depth are not helping their cause.  CB DeAngelo Hall, TE Jordan Reed, T Trent Williams, WR DeSean Jackson, CB Chris Culliver, C Kory Lichtensteiger, and RB Matt Jones are among the key players with injuries leading up to this game. It will be interesting to see if Jay Gruden can put together a successful game plan against the Jets with this many key pieces out.

The Redskins will look to re-establish the run on the offensive side of the ball after losing it against Atlanta, a game in which Alfred Morris, Chris Thompson, and Matt Jones combined for just 50 yards. Getting the running game going will be beneficial in attacking the Jets corners with an undermanned receiving corps, led by Jamison Crowder, who has gelled nicely with Kirk Cousins this season. On defense, the Redskins will try to contain Chris Ivory and Brandon Marshall while forcing replacement-level QB Ryan Fitzpatrick beat them through the air.

Key Matchups

Redskins Defensive Front vs.Chris Ivory

Chris Ivory has been a breakout star the past couple of seasons, with 821 yards and 6 TDs last year, and 321 yards and 3 TDs already thus far this year. As he goes, so does the Jets’ offense, and he opens up opportunities for Fitzpatrick to hit Marshall and WR Eric Decker in the play-action game.

The Redskins’ defensive front is the least-decimated by injuries at this point and must make a statement this game after allowing Devonta Freeman to have a productive day last week. DE Chris Baker, NT Terrence Knighton, OLB Ryan Kerrigan, and ILB Keenan Robinson, among others, have to have monstrous days clogging up the line in order to make things uncomfortable for the Jets’ offense. This will be a low scoring affair, so this matchup is extremely important, especially late in the game.

 Redskins Offensive Line vs. Jets Defensive Line

As I alluded to earlier, the Redskins will most likely play this game without 3 of their original starting linemen: T Trent Williams, C Kory Lichtensteiger, and G Shawn Lauvao. Guys like C/G Tyler LeRibeus will have to step up and play a very meaningful role in this game against the league’s second-best rushing defense if the offense wants to have any chance of moving the football.

If the makeshift offensive line cannot open up holes for the running backs and protect Kirk Cousins, this game will likely be over pretty quickly. The Jets are going to exploit the weakness in the O-line, and as we have seen in the past, Jay Gruden’s offense does not develop well under fire.

Redskins’ Receivers vs. Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie

I choose to shed light on the receivers matching up against these two juggernauts in the secondary because they will need to find ways to get open and make Cousins’ life easier. Jamison Crowder, Pierre Garcon, and Rashad Ross (among others) have filled in admirably for DeSean Jackson and Jordan Reed, but they will be facing by far their toughest opponent on Sunday.

All three of the aforementioned need to utilize their speed and quickness and make plays in the passing game, especially when the Jets will load the box and make Cousins try and beat them. This game could come down to one big, clutch play in the passing game, and if it’s not one of the Redskins’ receivers making the play, it will definitely be Revis or Cromartie.

Redskins’ “Stud” of the Game

ILB Keenan Robinson

Keenan Robinson is one of the most underrated players not only on the Redskins but in the entire NFL. He, Kerrigan, and Dashon Goldson are the leaders of the Redskins’ defense, and Robinson has been known to make big plays when they are needed. He will have to do just that in order to stop the Jets running attack and wreak havoc on their Fitzpatrick-led offense. If Robinson can make some big plays early, then the Redskins can stay in this game and follow the tone he sets from the first play.

Staff Picks

Seamus Kane: Redskins 13, Jets 23

The Jets’ physical style of play will be too much to handle for Washington, especially after they have had 2 weeks’ rest. The Redskins are just too banged up and cannot match the talent of Marshall, Decker, Revis, Cromartie, Williams, etc. on the road. Expect it to stay close for most of the game before the Jets close it out with a heavy dose of Ivory.

Neil Dalal: Redskins 13, Jets 17

The Redskins have been fairly competitive in all of their games so far; however, whenever the defense is finally forcing turnovers the offense is not cashing them in. With a depleted offensive line that has a combination of 13 starts in their careers, the Jets defensive line might go off. The Jets’ offense is not as lethal as the Falcons but could still move the ball against a Redskins secondary that is also depleted. It will be a war of attrition for the Redskins but Cousins will have to be more accurate on his passes for the team to have a chance.

Dave Nichols: Redskins 10, Jets 31

The Redskins are just too beat up along the offensive line to withstand defensive pressure from the Jets. Expect New York to blitz early and often, which will lead to sacks and turnovers, which in turn will lead to more passing situations as the Skins could find themselves down big early. With Matt Jones on Jordan Reed both out, Kirk Cousins’ safety nets are reduced. They could use a ton of Alfred Morris grounding out yardage, but again, a young. depleted offensive line doesn’t bode well for a ball possession offense either.

About Seamus Kane

Seamus Kane is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Redskins and Wizards. A native of Silver Spring, MD, Seamus grew up in the area all his life rooting for the Redskins, Nationals, Wizards, Caps, and Terps. He graduated from the University of Maryland in 2014 with a degree in American History and now lives in Washington, DC. His favorite DC sports legend is Hall of Fame cornerback Darrell Green, and his favorite DC sports moment was Ryan Zimmerman's walk-off in the first-ever game at Nationals Park, a game which he attended. You can follow Seamus on Twitter @ShamelessKane

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