In the game of football, especially NFL football, one mistake could turn the direction of any game in a way nobody thought it could go. This Jets-Redkins matchup isn't any different. Both of these teams think the game is going to go their way, but only one can be right. These 3 areas of the game will set the course of this game and the remaining seasons for the two competitors:
1. QUARTERBACK PERFORMANCE
Let's face the facts, neither of the starting quarterbacks going into this game are elite quarterbacks. But it's also a fact that both of these quarterbacks have some talent and can win
, if the talent around them gives them a helping hand; meaning every receiver around and running back behind needs to put their best foot forward if they want their QB to be successful. Mark Sanchez is coming of a, career high, four touchdown game, but also one in which he made many poor decisions and even drew boos from the home crowd at the Meadowlands. The Redskins defense he’s facing has given up a league high 42 plays of 20 yards or more, and if he doesn’t put up a big game full of big plays against them then the quarterback change mumblings and grumbling I’ve heard in Jets fans circles could become screams and cries, AND
if they were to lose the game they also would lose significant hope of clinching that wildcard spot at the end of the season. Rex Grossman is
having one of the best years of his careers so far, QB percentage-wise(60.7), but his Redskins offense has a league worst -11 turnover ratio that could stand to make this year’s Jet defense look like last year’s Jet defense. Both of these teams could win, but the man under center needs to show up if they want a chance to turn could win
into did win.
2. JET SPECIAL TEAMS
The Jets, under special teams coach Mike Westhoff, have always been pretty good on special team and this year is no different. They lead the league in kick return yards and it looks like Joe McKnight is coming into his own as a kick returner. BUT they also lead the league in fumbled punt returns and, if I’m not mistaken, every one of those has been translated into points for the opposition. The special teams could either put enough fuel in the Jets to soar to victory, or they could take some out and the Jets will plummet down to the ranks of non-playoff contenders mid flight.
3. DARRELLE REVIS
Darrelle Revis is of, if not the most, important players on this Jets team. He can effectively shutdown any wide receiver in the league, and when he plays well it takes a weight off the defense that makes their jobs much easier. And now, with Santana Moss(former Jet) returning to play in hopes of being a big target for Grossman, the Jets need him more than ever. He’s coming off an uncharacteristically poor(for Revis at least) game in which he allowed 8 catches for yards from a receiver that any other day he would’ve completely taken out of the game. I’m not saying that he will ever not be the Jets main CB, but if he wants to keep his street cred as “Revis Island”, shutdown corner, best-the-league yada yada, he needs to show up in Washington in a big way.
And that’s it, it should be a good one, at least it’ll be a telling one of the success of these to seasons going ahead this season.