Jets vs Redskins Game Preview
It’s not the traditional Washington-New York rivalry as the Redskins host the other team, the Jets in a rare meeting between the franchises. Both teams are in the midst of many changes making this game a toss-up between the rebuilding rosters.
Washington has the better team right now and should be favoured to win this match especially during the first half when the starters roll out. But never count out the Jets as they will make Washington earn every point.
New York Jets
The Jets were expected to be dead-last in the NFL last season but head coach Todd Bowles showed everyone by managing to give Gang Green five hard-fought wins. With a better roster this season, they should only improve.
The spotlight is on third-overall pick Sam Darnold. The Jets may finally have found themselves an elite quarterback but they traded so much to get him that they will have to wait another season to draft other pieces.
They were ravaged by injuries in 2017 but good health and some surprising offseason moves should have the Redskins ready to challenge for a division title. Gone is Kirk Cousins and in his place is ol’ dependable Alex Smith.
Joining Smith will be highly-touted LSU running back Derrius Guice who should revitalize the team’s running game. A softer schedule plus all these moves could mean Washington is a sneaky playoff contender this coming season.
Fans are hopeful to see Sam Darnold play but even if he does, it will only be for a few snaps. The Jets will likely roll out Josh McCown and then Teddy Bridgewater as number-two. The Redskins have Colt McCoy, an underrated backup. The Redskins should ice New York on the strength of a deeper roster.
Jets vs Redskins Head-to-Head Records
Even though both franchises have been around for a while, they have only met 11 times. Washington has dominated the series and is 8-3 winning eight of the first nine meetings. The Jets have retaliated and have won the last two meetings with the most recent one in 2015.
The Jets won the last two meetings by a combined point differential of 29 points. Despite being offensively challenged, New York dropped 34 points on both meetings. Backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick lit up the Redskins defence while Kirk Cousins struggled.
Washington’s last three wins have all come by a touchdown or less including four of their last five. Outside of recent meetings, when these teams meet it tends to be a close game. Even if their recent incarnations appear disproportionate in talent, this trend should continue.
The Jets may have had the edge in recent meetings but the Redskins are fielding a better team right now. Any meetings within the next few seasons should benefit Washington though not by much.
New York Jets Recent History
How lowly these Jets have flown. Outside of the Cleveland Browns and the Oakland Raiders, the Jets have been among the worst franchises in the AFC at the turn of the decade. A 10-6 record in 2015 is sandwiched between five-or-less win seasons. The switch to Bowles has been better for the franchise but they are still in a slow rebuild.
The lack of a stellar franchise quarterback has kept this New York team grounded. They had some brief success in the late 2000s under Rex Ryan when they made back-to-back conference finals trips and won 11 games, their best record in a dozen years. But it’s been mediocrity and bottom of the AFC East since.
New York is hoping Darnold pans out. They have a great coach in Bowles and if it all works out, the Jets could be in their best form. Ever. But there is so much work left to be done so Jets fans will have to wait a bit more.
Washington Redskins Recent History
Between 1982 to 1991, the Redskins ruled the NFL winning three Super Bowls in four appearances. They had five conference championship appearances and only had one season where they didn’t win double-digit games. But this was once upon a time. The Redskins, as of late, have been mediocre at best.
Washington hasn’t won a playoff game since 2005 and hasn’t been past the divisional round since 1991. And before the 2015 to 2016 seasons, Washington hadn’t strung together winning seasons in twenty years and these were nine-win seasons at best.
While they’re far from being a horrible team, the Redskins have plenty of work to do if they are to build a winning team in the long-term. Quick fixes and roster renovations have been the trend in Washington as of late so alternating between winning and losing seasons could be a fixture.
New York Jets Outlook
In a draft that saw five quarterbacks taken in the first round, Darnold is arguably the best one. The USC signal-caller is considered the most complete of the five. While he may not be ready, he’ll have at least one full season to learn from the likes of McCown and Bridgewater while being mentored by a disciplinarian coach.
Of course, the last USC quarterback New York drafted made his most memorable moment with the epic “butt fumble”. Darnold promises to be much better than Mark Sanchez but the Jets still have so many needs left to address. They need linemen on both fronts, linebackers, and wide receivers.
This coming season is a wash for New York. They’ll be lucky to sniff six wins. But the next few will be key as they build around their new quarterback. If they do it right, they could just be a perennial playoff contender.
Washington Redskins Outlook
The Redskins are a solid team from almost all fronts. On defence, they have some of the best linebackers and they upgraded their man in the middle by drafting Da’Ron Payne, a nose tackle who should be a stud anchoring the front-seven.
On offence, Smith isn’t as prolific as Cousins but he’s also less unpredictable. Smith should keep the Redskins’ passing game trustworthy even if he doesn’t make as many big plays as his predecessor. That’s why drafting a stud running back like Guice is crucial as he’ll give the Redskins that game-changing ability they lost when Cousins left.
Pessimists will say this Redskins team is good enough to make the playoffs but not good enough to do any real damage. But optimists will at least point out that this team will not only be a winning team but an entertaining one.
No matter what their record or what their team looks like, the Jets will be a tough out on any given night. Bowles manages to get his team to play to their capacity. They have many holes: their offence has no homerun-hitters, both of their lines need patching up, and their defence is good but not great.
The Redskins are almost like the Jets but a step above. They don’t really have any big guns on offence either not counting if Guice becomes the elite playmaker they drafted him. On defence, they can give less-protected lines like the Jets a run-for-their money.
As far as quarterbacks, the Redskins’ backup, McCoy could be just as good if not better than McCown. McCoy showed flashes when he briefly took over as a starter in 2011 and 2014. And it’s a small sample size but he has a career QB rating of 97.2
McCoy and McCown could cancel each other out but it’s difficult to ignore how much better the Redskins are in most aspects but most notably on defence. They should edge New York.