The TOJ Roundtable is back. Make sure to give everybody a follow on Twitter and to let us know your opinion down in the comment section below! Also make sure to check out our Jets mailbag at Barstool Sports! Today’s question is…
How can the New York Jets avoid a second straight home let down against an average NFC East team?
Joe Caporoso – Start fast. The Redskins are better than many give them credit for and are basically built like a poor man’s version of this season’s Jets. They have a strong defense, a quality running game, talent on the outside and a quarterback susceptible to turnovers. Fortunately, the Jets have the pieces in the secondary to slow down Pierre Garcon, a potentially active DeSean Jackson and Jamison Crowder. Washington is likely to study the Eagles tape and focus on rushing to the edges with Matt Jones and Chris Thompson, utilizing their speed. If the Jets offense can make plays early (Washington should have no answer for Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker), it should limit the Redskins’ ability to lean on the running game. The more Kirk Cousins drops back, the more the Jets chances of winning increases.
Dalbin Osorio – Starting fast like Joe said is key, but honestly feeding off the energy that a returning Sheldon Richardson should bring will be the biggest way for them to avoid coming out flat. The Jets have a very real chance to go to 4-1 and have a chance to get sole possession of first place on October 25th against the Patriots. I don’t think any of them know this because Bowles’s mantra has been “one game at a time.” The Jets should go up early, and force Washington to abandon the run and force turnovers against a young QB, but feeding off of Sheldon Richardson will go a long way towards them not coming off flat.
John Hargaden – Coming off their bye week, your 3-1 New York Jets face a Washington team that is 2-3. Do not let that fool you though, this team is improved since last year especially on the defensive side of the ball.As we look at their offense, led by Michigan State QB Kirk Cousins, the offense has struggled to produce. Cousins has thrown 6 interceptions so far and has been sacked 12 times. With the return of Sheldon Richardson, the defensive line is licking their chops. Look for the Redskins to move Cousins out of the pocket often on Sunday. A newcomer, undrafted RB Matt Jones has been a decent find. He is averaging a little of 4 yards a carry and has 3 touchdowns on the year, he and Alfred Morris have been splitting the carries. At the WR spot, their main target is Pierre Garcon who has 27 receptions so far in the season and at TE Florida product Jordan Reed has had a nice start to the season with 24 receptions. Look for the Redskins to use Reed is multiple ways, lining up at WR and on the line and trying to expose the Jets LB in pass coverage.
On the defensive side of the ball, this unit has improved since last year. So far they are 18th in the league in Pass defense allowing an average of 238 passing yards a game and they are 12th in the league allowing 121 rushing yards a game. On their defensive line, 2 players to watch out for are Ryan Kerrigan and Chris Baker who both have 3.5 sacks so far. The weakest part of their defense is their secondary, look for Ryan Fitzpatrick to exploit that. Something that bears watching coming off the bye has to be looking away from Brandon Marshall and at his other reads. Marshall is a awesome talent however look for teams to double and even triple team him. Look for Eric Decker and Devin Smith to have big games
Joe Malfa- First of all, I think it is a bit deceiving to call the home loss to the Eagles a “let down.” To me, a let down is a mid-late season loss against a team that is below .500 that should have been handled easily. The Eagles were a desperate 0-2 team that has enough talent to go ahead and win the NFC East (plus the Pope was in Philly so there may have been a bit of divine intervention).
A loss to the Redskins this week would be a let down, because they are a 2-3 team that is not as good as their record indicates, and there is no added desperation that could win them a game like there was for the 0-2 Eagles. How do the Jets avoid a potential let down? Not to beat a dead horse, but Joe Cap hit it right on the head — start fast. The offense should be fully healthy this week coming out of the bye, the defense will have an added boost with the return of the MetLife Monster, and the crowd will be rocking as the Jets look to start a season 4-1 for the first time since they last made it to the AFC Championship game in 2010. It will be key to get points on the board early, but it will not be easy against a Redskins defense that has exceeded expectations in the early stages of the season. The Gang Green defense will need to continue playing the way it has been and win the turnover battle against an interception prone Kirk Cousins.Now, I will see Joe Cap’s “start fast” and raise him a “finish strong.” Closing out games has not been the Jets’ forte this season. They allowed the Browns to hang around longer than they should have in week 1. In week 2, things were looking good with the 13-0 lead, but rather than going for the throat, the play-calling became too conservative and the Colts were a late Andrew Luck touchdown away from possibly stealing a victory. Lastly, in week 4, up 27-7 the Jets allowed the Dolphins to cut the lead to 27-14 and kept them in the game until the very end. A fast start needs to be followed up with a strong finish in order for the Jets to avoid a home let down in week 5, and a win this week is key because 3-1 can easily turn into 3-4 with a game at the Patriots and a road trip out to Oakland looming.