On Sunday, the Jets travel to the Washington D.C. area to face an unfamiliar opponent -- the Redskins, whom they haven't played since 2007. The Jets are 1-8 against them. A few quick observations:
1. So far, Mike Shanahan hasn't been the answer. The Redskins (4-7) snapped a six-game losing streak, their longest since 1998, with a come-from-behind win in Seattle, 23-17. The Redskins have defeated only one team with a winning record, and it came on opening day -- the Giants (6-5), who may not have a winning record for much longer.
2. Shanahan is discovering it's tough to win when you don't have John Elway. He started the season with Rex Grossman, went to John Beck (0-3) and returned to Grossman (4-4). Grossman is mediocre, at best. He's the 28th-rated passer (73.6) and he tends to struggle in the red zone (three interceptions). Come to think of it, he struggles pretty much everywhere.
3. Rookie RB Roy Helu, a fourth-round pick out of Nebraska, has injected some life into the offense. He rushed for a career-high 108 yards against the Seahawks, adding seven catches. You have to consider him a two-way threat because of his ability to run after the catch. His YAC average is 8.2, 18th in the league.
4. The Redskins' biggest threat in the passing game is TE Fred Davis, the type of weapon that could hurt the Jets' secondary. Davis already has 13 receptions of 20+ yards. They also have old friend Santana Moss, the Jets' No. 1 pick in 2001. Once a feared vertical threat, Moss has lost speed and no longer is an impact player.
5. The Jets' offensive line, coming off its most complete game, faces one of the best pass-rushing teams in the league. The Redskins have 33 sacks, tied for third in the league. Most of their pressure comes from the edges, OLBs Brian Orakpo and rookie Ryan Kerrigan (six sacks apiece). They like to blitz out of their 3-4 base. In fact, they've used 5+ pass rushers on 43 percent of the passing plays.
6. Wonder if CB DeAngelo Hall will have anything to say to Rex Ryan. You may recall that during an episode of "Hard Knocks" in 2010, Ryan (miked, of course), yells to Hall during a pre-season game: "Hey, you ain't gonna tackle nobody. What are you taking about? That's why my brother got rid of your ass." In Oakland, he meant, where Rob Ryan used to be the defensive coordinator.