Inside the Jets-Redskins matchup

The Jets are 1-8 against the Redskins, their only victory coming Dec. 11, 1993. The final score was 3-0, a first-quarter field goal by Cary Blanchard at old RFK Stadium. I covered that game, and it was brutal. Let's hope Sunday's game is more entertaining.

A closer look, with help from ESPN Stats & Information:


No, not Ryan. We're talking Redskins QB Rex Grossman -- aka interception machine. The Jets have gone three-plus games without an interception, and this is the game to end that slump. Grossman has 14 interceptions (third-most in the league), with a pick in seven straight games. His 14 INTs have come in 270 attempts, the highest INT rate in the league.

Highest Interception Pct.

Rex Grossman ...... 5.2

Kyle Orton .......... 4.5

Philip Rivers ........ 4.1

Tarvaris Jackson .. 3.9

Josh Freeman ...... 3.9


Based on Grossman's track record, the Jets shouldn't have to do anything exotic to force him into mistakes -- a four-man rush should do the trick. When rushed by four or fewer players, Grossman has a 65.0 passer rating, worst in the NFL. Check out his numbers:

103-for-169 ... 60.9% ... 1,190 yards ... 5 TDs ... 11 INTs ... 10 sacks ... 65.0 rating


The Jets are 1-4 on the road, which means if they lose, they'd equal their total from the previous two seasons combined -- a strange and dramatic turnaround to say the least. Without a doubt, the key in this game is to run the ball effectively, taking the crowd out of the game and neutralizing the Redskins' pass rush. The Jets are 3-0 when they have at least 30 rushes, including 39 in their only road win (at Buffalo).

On Road Under Rex Ryan

Year -- Rec -- PPG

2011 ... 1-4 ... 20.4

2010 ... 6-2 ... 25.1

2009 ... 5-3 ... 23.4


Here's one way to slow down a formidable pass rush: Hit 'em with some screen passes. The Jets aren't a big screen team, but they've actually been effective when using it. With RB LaDainian Tomlinson and WR Jeremy Kerley returning to the lineup, there should be more screen opportunities. Kerley can make plays in space, and they should try to set him up with a bubble screen.

QB Mark Sanchez is one of the most efficient screen passers in the league. In fact, his yards-per-attempt (10.4) is more than two yards better than the next QB, Tom Brady (8.2). Here are his numbers:

21-for-23 ... 91% ... 239 yards ... 0 TDs ... 0 INTs ... 0 sacks ... 110.0 passer rating.


Redskins rookie RB Roy Helu hasn't generated much pre-game buzz in New York, but he could be the X factor in this game. The fourth-round pick from Nebraska has 4.4 speed and he has the ability to break tackles. In fact, his yards-after-contact average is 2.3, tied for 12th in the NFL. Helu, coming off a career game against the Seahawks, has rushed only 74 yards, so he should be fresh -- and that could be a factor in a late-season game.