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Need to Know: Five final thoughts on Redskins vs. Jets

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Need to Know: Five final thoughts on Redskins vs. Jets

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, October 18, the day the Washington Redskins play the New York Jets.

Five final thoughts on Redskins vs. Jets

—Yes, I know. The injuries, the injuries, the injuries. Yes, there is a reason that Trent Williams ($10.6 million) has a cap number about 20 times higher than that of Ty Nsekhe ($510,000). He's a lot better. But every week in the NFL players who haven’t played much before come in for injured players and get the job done, getting in and out of the lineup before the other team can figure out his strengths and weaknesses. We will see if Nsekhe is one of those guys.

—The defense is largely intact with the exception of CB Chris Culliver. The pressure will be on the defense to get the job done. DE Jason Hatcher and NT Terrance Knighton said during the week that they were looking forward to going up against the straight-ahead power running scheme of the Jets after chasing Devonta Freeman in the zone stretch against the Falcons last week. If they can do their part and bottle up Chris Ivory it will be tough for Ryan Fitzpatrick to beat them.

—We could find out if the one-back theory that has been fodder for discussion on talk radio and on the web (including here) has any validity. It seems likely that Matt Jones will be either inactive or available on a limited or on an emergency basis only. That could mean the 20-plus carries for Alfred Morris that everyone has been looking for. It is likely to be tough sledding against the Jets’ defensive front with the Redskins’ banged-up offensive line no matter who carries the ball. But we should get a limited feel for whether or not Morris does do better once he gets into a “rhythm” and warmed up or if that is one of those myths floating around out there.

—The Jets have 13 takeaways and they have played only four games. The Redskins have six in five games. Taking a closer look at the Jets’ numbers, they have forced eight fumbles and recovered seven of them. Their ability to recover them isn’t all training and skill; there is an element of luck involved as well. Over time, every NFL team will recover about as many balls on the ground as the other team does. But even though New York’s luck is likely to run out at some point, it’s not necessarily going to happen against the Redskins.

—If the defense can get it done—meaning holding the Jets to around 14 points—the Redskins will have a shot. Washington has not won a game scoring fewer than 14 points since September 12, 2010, the first game of the Shanahan error, um, era. If the defense or special teams can log a score (DeAngelo Hall scored a touchdown on a fumble return in that 2010 game), the chances will be better. I think the offense goes ultra conservative so Tress Way will have to have to boom punts from deep in Redskins territory and artfully drop them inside the 20 when he’s called upon to do that. Kirk Cousins will need to avoid multiple turnovers. In the big picture it’s like drawing to an inside straight flush. A Redskins win is possible but the odds are very much against it.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Redskins vs. Jets, 1:00 p.m., FOX

Days until: Bucs @ Redskins 7; Redskins @ Patriots 21

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Oddsmakers give Kirk Cousins favorable shot at 2017 NFL MVP

Oddsmakers give Kirk Cousins favorable shot at 2017 NFL MVP

There continues to be a (ridiculous) debate on whether or not Kirk Cousins can continue to be a successful starting quarterback for the Washington Redskins.

In the betting industry, there is not much debate with Cousins being listed with 50/1 odds to win the NFL MVP award this upcoming season from Bovada. Among all the other players listed, he is in a tie for 14th. 

He is coming off back-to-back seasons with seven 300 yard passing games, a team record, and has an abundance of fresh, young wide receivers to compliment his passing style. Last year he was third in the league in passing yards with 4,917, trailing only Drew Brees (5,208) and Matt Ryan (4,944). 

The team may not be poised for a Super Bowl run in 2017-18, but if the team makes a post-season run, who will it be on the back of? Jordan Reed? Rob Kelley? Ryan Kerrigan?

No, it will be Kirk Cousins. 

RELATED: Ex-GM outlines staggering contract for Kirk Cousins

Entering this season at 40-years-old, and defending Super Bowl MVP, Tom Brady is the overall favorite at 4/1. He is closely followed by Aaron Rodgers, and young quarterbacks Derek Carr and Dak Prescott. 

BOVADA 2017-18 NFL MVP ODDS:

Tom Brady, NE — 4/1
Aaron Rodgers, GB — 7/1
Derek Carr, OAK — 9/1
Dak Prescott, DAL — 12/1
Ben Roethlisberger, PIT — 12/1
Russell Wilson, SEA — 12/1
Matt Ryan, ATL — 16/1
Ezekiel Elliott, DAL — 20/1
Drew Brees, NO — 25/1
Andrew Luck, IND — 25/1
Cam Newton, CAR — 25/1
David Johnson, ARI — 33/1
Marcus Mariota, TEN — 33/1
Sam Bradford, MIN — 50/1
Antonio Brown, PIT — 50/1
Kirk Cousins, WAS — 50/1
Julio Jones, ATL — 50/1
Eli Manning, NYG — 50/1
Carson Palmer, ARI — 50/1
Adrian Peterson, NO — 50/1
Philip Rivers, LAC — 50/1
Matt Stafford, DET — 50/1
Odell Beckham Jr., NYG — 66/1
Rob Gronkowski, NE — 66/1
Alex Smith, KC — 66/1
Ryan Tannehill, MIA — 66/1
J.J. Watt, HOU — 66/1
Jameis Winston, TB — 66/1
Blake Bortles, JAX — 100/1
Andy Dalton, CIN — 100/1
Joe Flacco, BAL — 100/1
T.Y. Hilton, IND — 100/1
Marshawn Lynch, OAK — 100/1
LeSean McCoy, BUF — 100/1
Von Miller, DEN — 100/1
DeMarco Murray, TEN — 100/1
Carson Wentz, PHL — 100/1

RELATED: After Derek Carr deal, Cousins' best option may be short-term

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True or False: Rob Kelley will be Redskins leading rusher

True or False: Rob Kelley will be Redskins leading rusher

Robert Kelley emerged as the Redskins top running back in 2016, an incredible story of an undrafted guy working his way to the top. Of course, Matt Jones' problems with fumbling helped push Kelley to the top. 

Redskins coach Jay Gruden speaks highly of Kelley, particularly his fluidity and vision, but the team drafted Samaje Perine in the fourth round this year to provide additional competition in the backfield.

Here's the crucial statement: Rob Kelley will lead the Redskins in rushing yards in 2017.

Finlay: True.

Kelley averaged 4.2 yards-per-carry last season and the Redskins ground game is very much centered on a "4 or more" philosophy. Washington running backs coach Randy Jordan joined the #RedskinsTalk podcast and explained that the team wants a runner it can count on for positive yards more than creating big plays. The Redskins offense, as designed by Gruden, sets up for big plays in the pass game, and the run should allow for proper use of play action. 

In just nine starts last year, Kelley gained more than 700 yards. Project that out over 16 games, and he would be over 1,000 yards rushing. Perine has much to learn about the NFL, and understanding pass protections will take time for the rookie out of Oklahoma. Chris Thompson will be a key part of the offense, but much of his yardage will come via the pass game. 

Kelley will lead this team in rush yards. He's looked great in OTAs and minicamp while the coaching staff believes Kelley is in much better shape this year than he was as a rookie. Write it down in pen. 

RELATED: How will Kelley and Perine share the carries?

Tandler: True.

After the draft and during rookie camp I was saying that there was a chance that Perine could lead the team is rushing this year. But after seeing Perine playing with the big boys in OTAs and minicamp it’s apparent that he has a long way to go to become a consistently productive running back.

One thing Kelley seems to have going in his favor is that he has a very sensible outlook on the NFL. As JP noted, Kelley showed up to Redskins Park in better shape than he did as a rookie. This indicates to me that he understands that being an NFL players is a year-round job. Staying in great shape is important in the league but at running back it’s vital. Kelley gets that and because he does, his chances of being available for 16 games are much higher.

In turn, that improves his chance of being the team’s leading rusher. I’m not sure if he’ll get 1,000 yards—Perine will get things figured out enough to take some carries before the season gets too old—but Gruden will make sure that he gets fed plenty as long as he is available. 

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