Jets-Redskins Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated November 30, 2011
Though the New York Jets are very much alive for a playoff spot in the AFC, they know their overall play must improve in order for them to actually reach the postseason. Looking to build off a much-needed victory, the Jets try for some rare success against the Washington Redskins on Sunday at FedEx Field. New York (6-5) avoided a third consecutive loss by rallying for a 28-24 home win over Buffalo last Sunday. Though the victory was far from pretty, the result left the Jets two games behind AFC East leader New England and tied with Denver and Tennessee, all one game out of the final playoff spot in the conference. Still, the Jets don't appear to have the look of a team that can once again contend for a conference title. Mark Sanchez threw a career-high four touchdowns but only completed 48.6 percent of his passes for 180 yards. The defense, meanwhile, yielded a 90-yard touchdown drive earlier in the game and nearly allowed the Bills to march down the field on the final drive in which a wide-open Stevie Johnson dropped a catchable pass and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick failed to connect with the receiver two other times to help the Jets clinch the victory. "We have to keep improving, there's no question,'' Jets coach Rex Ryan said. "We're not going to win and we're not going to reach our goal if we don't get better. But we definitely plan on getting better.'' While Ryan knows there are strides to be made, he's getting tired of hearing the Jets have been more lucky than good this season. Last weekend's victory marked New York's third fourth-quarter comeback in 2011. "It is funny how if we make a mistake, we're horrible and it's, `Oh, they're terrible,''' Ryan said. "That could be bad luck there, too. But if we make a play, it's, `Oh, we're just lucky.' So, maybe it's the green (team colors). I don't know. I hope karma is with us. I hope we continue to be lucky, and we'll take that. "The old saying, `I'd rather be lucky than good.' I'd rather be both, and I think we are.'' Sanchez may be both. Though the third-year quarterback had another mediocre statistical day versus Buffalo, he managed to get his team into the end zone. He also hit Plaxico Burress, who made a one-handed grab for 18 yards, to convert on third-and-11 to set up the 16-yard winning TD pass to Santonio Holmes with 1:01 remaining. "Honestly, it sounds crazy, but things are looking good,'' said Sanchez, who threw two touchdowns and four interceptions in his previous three games. "I'm just feeling more and more comfortable. It's not showing quite yet, but I know it will. We're right there.'' Burress has caught 11 passes for 157 yards and two touchdowns over the last three games. He had 10 receptions for 133 yards in his last game against Washington while with the New York Giants in 2008. The Jets hope the momentum they earned from last weekend's victory will help them improve on their 1-8 all-time record versus Washington. New York has lost four in a row to the Redskins dating to their only win, 3-0 on Dec. 11, 1993. This is the teams' first meeting since Washington's 23-20 overtime road victory in 2007. Washington (4-7) returns home after snapping a six-game skid with a 23-17 win at Seattle last Sunday. Like the Jets, the Redskins also needed a fourth-quarter comeback, overcoming a 10-point deficit to score the game's final 16 points. "That's what you're in this game to do, is to win," Washington coach Mike Shanahan said. "But at the same time, when you're around a football team that's giving you everything they've got, you feel good. "That's why I feel good about the character of this football team, and it was nice to find a way to win because they deserved to win. Our players have been working extremely hard, and hopefully we can keep it going.'' Rex Grossman set season highs by completing 73.4 percent of his passes for 314 yards. His 50-yard TD pass to Anthony Armstrong with 6:18 left in the fourth quarter gave Washington the lead for good. Rookie Roy Helu solidified himself as the Redskins' starting running back at least for one more week after he ran for a career-high 108 yards with a touchdown on 23 carries and caught seven passes for 54 yards. "He's our starter, for sure,'' Shanahan said. Washington, which won two straight games to open the season, has dropped its last three against AFC East opponents since beating the Jets in 2007.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Best athlete by state all time
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jeremy Lin re-aggravates hamstring, out another three to five weeks

Report: Browns could join 49ers in pursuit of Cousins

Hull City's Ryan Mason recovering from skull fracture

Isaiah Thomas: ‘I feel like I’m the best player in the world’

Falcons GM ignored Belichick's bad advice on Julio Jones

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Watson declined Browns' request to play in Senior Bowl

Tom Brady talks about his relationship with Matt Ryan

Manziel gives Trump advice on dealing with Twitter trolls

Wade Phillips blasts report claiming he divided locker room

Bell's tweet about Patriots from 2013 brings some laughs

Barbara Bush told doctors to get her out of hospital before SB

The week in NFL news as explained by Outkast

Best of Yardbarker: Roger Goodell does what we all expected him to do

Eat, Drink, Watch for Jan. 20-22, 2017: Dips, rye, football and Death Race 2050

Box Score 1/20: 37 years ago today, Carter said no to Moscow

NFC & AFC Championship preview: We love scoring

Roger Goodell is a coward, but then we knew that

TailGreater: Picking the conference champions by their signature cocktails

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Ranking the top three conferences in college basketball

The NFC Championship’s two most important players

Eight bold predictions for second half of NBA season

Box Score 1/19: Happy anniversary to the 'Tuck Rule' game

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The week in NFL news as explained by Outkast

QUIZ: Name every prominent quarterback in the history of the New England Patriots

Best of Yardbarker: Roger Goodell does what we all expected him to do

Eat, Drink, Watch for Jan. 20-22, 2017: Dips, rye, football and Death Race 2050

QUIZ: Name the owners of these 50 famous NFL nicknames

NFC & AFC Championship preview: We love scoring

Roger Goodell is a coward, but then we knew that

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

TailGreater: Picking the conference champions by their signature cocktails

The 'What's a Romo worth these days anyway?' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker