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Jets' Defense A Difficult Puzzle To Solve


The Redskins on Sunday must find a way to get an advantage over a very strong Jets defense, perhaps by utilizing their three-headed rushing attack looking to get back on track.

They're big, bad and lethal.

The Washington Redskins on Sunday face a New York Jets defense that currently ranks first in the league in points allowed per game (13.8), second in total defense (280.2 yards per game) second in pass defense (188.5) and are fourth in third down conversation percentage (34.1).

Up front they have 2013 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Sheldon Richardson, 2015 first-round pick Leonard Williams, 2013 second-team All-Pro Muhammed Wilkerson and 2009 second-team All-Pro David Harris.

The secondary, meanwhile, is highlighted by six-time Pro Bowler and four-time first-team All-Pro Darrelle Revis and four-time Pro Bowler Antonio Cromartie.

"Their front four is amazing," said rookie running back Matt Jones, who is questionable for the game. "They're big, stout, hard to move. They [have] a great defense, amazing DBs out there, you've got Revis. So, I mean, they've got a very good defense."

Williams, the fifth-overall pick in this year's draft, was projected by many to be this year's best prospect.

While some had him going to the Redskins, Washington, of course, opted to select Brandon Scherff.

Scherff has been everything the Redskins could have wished for so far, and Williams has been nothing short of a player that appears destined to have a great career.

He is currently tied for the sixth-most tackles on the team with 18.

"He's a big athletic guy, you know what I mean?" Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said. "He can play nose guard. He can play 3-technique. Very athletic. They've got a great substitution pattern. All their guys, really, when they come in there, they're fresh and they're active and they're strong and they all bring something different to the table. Their coaches do an excellent job of substituting guys, keeping them fresh and making life miserable for offensive linemen."

This test against the Jets' defense will be tough for an offensive line that will be making its first appearance together ever.

Trent Williams and Kory Lichtensteiger have already been ruled out of the game, meaning Ty Nsekhe and Josh LeRibeus will be making their first starts of the season.

And with Spencer Long making his third career start and Scherff making his sixth career start, Morgan Moses is the most experienced member of the group.

The second-year University of Virginia product will be making just his seventh career start.

"Very physical," LeRibeus said of the front seven. "They're not loafers. They're going to be after us every play. It's definitely one of those you have to be [ready for]. You're tense, you're stressed, you're going every single play. I think we'll get after them."

A key to possibly softening a defense known to be among the most aggressive units in the NFL is getting your run game going.

During the first two weeks of the season, Alfred Morris and Matt Jones each had games with at least 120 yards.

Over the last three games, though, they haven't had the same sort of success.

Fullback Darrel Young said getting the run game going "backs people up because not too many guys can run with them.

"But there's obviously some great corners out there and we playing two good corners this weekend on a good defense," Young said. "They'll have some things dialed up, but we just have to overcome everything."

As for Revis, with DeSean Jackson officially downgraded to out for the game, the All-Pro cornerback could be facing Pierre Garçon for most of the game.

Even if he doesn't, quarterback Kirk Cousins must know exactly where he is at all times.

"He's a special player," said Redskins offensive coordinator Sean McVay. "You can see why he gets the notoriety that he does. He's excellent in off-man. He can play. He can come up on the line of scrimmage. He's played with some guys in the slot this year. You can see, depending upon how they look at your personnel, he may travel with certain guys and may not. I think he's as good as there is in the league."




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