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Enemy Intel: Can Redskins produce vs. Jets' defense?

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Enemy Intel: Can Redskins produce vs. Jets' defense?

Since free agency opened March 10, front offices around the league have been busy retooling rosters and preparing for the upcoming season. Here at CSNWashington.com, we’ve kept a watchful eye on the moves made by teams that appear on the Redskins’ 2015 schedule. Who’s gotten better? Who’s slipped a bit? Let’s take a closer look.

Up today…

New York Jets (Week 6)

2014 record: 4-12.

Key additions: CB Darrelle Revis (Patriots), WR Brandon Marshall (Bears), DE Leonard Williams (1st round/USC), QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (Texans), CB Antonio Cromartie (Cardinals), G James Carpenter (Seahawks), CB Buster Skrine (Browns), RB Stevan Ridley (Patriots), S Marcus Gilchrist (Chargers), LB Joe Mays (Chiefs), LB Jamari Lattimore (Packers) and TE Kellen Davis (Lions).  

Key departures: WR Percy Harvin (Bills), S Dawan Landry (unsigned), QB Michael Vick (unsigned), RB Chris Johnson (unsigned), FB John Conner (Bills), LB/special teams) Nick Bellore (49ers), CB Phillip Adams (Falcons), CB Kyle Wilson (Saints) and DE Kenrick Ellis (Giants).

Best move: Drafting Williams. Considered by many to be the top prospect in this year’s draft, the Redskins made the somewhat surprising decision to pass on the USC product, allowing him to fall to No. 6. At the time, the Jets didn’t have a pressing need at the position. But they do now with Pro Bowl defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson suspended for the first four games of the season.

What it all means for the Redskins: With Geno Smith and Ryan Fitzpatrick expected to battle in training camp for starting quarterback duty, it’s hard to imagine the Jets’ offense, which ranked 28th in points per game last season, making a huge leap in 2015—even after adding five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Brandon Marshall.

Instead, the issue for Washington could be Robert Griffin III and Co. putting up points against a much-improved (on paper, at least) New York defense.

{MORE REDSKINS The top five wide receivers the Redskins will face in 2015

Richardson, who was reportedly banned for marijuana use, is eligible to return against the Redskins. Assuming he does, the Jets will have arguably the league’s best defensive line on the field. Richardson and Muhammad Wilkerson were ranked by ProFootballFocus.com as the second and third best 3-4 ends in the game last season behind J.J. Watt. Nose tackle Damon Harrison, meantime, was ranked as the 14th best tackle in the game.  

The Jets’ secondary is pretty formidable, too. In addition to signing Darrelle Revis, PFF’s fourth ranked corner, to the richest deal ever at his position, GM Mike Maccagnan also inked corners Antonio Cromartie and Buster Skrine as well as safety Marcus Gilchrist.

Assuming this group remains healthy, I don’t think there’s much doubt that the Jets’ defense could be one of the league’s best units by the time the Redskins visit MetLife Stadium on Oct. 18.

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Making the Pro Bowl case for Tress Way, D.J. Swearinger

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Making the Pro Bowl case for Tress Way, D.J. Swearinger

Ryan Kerrigan and Trent Williams will represent the Redskins in the Pro Bowl next month, which is great news for the team. Combined the two players have 11 Pro Bowl selections and are deserving of their status as stars around the league.

For Redskins fans, two other players generated a lot of Pro Bowl support in punter Tress Way and safety D.J. Swearinger. The good news is both Way and Swearinger got named Pro Bowl alternates, but the bad news is neither man got the Pro Bowl selection. 

Well, do they deserve it? It's easy to make the case. 

In Swearinger's situation, it doesn't require making much of a case. Giants safety Landon Collins made the Pro Bowl team, but he was placed on the injured reserve earlier this month after undergoing shoulder surgery. A pending free agent, it's very hard to see a scenario where Collins plays in the Pro Bowl. 

Swearinger should replace Collins on the Pro Bowl team. Pro Football Focus ranks Swearinger the 8th-best safety in the NFL, and he has the numbers too. The sixth-year safety has started each game for Washington this season and has logged four interceptions and three forced fumbles to go with 48 tackles. He's deserving of the Pro Bowl spot. 

With the safety issue settled, it's time to focus on the punter. 

Let's be clear, Seattle's Mike Dickson has been really good this year. Tress Way deserves to be in the Pro Bowl, but Dickson is a good choice too. 

Here's what separates Way from Dickson: Touchbacks. 

Way has punted 72 times this season with zero touchbacks. He's placed the ball inside the 20 an astounding 39 times and never once has the ball gotten into the end zone. 

Dickson has punted 68 times this season with four touchbacks. He's placed the ball inside the 20 a respectable 29 times, 10 fewer than Way. 

Boil that down: Dickson has 10 fewer punts inside the 20 than Way, and Dickson has four more touchbacks. Fewer times inside the 20, and more touchbacks. 

It's worth pointing out Dickson has a ridiculous 44.2-yard net punting average. That's crazy good. Way's net punting average is 41.2.

What the stats don't show is that Way has been a critical part of the Redskins success this season. When things were going well for Washington, field position was a vital part of the team's winning formula. Way's ability to drop the ball inside the 20-yard-line, if not the 10 or 5-yard-line, played a huge role in that formula. 

Dickson is very good, but Way has been better. 

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Redskins get Trent Williams, Ryan Kerrigan into Pro Bowl and another 5 to alternate team

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Redskins get Trent Williams, Ryan Kerrigan into Pro Bowl and another 5 to alternate team

The Redskins landed two players on the Pro Bowl roster in left tackle Trent Williams and outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan. This marks the seventh and fourth Pro Bowl honors for the players, respectively. 

Williams has been named to the past seven Pro Bowls, a remarkable feat, and joins Ken Houston as the only Washington players to make seven straight Pro Bowls. He trails only Charley Taylor (8) and Chris Hanburger (9) in total Pro Bowl selections.

After a two-sack performance last Sunday in Jacksonville moved him into second all-time on the Redskins sack list, Kerrigan got named to his fourth Pro Bowl and third straight selection. He has 11 sacks on the season, his third straight year with double-digit sacks. 

Beyond Kerrigan and Williams, five other Redskins players were named alternates to the Pro Bowl: D.J. Swearinger, Josh Norman, Jordan Reed, Tress Way, and Adrian Peterson. 

Many thought Swearinger or Way would make the Pro Bowl for the first time in their careers, but both players came up just short. Things look good for Swearinger to make it to Orlando, as Giants safety Landon Collins made the Pro Bowl squad but will miss the game with an injury. 

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