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


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, 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 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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Redskins ranked as the fourth most valuable NFL franchise by Forbes


Redskins ranked as the fourth most valuable NFL franchise by Forbes

Annually, Forbes releases the worth of all professional sports franchises in the world. Once again, the Washington Redskins are sitting near the top. 

This year the Redskins are ranked the fourth most valuable NFL franchise at $3.1 billion. 

That marks a five percent worth increase from a year ago. They leapfrogged the San Francisco 49ers for a spot in the top four after placing fifth in 2017. They still trail the Dallas Cowboys ($4.8 billion), the New England Patriots ($3.7 billion), and the New York Giants ($3.3 billion).

Compared to other leagues and franchises, the Redskins jumped into the top-10. They are tied for the tenth overall value with the Golden State Warriors who are coming off of their third NBA title in four years.

From year-to-year there is never much movement from the top of the ranking. Once again, the Cowboys are the top team in the world by over $600 million. They were followed by three European soccer teams. In total four NFL teams made up the top-10, the most of any sport. 

2018 Top-10 World’s Most Valuable Sports Teams according to Forbes:

1. Dallas Cowboys, $4.8 billion (NFL)

2. Manchester United, $4.123 billion ( Soccer)

3. Real Madrid, $4.09 billion (Soccer)

4. Barcelona, $4.064 billion (Soccer)

5. New York Yankees, $4 billion (MLB)

6. New England Patriots, $3.7 billion (NFL)

7. New York Knicks, $3.6 billion (NBA)

8. Los Angeles Lakers, $3.3 billion (NBA)

8. New York Giants, $3.3 billion (NFL)

T-10. Golden State Warriors, $3.1 billion (NBA)

T-10. Washington Redskins, $3.1 billion (NFL)

Next five NFL franchises:

13. San Francisco 49ers, $3.05 billion

T-14. Los Angeles Rams, $3 billion 

17. Chicago Bears, $2.85 billion 

T-19. Houston Texans, $2.8 billion

21. New York Jets, $2.75 billion


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Redskins 2018 position outlook: Outside linebackers

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Redskins 2018 position outlook: Outside linebackers

Redskins Training camp opens next week, and we have a break here, giving us time to put the depth chart under the microscope.

Between now and the start of camp, we will look at every position, compare the group to the rest of the NFL, see if the position has been upgraded or downgraded from last year, and take out the crystal ball to see what might unfold.


Additions: Pernell McPhee (free agent)
Departures: Junior Galette (free agent)

Starters: Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith
Other roster locks: Ryan Anderson, McPhee
On the bubble: Pete Robertson

How the outside linebackers compare

To the rest of the NFL: By any measure, the Redskins had a top-10 pass rush last year. They were tied for seventh with 42 sacks and they got a sack on 7.3 percent of pass attempts, also seventh in the league. Looking forward to this year, Pro Football Focus has them ranked as the sixth-best pass rushing team for 2018. Ryan Kerrigan is showing no signs of slowing down as he approaches age 30 and Preston Smith is about to hit his prime. After the departure of Galette, the depth is questionable, and we’ll deal with that next. Even without Galette, it’s still one of the best units in the NFL. 

To the 2017 Redskins: Some downplay the decision to let Galette walk in free agency, saying he had just three sacks. But his value went beyond that. He had 9 QB hits and 25 hurries, both second-most on the team, in just 258 pass rush snaps. Someone will have to step up and replace that pressure. The spotlight will be on Anderson, who had no sacks after being a second-round pick. He will need to step up for this year’s Redskins pass rush to be as good as last year’s. 

2018 outside linebacker outlook

Biggest upside: Since the 2015 season, only one NFL player has at least 20 sacks, four forced fumbles, and three interceptions and it’s Preston Smith. His consistency is an issue but even when he is going for a few weeks between sacks he is getting pressure on the quarterback. Still, there is more ability there. Smith could set himself up for a big payday by breaking through with a double-digit sack season while continuing to make big plays in his contract year.

Most to prove: To be fair, Anderson did not get a whole lot of chances to rush the passer last year, playing just 81 pass rush snaps. Still, there are reasons to be concerned about how much he can produce after a zero-sack, one-hit, three-hurries 2017 debut season. Anderson was not expected to make a splash as a rookie, but more was anticipated. He was drafted where he was in part because of his work ethic. The Redskins hope he will work his way into a significant second-year leap. 

Rookie watch: There are no rookie outside linebackers on the roster. 

Bottom line: The main concern about the Redskins’ defense this year revolves around the cornerback spot following the departures of Kendall Fuller and Bashaud Breeland. The best way to manage problematic cornerbacks is by getting a strong pass rush. The Redskins need to Smith to have a true breakout season and for Anderson or McPhee to be a strong contributor off the bench. Along with the improved defensive line, the pass rush could transform the defensive line into a quality unit in 2018. 

2018 Redskins Position Outlook Series