The New York Jets (4-1) exploded for 17 unanswered points in five minutes of play in the third quarter, the difference in an eventual 34-20 win over the Washington Redskins (2-4). Here’s what we learned:
1. Brandon Marshall made waves last week when he called teammate Chris Ivory the best running back in football. A touch hyperbolic, sure, but then Ivory bullied a solid Washington defense for 196 total yards and a touchdown. Ivory is playing like an All-Pro.
2. Speaking of Marshall and All-Pro, the playmaker became the first Jets wide receiver since Don Maynard in 1968 (a special year in Jets lore) to go over 100 yards receiving in four straight games. Reminder: Mike Maccagnan gave up a fifth-round pick to acquire Marshall from the Bears back in March.
3. How much patience can Jay Gruden have in Kirk Cousins? The quarterback threw two ugly interceptions and averaged less than five yards per attempt (i.e. life in the dreaded Gabbert Zone). Playing without playmakers and DeSean Jackson and Jordan Reed doesn’t help matters, but Washington’s offense could use a spark. Do they dare take RGIII out of bubblewrap?
4. Get comfortable on the bench, Geno Smith. Ryan Fitzpatrick delivered another solid performance and continues to show surprising playmaking ability with his legs. He accounted for three touchdowns, including an 18-yard rushing score that doubled as the longest rushing touchdown by a Jets QB in 35 years. Whoa.
5. The Redskins might be simply too banged up to hang with any half decent team right now. Washington has seven inactives on Sunday, including six starters. The NFC East isn’t very good, but the Redskins didn’t look competitive once the Jets stopped killing themselves with mistakes.